Last year we made an enormous move from Spokane to the LA area. In the weeks leading up to moving out of our apartment, staying with family in between and actually getting into our place in Santa Clarita, I didn’t think the transition would be particularly difficult. I was very wrong.
Transition is hard.
I’ve been thinking of that more as we, less than a year later, are in another time of transition. We are the middle of our week in Spokane, enjoying our time with friends and family and excitedly looking forward to our departure without a clear idea of what life will really look like on the other side of our plane ride.
One topic of conversation Chris and I have had recently is about HOME. We love Spokane. Chris grew up here, I became an adult here (you know, that growing up period in your twenties where you mature and become a functioning member of society) and so much of coming back here felt like coming home. Especially on Sunday when we were able to go to Faith Bible Church and hear Dan preach and worship with our church family (not that we dislike Grace but there is something special about being in your home church). But as we’ve wandered around, comparing how things are different from LA (traffic, distance/time to get to places, culture) we’ve both felt that it’s not the same. It’s not home. The realization made both of us ache. If this isn’t home and LA isn’t home, where IS home?
For me, being married to Chris, it’s sweet that our home is wherever we’re together. But even that is not completely satisfactory. As Christians, this world is not our home. We’re experiencing some of the bittersweet longing for home that Hebrews 11 describes that Abraham had:
“and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
We are exiles in Spokane, we are exiles in Los Angeles and we will be exiles in Malawi. We are seeking a homeland, our heavenly homeland! This knowledge doesn’t make the transition time easier but it gives us hope to persevere through them.
Another transition was not in our plans. In fact, when Malawi came up, facing another transition was a detractor in the decision making process. I don’t like it. But stepping out into discomfort and the potential for pain, we had a tiny bit of faith. “Yes, Lord, we’ll go to Malawi if you send us financially, with the local church behind us and if certain difficulties are removed in the process.” He answered that bit of faith swiftly and powerfully. I mean, who raises $30,000 in two months? How were obstacles removed so easily? It certainly wasn’t because of our magnificent effort. God is at work in this! He is growing our faith and confidence in Him – not just for Malawi but for our entire lives. And the transition, hard as it is, is keeping our eyes set on our heavenly home as our earthly home shifts yet again.
In less than a week we will be in Malawi. On this side of it, it seems impossible and surreal. But it is happening! We can’t wait to update you all with news of our long airplane ride and our first impressions of Africa – our next temporary home on our way to heaven.
Please continue to pray for us – see our Current Prayer Requests for ways to pray this week.