Embarking upon a spiritual/emotional/journey like beginning a PhD in England has led us to several new and unexpected experiences. We are learning new things that aren’t even related to the education, per se. But we are learning that the preparation is part of the education.
As of this writing, we are still seeking a renter for our home. We are being educated on what it is like to live in that strange place where we don’t completely live in our house (it must be ready to be emptied on short notice) and we don’t completely live OUT of our house (we still live there, sort of). A few times, in the last few weeks, potential renters have expressed a strong interest. However, they backed out. Our hope was that the house would have been rented by now. Part of the education is learning to be content with wherever we may find ourselves.
We have pets that we love and want them to be happy while we are gone. Since I expect to be assigned to Field Studies in the USA in the second phase of my studies, we are not taking our four-legged family members. Friends and family have been great about foster our furry friends. However, we do not want to be an imposition upon anyone. Part of the education is to put our trust in others to care for the things we care about.
Oh, and then there are the new rules. The UK has different system of College and University relations, immigration policies, documentation requirements, proof upon proofs, etc. We traveled to Tampa (one of the closest centers) to have our biometric information recorded. Today we mailed our applications, passports, marriage certificate, children’s birth certificates and more off to the consulate in New York City. It is not that any of these rules are bad. However, they are new to us. The preparation of the application process has been a part of the education.
Until we get our visas, we won’t know what day we can leave for Durham. We can’t find a place to live. We can’t buy plane tickets. We feel like we are waiting for many pieces to fall into place.
I will admit that none of these seem to happen on my timeframe. I am ready to get everything done. Done, done, done. Let’s hurry and go. However, I think God is using these experiences to teach about the preparation. These times are not wasted until all comes to fruition. I think about Jesus spending almost 20 years in Nazareth. The Gospel tells us that he grew in stature and in favor with God and with the people. And when his time came, the world has never been the same.
The preparation is part of the education. We are being educated in how to pray while we wait. Waiting is not just sitting idly. Waiting is active anticipation of what God will do next. So we pray. We pray for the right people who will be a mutual blessing while renting our home. We pray for our pets to be settled and those who will care for them while we are away. We pray for the people who will process our Visa applications and that they will come with expedience. We pray for the place where we will live. We pray for the people we will meet. We pray for friends our children. We pray for the church community in which we will participate. We pray. We pray.
May we open my eyes to what God is doing while we seem to waiting. He’s not waiting. He educating us as he prepares us.
Would you join us in prayer for all of these? You all teach us so much in our waiting as well.