Between, Facebook, Twitter this blog and our inboxes, we have been inundated with kind messages and notes from you guys. We have definitely felt a sense of your prayers and concerns and we are so thankful. God is doing some really cool things and we are hopeful to tell the whole story of this past week and a half very soon.
Over this past week or so we’ve run into some encouraging resources and we wanted to share those.
-James MacDonald did a message at Life Church entitled Passing the Test. It was hugely encouraging. You can go here to listen if you’d like.
– Sally Clarkson is an incredible woman who has a blog called I Take Joy. She served in Austria for a season of her missionary time which is a bonus! I wish I could read all of her resources and soak them in. If you are a mommy, then I highly recommend following her. Her insights and wisdom speak straight to my heart and she inspires me in so many ways just through her daily posts. Last week she posted this which brought me to tears.
– One final resource is Arabahjoy. This is another woman that I so wish I could meet. She too has served as a missionary and is a mother as well. She wrote about “How Not to Be a Negative Person“and I must have read it 10 times. It was convicting, encouraging and motivating.
Thank you again for all of your comments and kindnesses toward us. We are blessed by each of you. This is a big week as we await some answers concerning our next step. We would be honored if you would continue praying for us. We are praying for trust in God’s timing and ways, patience with this process and each other and to pass this test well.
Last week, we found out that our visa application to Austria was denied. It was crushing. We are still trying to process all that we feel right now but the number one overall emotion is hurt. We were all sorts of prepared to get on the plane very soon. We were positioning ourselves to be able to leave within 2 weeks of receiving our paperwork. We had just completed our final list of things to do once we had the visas in hand, so to receive a phone call saying that our applications had been denied really hit us hard.
So now what? For over 3 months we’ve been waiting on our papers to arrive and now we have to readjust our thinking about our next step. We can look back over these past 3 months and feel a sense of gratitude for having had the opportunity to live here with our dear friends, visit other friends and extended family and to grow as a family through this transition. But we would be lying if we did not say we aren’t asking why.
This week, we are really trying to lean hard in to our Savior and we are thankful to be surrounded by people from our church, our sending agency and those serving in Austria who are saddened right along with us. Thankfully, they’ve seen things like this happen before and they are a constant voice of reassurance that in the end we will look back at this with better perspective. We are all putting our heads together with a plan to get our family overseas as soon as possible.
A couple days after getting this news, Ian ran into one of his mentors from the past and he was surprised to still see Ian in the US. Ian told him that we’d just received some bad news about our visa and he abruptly stopped Ian and said “I am learning to say that things are good and things are hard. God will make good of all things as we trust Him…He often prevents what He could have permitted. Keep trusting.”
This is a big week as we all toss around ideas and we would love your prayers as a plan is developed for our family. Please pray as we continue to process this hard news. It is comforting to know that whatever plan we develop was already a part of THE PLAN from the start. Trusting in Him as he leads us.