Sep 4, 2014

Going is Easy, Leaving is Always Harder

As our family begins the transition of moving back to the USA, we are looking forward to some things and are anxious about others. We know that God is in control, and that He will make our path straight. We look to Him for everything.

I have moved many times in my 31 years of life. It was one of the things God used to show me that moving to the mission field was not much different from all of the other times I had moved. One thing I have learned is that going is easy, but leaving is always harder.

There is excitement in the going, an energy, a restlessness that can only be satisfied once all of your bags are packed and you are sitting on the plane headed into the future. There is a moment when peace descends on you, and you know that there is nothing left to do but look to the future. That moment is serene, all of the stress build-up that got you to that moment melts away, and you can just rest. It is like God himself has the plane in his hands, and is carrying you to your destination. Then there is an anticipation of what will happen next, a piquing of the adventurous spirit. A certain-ness comes out of knowing you are doing the right thing, and creates a boldness to go ye therefore.

It is all very exciting.

But the leaving...oh the leaving is always more difficult. A separation begins to form even before you go. There are those that are uncertain whether what you are doing is right, and their questions bring up all kinds of feelings: doubt, fear, defensiveness, boldness, indifference, and many others. There is a sadness, an emptiness that grows in your heart for all of the people that you love, and will leave. Of course you will stay in-touch, but it is never the same as living day-in-and-day-out with them. Being in the trenches of life - shoulder to shoulder with someone - is not the same as being on another battlefield, even if it is the same war. There is an uncertainty about the work that you will leave behind - will others come and fill the gap?

It is all very painful.

That is where the trust part comes in, leaning on God - trusting that He knows everyone's needs and will fill them according to His perfect will. Realizing and embracing the fact that He knows things we don't. Remembering that we are just visitors in this world - nomads, tent dwellers - and that our home is with Him in eternity. All we can do is trust. Trust His voice. Trust His peace. Trust His Word. Then we have to go.

So we are trying to focus on leaving well, pouring into relationships as best we can, telling people that we still love them, even though we are leaving them, and pointing them towards God to fill the gap. I personally think that God intentionally put going and leaving together, so that we can confront the feelings that arise and choose to depend on Him - not only for ourselves, but for everyone else involved too. He gives us an opportunity to take it all in, and choose Him.

Are there things that you are going to and leaving from in your life?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So thoughtfully and beautifully written from the depths of your heart. It's obvious you have taken this to prayer for a lengthy time and that you have thought long and hard about this decision...and it's also clear that you care so much for everyone involved. I'm believing with you and Mark and everyone else that the transition will be smooth. You will me missed, Heather. But their loss will be the gain of those waiting on the other end. It will be exceedingly difficult to fill your shoes but I'm sure God already has a perfect person in mind.