We are here, well, almost here. We have travelled across the world and I”m not going to sugar coat it, at times, it was rough.
But, do you want to know something else? Amidst all of the running, sweating, child managing, luggage carrying, infant snuggling and vomit bag holding, there was peace. There was doubt too, a definite moment of doubt that I’ll share with you but it was brief and the longest reigning feeling on our 21 hour journey was peace. An indescribable, inexplicable peace that I have experienced, most notably, amidst the worst circumstances of my life – a peace that I’ve experienced when my brother died or when I lost my baby girl. A peace that, juxtapositioned next to grief and loss is even more powerful and noticeable.
A peace that can sometimes be taken for granted or missed in the seasons of life where there has been little at stake – the seasons of life where I”ve felt most comfortable, most peaceful by earthly standards. A peace that is deep and comforting and so very far from being dependant on comfortable, controllable or convenient circumstances. God’s peace – the very very best kind.
How do I know? How can I tell you with all certainty that God was with us on that plane and that God was with us when we felt the initial call to overseas missions and that God was with us when we started looking at Papua New Guinea and that God was with us when we started support raising and that God was with us as we packed up our lives and that God was with us as we journeyed 21 hours to the opposite end of the map and that God will be with us as we take those last two flights on Sunday to finally arrive in Papua New Guinea? How do I know with utmost certainty that this is where we are supposed to be? I know mostly by faith but also by feeling. I know because of peace. I know because this innately anxious person that I am was actually calm on that flight.
I know because, when I stepped forward to move through security at YVR, I was less nervous than I have been on short international flights for vacations. I know because, even when that inevitable ‘what have we done?’ moment came on the airplane and I was in the tiny airplane washroom feeling every ounce of nervousness in my stomach, that nearly immediate after that, my stomach settled and I felt peace. I felt peace as we soared through the Australian sky and I felt peace as we watched the sunrise on our descent into Brisbane.
For, as I looked out onto the vast beaches and oceans above Australia and I saw the sun rising, I had a realization. Even if we have done something crazy, even if parts of this move make little sense and even if we are leaving many people and comforts behind, we are here to be open, to be vulnerable, to be willing to be used by God and He wants to show us His vastness in the process. He wants us to step outside of ourselves, to step outside of our own abilities and our own comforts and, as we do, there are things that He is going to show us that are far more wonderful than retaining control and convenience.
Those things He’s going to show us are dangerous and beyond our comprehension but they are good, just as He is good and they are powerful, just as He is powerful and they will be shown to us in love, just as He is love.
Because, I am learning that this journey, over the next two years is not going to be about what we will do but who we will do it with. It’s not going to be marked by service and action, even though we feel called to the service and called to the action of serving Missionary Kids in Papua New Guinea. Our journey needs to, first and foremost and always, be marked by abiding. By resting in Him, by getting to know Him, by turning to Him each and every day.
And so, over the coming years, I will share about what we’re doing in Papua New Guinea but I hope, more than that, through this blog, to share with you what I am learning by abiding. To share what God is showing me about Himself. To share those dangerously powerful revelations about His character and how those revelations are shaping our lives as individuals, as a couple and as a family.
I am praying that God would teach me to abide and I’m praying that, in His presence, I would continue to find that inexplicable peace not just, in spite of where He is taking us, but maybe because of the crazy, uncomfortable, inconvenient things He is calling us to do. Because the God we serve is so powerful that His promptings lead us to do crazy things and because the God we serve is so wonderful that, while we’re doing those things, He makes it clear to us that the gift, the beauty, and the blessing is just in knowing Him more, very simply, the greatest gift is found in abiding.
I can’t wait to share this journey with you. There will be ups and downs. I am no expert in abiding. I am no expert in remaining in constant contact and fellowship with God but I am willing to learn and I would love to learn with you – to openly share the good days and bad, to share them with all honesty because God has made me somewhat incapable of hiding my true feelings and somewhat prone to share my heart fully with anyone who will listen.
To share with you what I’m learning and, for me, for my family, for this season, our classroom is Papua New Guinea. It doesn’t matter where your classroom is or what it looks like, God is with us, He has never left us and the greatest gift He can give us in our current situation is Himself. Anytime we can learn together and grow together toward a greater understanding of the great and wonderful gift it is to abide in Him, He is glorified and we are satisfied. I want that so desperately and I’m going in search of it.