Friday, February 22, 2013

Serious Pictures, Happy Faces

Today is a very exciting day.

Today is the day that we were handed our visa cards to live in Austria.  

Today it is completely legal for us to live here, and we are so excited for God's provision. Today is a day of rejoicing at what God has done on our behalf. But today was also a day where we breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Yesterday, however, was challenging. Yesterday we weren't sure what would happen. Yesterday was a heavy day of stress.

The first reason had more to do with the situation at hand and the importance of our visas being processed. There is a special quality to an experience like this, knowing that it "isn't real until it is real." Even though things had gone along as best as we could hope for up until yesterday, we still hadn't finished the process. We still didn't have the visas in our hands. For me (Nate), this added an undercurrent of stress. Before this trip to Vienna, as we set up meetings to view apartments and evaluated online listings, there was this nagging fear or doubt in the back of my mind, because the visas weren't in our hands. We were doing our best to plan for a future that still wasn't 100% certain.

The second reason yesterday was stressful was a bit more challenging. In our meeting at the visa office Thursday morning, there were new questions being asked and a new document that needed to be provided up before we could receive our visas. As we rushed to find the needed parties and get the signed pieces of paper, there were serious questions about whether or not we would be able to receive our visas or if we would have to wait until next year to start the process again. This is why this morning was so heavy for us...why we walked out of the visa office with so much adrenaline in our veins and our hearts pounding. Because there is always the possibility that they will say, "sorry, you did this wrong" or "you broke that rule and we can't give you the visa." 

These last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions. I think this was a reminder to us that we are not in control, but we serve the One who is. We can think we are in control sometimes, but the reality is that we are only stewards of what we have.

I read a prayer last night I read a prayer from the Valley of Vision. A few of the last lines cut me to the core:

I do not crouch at thy feet as a slave before a tyrant,
but exult before thee as a son with a father.
...
Preserve me from the intoxication that come of prosperity;
Sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from thee.
Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom,
not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.
I request only to see the face of him I love,

That last line caught me most of all. Any time we hold onto something more than our desire for Christ, it needs to be pushed back into its place. The question I asked myself last night, as we wondered what today would look like, was "is Jesus enough? If this dream or desire I have goes on hold or even goes away, is He still enough?" It is a question we all must continually ask and one that is not as easily answered.Even if we know what the answer should be, we need to examine our hearts to see if it's what we truly believe.

Thank you for celebrating with us and praising our great God! Thank you for praying for us! Now on to the next stage...