We've been in Romania over a full week, and it's been great to be with family. Rebeca has been continuing to get paperwork done in an effort to get us residency. Here's a little summary: She has to set herself up for citizenship with her maiden name before updating the government on our marriage certificate, her new last name, and getting the Romanian marriage certificate equivalent; we've got to get that done before we can get a car, a bank account, or start working on the paperwork me and the kids need (which will ease our travel in Europe once we are fully funded); turns out we needed some documents we didn't know we'd need, and they're somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
On a ship. In a container. Which means we're...
We seem to be doing a lot of that these days: waiting for documents, waiting on boxes, waiting on the files we need, waiting for paper to draw on, waiting on funding to come through, waiting to begin the ministry we're called to in Europe... just waiting.
Waiting can be very hard, all the more when you feel like your life is somewhere over open waters with no land in sight. Of course, there is always work to be done, and we have found ways to do the work we need to do, but it's taking longer because of the issues we've encountered. Trusting God while also trusting in people and circumstances outside your control can test your limits.
"Will they let me down?"
"When will our other belongings arrive?"
"How long will I have to wait for this?"
When we have so much paperwork that needs to get done and we're at the mercy of shipping, government, and (let's not forget) potential "acts of God" that would leave the rest of our possessions strewn about the bottom of the Atlantic, there's only so much to do. What do you do when your choices seem so limited?
I choose to rest in the sovereignty of God–and not just because I happen to be reading a book on it.
If our stuff gets washed away, stolen, destroyed... there's nothing we can do about it.
If the paperwork slows us down or derails plans... there's nothing we can do about it.
If trust in God wavers in this crucible of struggle...
There is something we can do about it!
And it starts with the authority of God's Word.
We must submit our perspectives to the truth God reveals, especially when we feel suspended somewhere over open waters. We may think we dangle, but those thoughts don't constrain the sovereignty of God. We may feel hard-pressed, but God is purposefully working. The Word will speak this truth to us if we'll listen. I've written another post on my biblical train of thought here, if you'd like to check it out.
We can remind ourselves that struggles do not mean God is absent. In fact, we are strengthened and built up through struggles in a way that times of plenty and pleasure just don't do.
If you find yourself feeling stranded over your own open waters this week, don't let those feelings fill you with hopelessness. Flip the script and use those set-backs as step-ups to what's up ahead. Let the walls you seem to be pushing against be the very resistance training that builds up muscles you didn't know you had!
So what about OUR open waters?
They say necessity is the mother of invention, so our recent needs have led to pretty cool moments:
And we're excited for the days ahead!
Clinkscales family updates: YFCI Work–Youth For Christ International
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