We’re moving to the other side of the world. Yup, moving. One-way ticket moving. In 61 days.
About 95% of the time I think about it I’m filled with eager excitement, anticipation, and joy. I’m excited to be walking into and living out the call God has placed on my life. I’m excited for a new adventure that will have lasting, eternal impacts. I’m excited for new friends, relationships, and people to love. I’m excited to dive deeper into intimacy, trust, and dependency on the Lord. I’m excited to be doing it all with my best friend and the love of my life. Truly, I am pumped!
However, the reality of the loss I will also experience recently began to set in. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the newness of things, what’s on the horizon, what’s there to look forward to, and to miss out on the beauty that God has given us right here, right now, in this season.
I can legitimately say I had a breakdown in my car on my way home from work a few days ago. Yup, the tears, snot, uncontrollable emotions… it was all there. I was a mess.
As most of you know, I’ve had the privilege and honor of looking after, loving on, playing with, caring for, and watching three baby girls grow. Yup, I’m a nanny. When I started with this incredible family about a year ago, the girls were 4, 2, and 6 months old. In that time I’ve seen the youngest turn from a baby to a walking, talking, spirited little girl. After experiencing three birthdays this year and watching them walk into years 5, 3, and 1, I can truly say I am blessed. It’s easy for a heart like mine to get attached to such precious children, such beautiful blessings from God. The other day it hit me like a truck that in a few short months, I would have to say goodbye.
My heart broke at the thought of not being able to watch them grow. Of not being there for their big moments of joy and success. Of not encouraging, uplifting, and cheering them on. My heart broke at the thought of them not understanding, and thinking I had abandoned them. Oh Lord, this is going to be hard.
My thoughts quickly turned to other feelings of loss. I won’t be able to watch my beautiful nieces grow. I won’t be near my phenomenal family. I will be walking away from an incredible community of friends and spiritual mentors here. I will be going to a place completely unknown, where we don’t speak the language, don’t know the culture, and will basically have to figure out how to live life again. The loss is real.
And yet, I was reminded that the gain will be great. In the midst of these feelings of loss, in the midst of my tears and my broken heart, in the midst of my emotions, God spoke to me. Clear as day, He broke through.
“Baby, I’m so proud of you. I know it’s going to be hard and I know what you’re going through, but it’s going to be worth it. I’m so proud of you for giving all of this up, for leaving it all behind and for being obedient to follow Me. Don’t worry, I’m with you. I will be with you every step of the way. Trust me, I am faithful and I will provide all of your needs. You are my precious, precious daughter and I’m so delighted in you! I adore you, Jenny!” – GOD
Goodness gracious, we have an awesome Dad! As I heard my Papa speak clearly and directly to me in the midst of the pain I began to cry even harder, but these were tears of deep joy and gratitude. I was so deeply humbled and honored in that moment that the Lord would choose me for such a thing, to entrust me with co-laboring in His kingdom work, and to speak so gently and tenderly to me in that moment by encouraging me with His words of promise and truth. Gosh, it was powerful! It reminded me of the verse from Hosea 2:14,“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Amen. That is just what He did. He drew me into His intimate presence and spoke His tender words over my heart.
Yes, there is going to be loss as we go. But God is going to bring us and those we serve great gain in return, and we have to trust in that. Matthew 19:29 says, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” YES! We are leaving family, friends, community, and loved ones, but God promises that we will inherit more of these blessings in this life and in the life to come. We aren’t losing our family, it is simply growing.
We can physically see the things we are leaving behind and yet the gain is still veiled… but we know it’s there. It’s kind of what faith is all about, trusting that God has our backs and following His voice, even in the midst of a hidden future. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). We don’t know exactly what comes next, but we know it’s good. Because we have a good Papa who loves us and desires what’s best for us and for the rest of His children.
One of my good friends was praying for me about a year ago and told me he had a word from the Lord. He said a few different things that really resonated with my spirit, but one in particular that has stuck with me ever since and that I often come back to. He said that all of the depths of joy and life and abundance that I have experienced in my life so far (and trust me, there have been A LOT of those things) pale in comparison to what the Lord still has in store for me. He said that as I step into the destiny and calling God has placed on my life, I will come alive in ways I have never known before and allow others to come alive as well. He said that there is a greater ABUNDANCE awaiting me than anything I could possibly ask for or imagine. Holy goodness, that is overwhelming… in an amazing way! Yes Jesus!
As I talked to my hubby about these words he told me that the Lord had told him the same thing awhile back (crazy!!) and that he knows God has prepared some infinitely, divinely, wonderful things for us and for those we will come alongside. And He promises this to all of us who seek Him with all of our hearts! Because He is out of His mind in love with His children!
So yes, we are leaving. We’re selling our stuff, packing our things, and moving to Asia in a few short months. The loss is real, yet the gain is great. We are sure of this!!
“But as it is written, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.’” (I Corinthians 2:9)
Hey love! Can’t wait to have u hear 🙂 and just be encouraged because I AM SO HAPPY HERE,! Definitely some sacrifices to get here but God has blessed it so much and brought the most incredible amount of joy 🙂
We’re so proud of you guys! Great is the reward of your obedience.. It’s such a blessing and honor to call ya’ll our friends. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How exciting to be in His will and know your life commitment is service and obedience! Who is like our God! There is great peace surrounding your journey, walk and rest in Him. Love and blessings! Katrina and Andy
Awesome Jenny. It’s gonna be great! You’ll be blown away at the family He gives you over there
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What a wonderful testimony, Jenny. You are so talented in writing.
Ron & Kathy leave for Madrid this Wednesday..30th. I am at their house in Woodstock today saying my goodbyes to them. They are packing furiously so as not to go OVERWEIGHT. Thankfully British Airways gives missionaries THREE suitcases FREE. But even then It’s hard to stay within limited poundage.
I arrived here last night via MEGABUS from Mobile, AL. I’ll fly back to Mike on Sunday, the 3rd,flying into Pensacola which is closer to our new house.
I’ll be in Clermont at my other son’s (RANDY) house all this week.
Keep your notes coming to us. We love you both & are so thankful you two are serving the Lord together.
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You expressed it so well! When God calls us to the mission field it is hard to explain to others, particularly family and friends, what we are experiencing. Thank you for sharing this.
Love it love it! Congrats to you both-so inspiring.