So how’s all the preparation for moving coming?

We are less than 20 days from wheels up and leaving on  jet plane to Winston Salem, NC from 3 years of living in Belize.  And it’s not just the actual living that we recall and count it’s the dreaming as well.  Long before we were living in Belize, we were dreaming.  Since 2007 we were dreaming of what it would be like to be missionaries, to live in a foreign culture, to live and serve here in Belize.  For Amy it’s been much much longer…ever since she was in high school the Lord has placed a call on her heart for international missions.  She always thought Russia (way too cold for me) but for us, for our lives since 2007 the call has been Belize.

So we have lived here, we have served here, we have been Belizean and now in less than 20 days we are flying out of here.  We are packing bags, selling furniture, and preparing our hearts the best we can for the big move.

“So how’s all the preparation for moving coming?” – that’s the common question in our life from just about everyone.  The truth is the physical preparation is going well.  We have a good plan for packing up stuff, cancelling utilities, setting up the house in the US.  Physically I would say that we are ready or on track to be ready.

Mentally? Emotionally?  That may be another story. 

Yesterday I was chatting with David, one of my co-workers and he asked how things were going and my answer was: “Well I just finished full-body sobs, so there’s that.”  He asked well I hope those were tears of joy…I laughed and simply said, “Nope.”

The truth is I am in mourning.  We are in mourning.  I am mourning leaving our life here.  As I type that last sentence, tears are welling up in my eyes.  The  rest of this post is just therapeutic and helping me get out as I type how I am feeling about moving from Belize.

Sad – The truth is I am so sad.  I am so sad, so very sad to leave Belize.  There I sad it.  I think yesterday with Amy was the first time that I actually admitted that to Amy.  We know that we are going into God’s calling but I am still sad.  I am going to so miss Bella, Christopher, Star, Evelyn, Jose coming over.  I am going to miss listening to my kids play outside in the dirt, sing Bible school type songs.  I am going to miss hearing both Madeline and Jojo speak in Thick Kriol.  I am going to miss stupid stuff like getting waters and talking basketball with the guys outside of the store.  I am going to miss trying to negotiate free parking from the lady at the airport as I pick up staff and teams.  I am going to miss staff dinner….oh how I am going to miss staff dinner.  I am going to miss our table full of people who love the Lord, and love our family.  I am going to miss the noise, the activity, and even the barking dogs that are around our house.  These sounds, while frustrating at times, are comfortable.  They are what we know.  They are what I know.  Does this even make sense??  I am going to miss the rain as it comes and blows a gentle breeze in our house when it’s too hot. I am going to miss great bananas, green oranges, plantain chips.  I am going to miss LIVING in Belize.  Of course I will be back and several times a year at that.  But I am going to miss LIVING here.

The People – I can’t even begin to process what it means NOT to be able to drive 45 minutes to go have tacos with Pastor Ed whenever I want.  Or to sit in Paula’s living room as her mom tells stories of miracles at a mile a minute in a way that only she can tell.  I am going to miss hearing Pastor Mark get fired up preaching with his fire.  Or pastor pop and hanging with him in Silver Creek, or Pastor Rosaura and her POWER and HUMILITY.  Or Pastor Transito and his meekness.  Or talking and playing ball with Herman, Gabe.  Or just being around and with people like Burton, Lorelee, Eustace.  I am going to miss Joyce from Global telling me hi in broken english and then just smiling a confused but somehow joyful smile.  Oh I am going to miss the people, the principals, the teachers, the leaders….and the kids.  The kids that stole my heart in 2007 in Santa Clara as my friend Tony taught me how to do brown squirrel and baby shark.  I am going to miss all the kids at our church, at all the churches I have served, at all the orphanges all the schools. I am going to miss hugs from strangers and tickle-fights.  I am going to miss speaking in bad kriol and having the kids of Belize laugh at me.  Oh God I am going to miss these people.

