Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fear of Flying or "Peter Pan has a real problem with heights."

I'm getting scared. For the longest time, excitement has been the primary emotion associated with our move. But these days excitement has given way to fear. I spend most afternoons dismantling my house. The apartment is really starting to fall apart around us. Everything worth keeping is going into boxes, except for the few things we'll need to live off of in the time we have left. Most things worth selling have already disappeared, having been handed off to their new owners. The house is now a skeleton of what it once was - a place where we laughed, cried, fought, loved, worshipped, lounged, hosted, created, and cultivated relationships with each other, our friends and our God.

Four years ago, it was the same thing on a different day, in a different place. We sold off our furniture, boxed our belongings, and brought our bunny to his new bungalow in Sebastopol, California. It hurt almost physically to leave the TreeHouse, our first home together - a place where we laughed, cried, fought, loved, worshipped, lounged, hosted, created, and cultivated relationships with each other, our friends and our God. On the last day, after the last box was packed, Ferial and I left our friends outside and went back into the apartment, for one last look at what we were leaving, checking to make sure we'd left nothing behind. As I rounded the corner into our bedroom tears began to fall. I didn't even realize I had become emotional in those moments. The tears took me by surprise. I couldn't control it. I wept. Overwhelmed by the stress of moving, quitting my job, preparing to move across the world, giving away a pet, selling my possessions...it all combined there in that moment, in that room, on that carpet-so-beige. Ferial teared up a bit, but not like I. Her biggest tears were yet to be shed, but she would face these fears as well.

It was unnerving to say the least, leaving our jobs, our home, our families and friends, moving across the world to a culture altogether foreign. However, in the end, as is so often the way of it, God gave us a home, family and friends we couldn't have imagined back then. We experienced things we had never dreamed of and grew in ways we wouldn't have thought possible. In many ways, we are going back to California different people than when we left.

It is unnerving now, too, leaving our home, our family and friends, moving across the world to a culture that is in many ways unfamiliar...and it scares me. We're giving up so much, and taking such a big risk with this leap of faith. We really are leaping...and I'm scared to fall - to fail.

I was chatting with a friend back in California a couple of weeks ago, one of the ones who frequented the TreeHouse, and somewhere in our conversation, I started confessing some of these things to her. At one point she typed out something incredibly profound. She said it was interesting hearing these fears now, as we are getting ready to return...because she remembered me saying the same things four years ago as we were getting ready to leave...

I was floored. She was totally right.

I felt many of these same uncertainties and fears...and yet, God has been so faithful to us!

But you see, that's just how He is...it's so easy to forget that God is in the business of being faithful like Chick-fil-a is in the business of frying chickens, but the Bible says His love reaches to the heavens and His faithfulness stretches to the skies.

So, I muster my courage. I trust my God. I walk by faith, not by sight...

And we leap...

...At least this time we get to take our cat.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV84)

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