As we prepare our visa documents, sort through all our belongings and move from “talk” of moving to Spain to taking the practical and necessary steps to do so, there are waves of sadness that sweep over us. All of us. All these practical steps mean we are that much closer to leaving everything that we know and all that we call home behind. We will miss our family and our friends who are like family, our home, our community and our church. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. We talk about the sadness together and we all share in the feeling; we also talk about the things we are excited for in our new adventure as a family. We sit in the sadness and the excitement together. None of us are in it alone.
As I prepare my own heart in the quiet moments, I feel the tension of wanting to hold on tightly to the people that matter the most to me, yet I am aware Jesus is giving me the opportunity to hold them with an open hand. As I anticipate the isolation of a foreign land and language and the absence of family and friends, I’m struck with the reality of the girls we are going to serve and the isolation and terrorization that they are living in. They left their homes and loved ones too, only not by choice and completely alone. They live in a foreign land, among a foreign language and they are strategically handled in a way that makes it near impossible for them to make friends, or to have anyone they can depend on in their life. They are completely isolated and living a nightmare.
Our discomfort is worth standing in solidarity with these young women and saying, “we will be your family. We will love you, show you respect and kindness when no one else is, and we will help dream dreams for your futures when you have forgotten how to dream them for yourself.”
Our rights and comforts are a privilege. A privilege we are lucky to have, but one that should also belong to every human. We can have the opportunity to gift our comforts to another, to sacrifice our comforts for the sake of offering some comfort, some solidarity to someone that has been stripped of all their rights and comforts. The cost for our discomfort is temporary and although difficult, it’s not unbearable. We will have the opportunity to create new comforts in a foreign land and to build new relationships. The girls don’t have these luxuries.
This perspective is so important for us to remember as we make temporary sacrifices of our comforts, take huge risks, wrestle to learn a new language, and step out into the unknown. Our steps of faith in all the little stages of this process are opportunities for Jesus to build in our hearts His love for these girls. As we experience solidarity with these girls we experience solidarity with God’s heart.
Written by Christina