How I am feeling?  Here’s the truly honest answer.  I have no freaking clue.  I am feeling so incredibly sad, so dumb for being so sad, so frustrated for feeling that going to the States is HARDER than being in Belize.  I feel like there aren’t many people to understand how I feel. emotional.  So sad.  So nervous.
I cry at the stupidest stuff.  Stuff that I wouldn’t ever think about.  A soft heart.  A vulnerable heart.  Beating with everything that I have for the Lord.  Emotional, a wreck even. Trying to process it all.
Nervous, so nervous, or anxious…..Nervous that I haven’t done enough for our staff to know that they are loved.  Nervous for the ones that The Lord has placed into my care don’t know that I love them.
For the first time since I have been in Belize, honestly, I have community.  The Lord has provided rich intense, caring, supportive community and it’s from our US seasonal staff (and full-time staff) family.   Sure I have had friends and had community in Belize.  But a large, community, a family that’s what I have now.
Scared….And I am scared that because we are going back I will lose that.  I am anxious that these relationships that I have wont continue.  I am scared not necessarily out of insecurity but maybe it is…maybe it truly is that I care for them as if they are my own children.  Is this how a parent feels when they go to empty-nesters?
Attacks – This is what I shared with Amy…I have put everything I have, my whole-entire heart, soul, mind, body everything into being in Belize, for the country, for ministry, for ministry partners, for our staff…And I feel like I am letting them all down.  That I couldn’t hang.  That I couldn’t handle it.  That I couldn’t make it work to be here, to live in the country, to be there for him.  I am scared they will feel like I wont be there for them anymore….and I know that’s not true.  How do I prove it?  How do I love more?  How do I pour more of myself to them?
And it’s like the enemy has put scales on my eyes that I cannot see the fruit. I cannot see the fruit from how much the Lord have loved our staff through me.  Like I can’t see it.  But I do. And then when I want to see it, when I have the desire to see it to have someone encourage me for what they have seen the Lord do, I feel so terrible, so sinful.  I confess it, my sin for wanting to see fruit, receive encouragement because I don’t work for or serve for the praises of man….but sometimes I do and it makes me fee like crap.  Attacks are real.
I am scared to let my hand off what is here to grab onto what I can’t see or understand that the Lord has in store for us.
I MOVED TO A FREAKING DEVELOPING COUNTRY AND I AM NERVOUS TO MOVE TO THE STATES!  I feel so dumb.  I feel so silly for thinking and knowing that it’s easier for us to STAY HERE.  How can I share that with a Belizean who is hungry?  Or someone who doesn’t have a family.  But I feel that in the core of who I am that the States will be harder for at least the very near future.
Confident – Lastly I feel confident.  The word of the Lord is absolutely true and God will take care of me.  He says He will and I am 100% resting on that. I am a man of faith.  I truly feel that our family is a family that steps out of the boat into the waves and walks on water – not in the we are better than anyone because we all know that is not true.  But we BOLDLY follow God even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it’s hard and pains us, even when we don’t know how or what we are following God towards.  We KNEW when we were coming to Belize WHAT we were going to do.  Now we don’t.  We don’t know.  We go back and forth between looking at the waves around us and getting distracted…crying out to Jesus “save me Jesus”.  I don’t want to look around at the waves as I walk out our faith, my faith.  I don’t want to be distracted.   I trust God. I do.
Here’s what I know…The Lord has us.  He does. He is for us and not against (a great of mine told me that).  And He is working in our lives, preparing for the next season ahead.  I am resting in and wrestling with verses like 1 Peter 5:7, 2 Thessalonians 3:16.  I am praying for God’s perfect peace to wash over me as I fully, completely, and wholly trust Him with everything.  But right now it’s a struggle and God’s working it out.
A mentor of mine said…”

You call it sin, I’ll call it an error in judgement – Martin Luther  grace reigns over all, constantly, including your dualistic conflicted self, which you’ll have until the day you die seeing that in yourself, will give you grace toward others, and mold you into an even greater servant leader, praise God.
Another mentor of mine sent this out to all of our staff.  Part of it said…
invite God into this transition into summer (10 minutes).  And just sit.  And listen to Him…..until you feel like He’s said what He needs to say to you.  And He does have a message for you.  Always.  He’s always speaking to us.
Finally, know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can’t screw this up.  And if you currently have this fear (we all do from time to time), you’re dealing with pride and a lack of faith.  Name it, rebuke it, and know that faith in the name of Jesus truly does drive out all fear.
A beautiful season is ahead.  Embrace what’s coming.  God is on the move.
Indeed God is on the move.  A beautiful season is ahead.  I will rest in that.  I will trust that.  I will stop doubting and believe.  God is on the move and He is so ever proud of me!
Riding the boat out to Caye Caulker for my birthday and staff retreat weekend.

Riding the boat out to Caye Caulker for my birthday and staff retreat weekend.

Worshiping our God with these amazing people...a true blessing!

Worshiping our God with these amazing people…a true blessing!

snuggling with mommy on the way back from Caye Caulker

snuggling with mommy on the way back from Caye Caulker

This relationship: Michelle and Elijah I have no words to describe the love shared between them.

This relationship: Michelle and Elijah I have no words to describe the love shared between them.

Full house - 10 kids.  Pure joy!

Full house – 10 kids. Pure joy!

Madeline being Madeline at VBS!

Madeline being Madeline at VBS!