“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
I moved to Haiti with the notion that I’d only be here for a year. There were times when I felt called to Haiti for longer but recently I have chosen to move home in July. I’m currently living in an in-between time, which can be so disheartening. I’m in-between homes, jobs, and countries. My heart is in two places and both of these places hold people that I love so dearly. Each day I can choose to focus on how badly I miss my loved ones back home or I can choose to make my next 43 days in Haiti count.
This longing to go home to North Carolin has reminded me of another longing to go home that we all feel yearning within us. I’m currently working through The Quest, which is a Bible study by Beth Moore. My sweet friend Nancy gave it to me before I journeyed on a more physical quest to Haiti. In this study I have been reading scripture that explains that when we are reborn into the body of Christ we loose our residency in the world and we gain a new home in heaven. We become pilgrims on a journey back to our heavenly Father.
“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;” Philippians 3:20
Last week I went to a local coffee shop to get some peace and quiet for a little bit. It was such a sweet time to rest. On my way home I saw some succulents for sale on the street and I had to get one. So, I bartered as best as I could and then hopped back onto the motorcycle I was riding with my succulent. This isn’t a Harley Davidson type of motorcycle, it’s more like a street bike. In Haiti this is the equivalent of a taxi. My friend Maceus has a moto and I pay him to drop me off at places that I need to go to and then take me back home. So last Friday afternoon I rode a moto down the busiest road in Port-au-Prince, succulent in hand, sun shining on my face, with so much joy in my heart. I was looking at the palm trees and the bougainvillea and I was so captivated and in love with that moment. I didn’t want it to end. Just that morning I was upset with the kids for something that I can’t even remember now, but I do remember the intense desire I had to fly back home. I was so frustrated with myself for not being satisfied and being so fickle. Then I remembered the scriptures I had recently read.
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:14
It made me think about how at times I am so content and grounded and other times I want what’s next so badly that I feel like I can’t get out of bed. I really, really struggle with being content. I have always wanted what comes next and because of this I often miss what’s happening right now.
I think that we go through in-between stages in life; in-between jobs, in-between homes, in-between relationships. The in-between times feel like a gap in life. They feel like a time of waiting and it feels empty. It feels like we’re waiting on God to show up and fix everything, but what if he’s already there? What if the in-between time is a blessing? What if God loves us so much that he allows us to wait, to grow, to change because He cares so deeply for us? Like a parent who lets their children try and fail, He allows us these uncomfortable times in order for us to be molded into the children he created us to be. I think that the in-between times can also be an example of our time on Earth. We’re here waiting, pilgriming, exploring, failing until we can go back to our home in heaven. But I don’t want to just wait my whole existence a way. I want to live each day here in a way that allows God to live through me.
When we feel like we’re in an in-between time or a time of waiting we can be encouraged that God is there. He hears us and He knows us intimately and deeply. We also can be encouraged with the truth that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. In this season of waiting to go home I’m taking each day to thank God for one of the children that I’ve had the privilege of living with and teaching this year. I’m slowing down. Typically I would try to stay busy so I didn’t think about my longing to be somewhere else. I’m leaning in to this season and in doing so I’m leaning into God. I’m letting Him fill me up and I’m choosing to live each day intentionally instead of wishing them away. I am praying that this will be a daily practice for me of submitting to the Lord, in all seasons, and being present. At first this season of waiting was really difficult but it’s actually turned out to be such a sweet time of knowing God more and being vulnerable, feeling everything that comes, and savoring each moment.
God, thank You for loving us enough to bring us to seasons that teach us and grow us. I pray that during these times You would come in so close that we would be overwhelmed by your presence and love. I pray that You would come in close and fill all of the spaces that are hurting and are tired. I pray You would create good works in us that last into our eternal, forever home. We love You so, so much Jesus. Amen.