Saturday, March 25, 2017

Which Country to Call Home, Part 2

About a month ago, I wrote about our destination as an international family. You can read that post here. After I published it, a friend reminded me about Jesus (in Luke and Matthew) having "no place to lay his head." That is comfort that I have drawn on at times, and it's important to remember that nothing is certain and any of us could find ourselves homeless at any time. For families of mixed citizenship, of course the horrible thought (or reality!) of being separated may rear its head at times. This is something I don't think about too much, even though I can travel to many countries on short notice without a visa, while Andrei cannot. I will have to renew my residency permit soon, including passing an exam! David and Sophia are on visas until we figure out a longer-term solution, and those are never guaranteed either. And who knows what international relations will be like in the future?

So I had sort of written about things from the point of view of human emotions, though my trust is in God. The times of high stress with red tape come in waves, and right now we don't have any major deadlines.

We are in a time of peace. My spirit is at peace and I don't worry about the future. It's partly thanks to my faith and partly the season that we're in. Another season may have me freaking out, but I don't see that as a sign of weakness. I believe that God predisposes us as individuals to be anxious in some situations and stronger in others. I don't see the worry itself as a flaw. It's what we do with it. I'm not afraid of flying, or most travel. But the packing will have me losing sleep every time. Maybe God will take away that feeling of stress someday, or maybe He just uses it to keep me humble. I fully expect to be brought to my knees many more times in this life. When it comes to parenting, Andrei and I sometimes get anxious in contrasting situations. I might be totally calm while he's worrying, and vice versa. But we're both right, and we honor each other's concerns.

I've never liked to speculate. Ever since I was young, I never had any clear ideas about the future. I delayed my college entry decision until the last possible minute, and I declared my major on the last Friday of the last week possible of sophomore year. It was hard when people would ask, because "undecided" wasn't a satisfactory answer. And then people wanted me to make a guess anyway. But I didn't know the future. Then at graduation everyone wanted to know, too. Nope, I never planned to be a missionary. I suppose it is normal to ask these kinds of questions, to show an interest in someone. But....why can't "I don't know?" be an answer? I don't like to say I'm going to do something, if I'm not sure.
Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. -Matt. 5:33-37

Maybe this is why I don't like to talk about it...I don't want to make a promise I can't keep. But the other side of the coin is that I love to make charts and plans and do the research on various leads. So while I might not reveal anything that is uncertain, chances are that I have plenty of ideas brewing, with all of the details mapped up. And I'm happy to share any KNOWN factors with anyone interested. But right now it is on more of a smaller scale; no major life changes at the moment!


  1. I can SO relate. I guess my philosophy is "Each day has trouble enough of its own." so I just move in the moment as prompted....not to say there haven't been lots of daydreams that never came to fruition. But we haven't hesitated to step out and do some risky things either!

    I've never really frustrated people in the same way you do, though, because I'm happy enough to give people the "easy answer" at any given moment. I recall admitting I was majoring in Russian while saying cheerfully that perhaps I'd be a translator! Even though I had no intention really of doing that. The Russian was a sure thing; what I was going to do with it wasn't. It wasn't exactly lying - since it was the only option I could think of I shared it - while not really believing in it, if that makes sense.

    1. Though I also recall telling people we were adopting Sergei, while all the while on one level not really believing it!

    2. Yes, I know exactly what you mean about making up an answer. I suppose if I DID know what I wanted to do next, I might be nervous about sharing it, especially as a young graduate looking for work. So maybe we all stretch the truth, for different reasons. I know that some people don't tell about their plans for superstitious reasons. I suppose that is similar to not wanting to speculate. But here I've known people in the midst of big projects or quite far in a pregnancy, and still not wanting to talk about it until completion.


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