September 15, 2011

Don't Fear the Fruit

Three years ago, we set out on a journey into the unknown and the uncertain. We folded our worldly belongings into boxes, we said goodbye to beloved people, and we followed God's beckoning into a land that seemed foreign to us. In the spirit of Joshua and Caleb, we set off, trusting God's provision.

Where would we live?
Who would we know?
What experiences would we encounter?
Would we succeed?
What would become of us and our children?

We didn't know, but somehow the answers seemed certain, cemented in our future.

We were so full of faith then.

Three years later, we are packing again. Just a few belongings in small suitcases this time, special tokens of Virginia to leave with beloved people, books and journals for rest and reflection. We're returning for a spell to the starting line, where we were seen off in a flourish of faith and celebration. We're returning to say many things: We have seen the land. We have entered the land. We have seen fruit.

But most of all we go back to say: It is true! God is faithful! We have seen it with our own eyes!

Mostly, we go back to say it to ourselves, to embolden our own hearts for the next three years. Because the funny thing is that, like Joshua and Caleb, we carry fruit back too large for any one person to carry, yet we still daily face the choice of faith or fear. Is God capable of giving us the land or has He already poured out all there is to give?

The fruit itself is heavy and daunting--the people, the growth, the needs, the space issues, the decisions, the responsibilities, the demands.

Will it never be easy?
What experiences are ahead?
Who will come alongside?
What will become of us and our children and these people we love?

Oh me of little faith, who has seen so clearly seen the faithfulness of God yet still doubts, who still turns details over in my mind with worry.

And so these days of returning are for me. To remember that girl so full of faith. To express gratefulness to those who have supported us along the way. But mostly, to speak words of life and truth to myself: God is faithful! Remember what you've seen and press on.

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