Thirty-five thousand feet about the ground, everything looks different. That’s where I am right now. Flying. Things look so different from up here. Instead of my limited vision I have when I’m on the ground, I can see for at least hundreds of miles. The picture is quite different.
It’s like my vision compared to God’s. I see with limited vision only what is around me and only what is happening right now. I can’t see the whole picture. I can’t see tomorrow…much less eternity. When I think about today in that light, I feel a bit ashamed of my feelings, emotions and fears. With my somewhat clouded vision…it’s easy to panic.
When did I decide to take a trip to Poland? About 2 hours ago.
We have been trying to get documents together for our permanent residency. Of course, we are waiting on other people for what we need. We have everything that we can provide.
Yesterday, the man that is helping us thought he was going to work things our with our passports. You see, Monday marks 90 days that we have lived in Ukraine. Without visas, we can only stay in Ukarine for 90 days…then we have to cross the border and come back. We can do this ONE time without visas. After that, we have to either have visas or our residency status. To get visas, we would have to go back to the USA. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
For the last 6-8 weeks we have been told that it should be no problem. Well, we found out this morning that it was a problem. So he said he would try again Monday and there was a good chance it would work out. Let me just say that in America if someone told me “it should work out” I would consider the odds pretty good. In Ukraine, that means “forget it.”
So my mind went into high gear. Here were our options…
Take the whole family across the border in Poland and come back. Why didn’t we do that? It sounds so easy. Yeah, except our car’s papers are for 9 seats. We have 10 people who ride in the van when everyone is with us. They wouldn’t let us cross the border because of the discrepancy. In Ukraine, it’s no big deal. Here, nine seats means that about 20 people can get in. I’m not kinding.
So we thought about Mary and I going and having Sveta stay at the house with the kids. Why didn’t we do that? It is 7-8 hours TO the border (if a Ukrainian is driving…I was told might be up to 10 hours since I drive the speed limit). Then there is at least a 2 hour wait to cross into Poland IF they are not busy. Then there is at least a two our wait to get back in to Ukraine IF they are not busy and then up to ten hours home. You do the math. That couldn’t happen. AND we felt strongly that we should not leave the country together with the kids at home. What IF something happened and they wouldn’t let us back in. We decided divide and conquer was the best way. Worst case, they won’t let ONE of us in and the other is with the kids. Then we figure out what to do.
So here’s what we decided. I would fly out today and come back in the morning. I chose Poland because it was the cheapest (but cheap is relative when you are buying a ticket for a trip the same day). I can’t explain how excrutiating it was to outlay that money from an ever dwindling coffer. It was hard. It was an act of faith. So I will overnight in Poland (Warsaw) and head back home tomorrow afternoon. Just in time for church tomorrow evening. Mary will stay home and try to find a cheaper ticket this evening. As bad as mine was…her’s for some reason is proving to be MUCH worse. Not sure why except that it is Sunday-Monday. Not really sure why.
So I return to Kyiv about 30 minutes before she will leave. That way if something goes wrong and I don’t get back in, she can abort the mission and we will drop back and make a new plan.
Then, we simply MUST get the documents we need turned in this week. We also found out today that the lady who will help us fast track our documents is going to have a baby soon and must finish process before…she will be out on leave for several months.
Today…I have to admit that fear gripped my heart. What if… How could this be happening… What is God thinking… Where is He… Yeah…shameful to admit that, but it is what it is. Here’s the answers to the questions.
Yeah…what if? What if God has a plan that we don’t know about today? What’s the worst that will happen? We will keep trusting Him and following HIm down the path wherver it leads. What if? We will follow the One that has the plan and the power.
How could this be happening? Simple…it fits into God’s plan. He knows the plans He has made. They are not to harm us. Period. Might the road get rougher and more difficult? Well, sure. But if it’s in His hand…isn’t it still the best place to be?
What is God thinking? He’s thinking that He desires that none should perish and all should come to repentance. He’s thinking that all things will work together for good for those who love HIm and are called according to His purposes. He wait…that’s us.
Where is He? Same place He has always been. At the helm of this ship we call life. And our lives are just PART of the journey. Just a small part of the big picture…of eternity. How vain to think that He will do everything that we want and make our lives easy just because we moved to Ukraine. What about the belivers around the world who will die today because of their faith? We are just trying to get paperwork done. Seriously…weigh this against eternity and there’s no contest.
It’s so easy to not look beyond ourselves. But suddenly something happens and we see that there is so much out there beyond our little bubble. Something small (in the scheme of things) happens and we set off the alarm bells. Guess what? There are simply no alarm bells in heaven.
This journey we are on (both life in general and this part of our lives as it relates to moving to Ukraine) is not about us. It’s not even about the beautiful people of Ukraine. It’s about a God who is reaching through eternity to share His love, forgiveness, and Salvation.
We do appreciate your prayers in this time. Not that you pray that it will be easy. But that we will have the strength to stand and the faith to trust and the perseverence to walk.
We bless the name of the Lord. Blessed be His glorious Name.