Yay God :: Vol III


Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Moving to Europe has brought about a lot of changes to my life. For starters, my vocabulary has shifted, my cultural perspective has been majorly tweaked, my friend group now looks entirely different day-to-day, I walk a lot more (and eat a ridiculously large amount of chocolate) and my understanding of the Bible has a different tinted (but hopefully a bit clearer) lens.
I'd like to say that my biblical literacy has skyrocketed since putting two feet here in Finland, but I'd guess it's about as average as the next mom with babies. I've learned, which is quite comforting really, that mothers face the same challenges the world over. We all hope for the absolute best for our children, and we often wonder if who we are and what we're doing is what they need. We all get a little desperate and all shoot prayers out at lightning speed to what we put our faith in. All the while, we try to get more familiar with the one we're banking on pulling us through.  
When it comes to my Bible reading, I will say, I have grown in my fondness for it.  I think my american lens lent itself to being always unnecessarily busy. We filled our days and time with miscellany and Jesus was snuggled in somewhere between dishwasher duty and playgroup. While my days still fortunately include both plenty of dishes and plenty of play, time with Him doesn't feel so snuggled in. We've made margin here and with it, I get to gaze a bit longer at my King.
That verse above has grown in its meaning since moving here. I've thought of it while flying in the heavens over big vast oceans and I've felt it in the proverbial depths and literal darkness of Finnish winters. We've settled on the far side of the sea and I've gotten to see many a dawn with these babies. 
And here we are. More significantly, here He is. 
"Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
If you were to ask me how often I've felt lost in it all, how often I've craved the sensation of anything 'holding me fast' I wouldn't be able to count to you the times. I can however tell you that for all those times, He has been faithful. 
We now are reaching the point of genuinely feeling like this place is home. We have a couple more years here at least, and it's reassuring to see that God is here in this city just as much as when we were elsewhere. I don't fear new cities quite like I might have before this move. I don't fear quite as much of anything, really. While I would perhaps describe my countenance as hopeful yet weary, it rarely feels 'fearful' anymore. That in itself is a major pillar of God's goodness in our home.
How do I go about showing how drastically hard life abroad can be, and simultaneously how faithful God is? I don't know how to focus on both sides of the coin in tandem other than to say that without it being as hard as it has been, we wouldn't be able to see how faithful He is. Without Peter's storm, He wouldn't see that Jesus can literally walk through  it, and enable him to walk through it too. "Peter you don't need no boat, I got this." (because that's totally how he talks.  ;) )
God has shown me there's no boat that will carry me to safe, easy shores like he can.
I've thought that perhaps it would be easier for someone else, but a quick google search reveals that this is a pretty universal sensation. Moving away from  your motherland is universally draining. I'm sure even a few of my friends who have moved from the Midwest down south can attest to that (can I hear an amen? It really is a cultural divide even within the states. Don't feel as if it is any less of a feat my friends, it isn't.)
Why am I writing all this? Mostly because I want to remember the sensations of being in a good, yet weary place. And give room to you reader to figure out where you are in all of this. Where are you at in the story? 
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
There is nothing more reassuring to me than knowing that the God who has crafted this story, and who is a lavishing father, friend, sustainer, comforter, redeemer has no place where he isn't.
Which means I'm never in a place where he isn't. My heart needs to have that on repeat. " I'm never in a place where he isn't."
I know this blog holds a good mix of adventure and babies and what have you. I know that living abroad looks sexy, and hear me-it definitely has its AWESOME moments-but, no story is good half-told. That's cheap. And this story that we get to live is all sorts of things, but cheap and half-told it will not be.
So, conclusion: (Because when I go back to this I'll probably just skip to the bottom) You're weary and hopeful and God has proved faithful and he isn't going anywhere that you aren't going too. 
He's got this.

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