Pastor Colleen of Roseville Covenant Church in MN asked us to share openly with the church about how we are feeling as we come to an end of our one year home assignment and get ready to go back to Oaxaca, Mexico.
This morning Nils shared how we are really excited about being back in Mexico, seeing how God has continued to work there while we’ve been gone and of course introducing Maya to our dear friends there…
However, what can overwhelm us and even produce fear and anxiety in us is the process of moving back – packing up our house here, saying “see you later” to family and friends, realizing there are many uncertainties and changes we will be facing in the next few months, like what house we will call home for our next term in Mexico.
You’d think we’d be experts at this change thing as missionaries, I mean, as I’ve written about in the past, we’ve lived in 10 different homes in the 16 years that Nils and I have been married, we’ve lived and served in three very different cities in Mexico and we’ve been involved in unique ministries and worked with different ministry partners in each of those places, but…
Change is still hard and scary sometimes. When the fears of facing change yet once again started creeping up for me this last month, I looked out my window at the singing cardinal and the blooming magnolia tree and daffodils in my yard…
and they were a reminder of how God cares for all of His creation. I heard Jesus’s invitation once again to not be anxious about tomorrow, but to trust in Him.
It helps me to also remember God’s faithfulness to us in the past, how He has always provided a home wherever we have been, and so I sing the hymn Great in Thy Faithfulness or in Spanish, O Tu Fidelidad.
Actually, God often helps to calm my anxious thoughts through music, and so this morning as I was thinking of sharing openly about my fears, God brought to mind one of my favorite Covenant choruses from Psalm 121, written by Bob Stromberg.
I remember singing this song when we first moved to Monterrey and I was struggling to find my place in the new ministry at the Family Development Foundation and at the same time adjust ministry expectations for myself as a new mom. I’d be walking baby Matías while I looked up at the majestic “La Silla” Mountain in Monterrey and sing, “I will lift my eyes to the hills and their Creator, who made all heaven and earth, for He watches me, will not sleep no never slumber, He’s ever over me.”
I remember singing this song in 2011 when we moved from Northern to Southern Mexico, arriving in Oaxaca, a beautiful city in a high valley surrounded by mountains.
Today in Minnesota there are not many hills around me, but the words, “As I come and I go, I am safe for I know that His care is sufficient for me”, help to calm my fears and fill me with trust once again in a loving Father who is always with us, especially in our comings and goings.
Thank you for your prayers for us as we face these transitions once again. Please pray that God would calm our fears and fill us with hope and trust in Him and His faithfulness.