This past weekend we spent a lot of time at meetings as we’ve been given the chance to do something pretty incredible. However, it involves another overseas move. That involves visa considerations, the question of whether to leave the US before Mark becomes a US citizen (if we leave the country for an extended period, he loses his greencard), how would we sell our house when we’re upside down in our mortgage, and how would we school our kids in a country that is unfriendly to homeschooling? And whether something is an incredible opportunity or not, we have to prayerfully consider it. How would it affect our marriage? How would it affect our kids? We have lots and lots of questions. Lots to pray about. And yet, at this point, it looks pretty impossible.
However, I know that nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is impossible if we just trust Him to guide us step by step. We just really need to know if this is Him, His timing, and what He wants for our family.
Truthfully, the visa situation and the cost of it alone makes me want to run and hide. We’ve been through immigration before, and I have no desire to do it again. Yet in 5 years, whether we stay or go, we have to renew Mark’s greencard or consider the costly/time involved question of citizenship. We’re stuck in this immigration cycle whether we want to be or not. And it turns my stomach into big knots.
We made very poor financial decisions when we moved to the US, and our biggest fear is to repeat those decisions in another overseas move. We want to be wise, not foolish. Yet we also want to say yes to the Lord and do whatever He asks us. I know He doesn’t make us pay for our mistakes by keeping us in a bad situation until we’ve learned our lesson. We have learned our lesson the very hard way, and we’ve been faithful stewards to slowly dig out of the hole we created. I know He counters our faithfulness with His own. I also know He is very into doing financial miracles. The question is will we trust Him to do so? Can we put our faith out there? If He is saying go, can we trust Him to work it out? If He is saying stay, can we be content here until He says otherwise?
And the other issue that concerns me is family. We’ve lived across the ocean from Mark’s family for over 5 years, and it’s hard. It never gets easier. A weekly phone call to his mom and dad along with facebook interaction between his siblings and nieces/nephews don’t replace a yearly or monthly or weekly visit. His dad turns 82 this year, and I always wonder how many more years we’ll get? I just can’t think about it really. Yet can I leave my parents to go across another ocean? I have before, and we’ve had many tearful partings at airports with both of our moms. But now we have children. Can I take my kids from their grandparents and their aunt? I know many throughout history have done so for the sake of the Gospel, and I can’t say no to following Him wherever He leaves. As much as I love my family, I first belong to Him and I secondly belong with my husband and my children. And someday, my kids will face the same decision, and I will have to let them go. Leaving family is never an excuse to not do something God is calling us to. The Bible never said “take up your cross and follow me – so long as your family is nearby or going with you.” It just says to follow Him, regardless of what happens. So again, we’re stuck in this distance from family cycle no matter where we live. And I know it will never be easy. I also know that you don’t stay some or go someplace based on those reasons. You stay or go based on His guidance and direction. And that is step by step.
So we’ve had lots to ponder. It’s very much a season of sticking close to Him and listening to what He has to say to us, Mark and Micah. It’s a learning time of seeking Him together to hear what His plan is for the two of us + our kids in this season of life. And truthfully, it’s hard to get free of distraction so that we can hear. So this blog might go quiet again until I can work some of this stuff out . . . I’m feeling more of the need to visit my prayer closet often and to just focus on Him. Easier said than done, but oh, so necessary.