We are in full-on transition mode.
Selling, giving away, negotiating all the stuff that isn't going with us. Dealing with banks, interacting with our landlord, and trying to make sure we leave well and with our sanity. If that's even possible at this point.
Leaving hasn't looked like I thought it would five years ago when we moved here and I fought my new life in India with every inch of my being-- and I'm so glad for that grace. And I'm glad for glimpses of life that are so often hidden to us in the West.
Even if the first two years of living abroad were about learning, surviving and dying, the last two have also been about those things, to some extent, but so much more . . .
It's been about seeing gifts spring up and out, and making it through dark valleys that threatened to swallow me whole. It's been about raising kids (and the challenges there-in), keeping a marriage in-tact (again, challenging in any culture!), growing our family from five to seven, and all that having a big family entails. It's been about doing uncomfortable, hard things because they were the right things to do.
There have been relationships lost, strained, and gained along the way. This has nothing to do with living in India or the US but everything about getting older, having more focus on the issues that matter and having less time for nonsense in a desperate world. About having a strong need for like-minded hearts who are eager to link arms along the journey because we realise more and more it is as James says,
We don't know what will happen tomorrow, we are simply entrusted with the day. Life is a vapour . . . it's fleeting and fragile. And nothing brings that point home to me more than recent news events that have left so many of us shaken. The image of a Syrian toddler, Aylan, drowning in the sea as his family chased freedom and life. It makes my heart heavy, as I too have a toddler and would do whatever I could to give him an opportunity at life if our homeland became hostile and death was assured if we stayed.
Perhaps one of the biggest take-aways from our sojourn in India is that we never know what God is up to, we only get glimpses along the way. He simply asks us to be faithful in the valley or on the mountaintop, whether we understand His ways or not. The next verse says: "Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that'" (James 4:15).
So we move from one continent to another, braced for re-entry shock, tears, and feeling misunderstood all over again. But we all know it's time, and that has given us much peace and strength during these final sweaty, exhausting days. I feel as if I understand all the more the idea that James puts out for us. And as I visualise this idea of vapour I think about how it is brief, but also how mist or vapour cannot be contained in one tiny spot-- it stretches out to everything around, it spreads.
So as we move forward, that's how I hope our family will live in this brief, beautiful time we have. Reaching out and touching everything that is around us, in a positive way, I hope. It's how I long to live while we are here and how I hope we'll live in our new city -- all along, trusting the Lord's will for our lives and embracing whatever he has next.
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