Land that I Love

I don’t know that I have ever bought a patriotic plate in my life. Now I can’t get enough! It all started when that US Official in the Immigration line at the Miami airport said to me “Welcome home.” I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude and pride…the good kind.

We proceeded down the hall to use our first American bathroom in a loooooong time and I could hardly contain the excitement when I was able to flush my toilet paper! And how soft y’all’s toilet paper is! And, the sink faucet has hot water! And ENGLISH!! And.. and.. and!!! Our time here is too quickly evaporating. But, we are forever grateful for these 2 months “home.” We’ve been able to see many of our family and friends, reconnect with some of our supporting churches, visit our trustworthy doctors, drink from the tap… and we are cherishing every minute of it!
2015-06-25 17.20.18 11025659_10153285723801145_547874181938137386_n 2015-05-24 14.37.09 2015-05-24 15.33.03 2015-05-27 19.13.24 2015-05-30 19.36.50 2015-05-31 14.45.18 2015-05-31 14.49.38 2015-05-31 15.53.58 2015-06-01 15.46.49 2015-06-02 19.39.57 2015-06-04 20.34.10  2015-06-06 09.53.20 2015-06-06 11.48.13 2015-06-06 16.28.02 2015-06-07 13.03.45 11207273_10205400024012474_5791885429363930980_n 11168126_10205399114269731_4162814111158680101_n 2015-06-08 18.21.26-2 2015-06-10 20.45.04 2015-06-12 18.24.50 2015-06-13 18.30.33 2015-06-15 15.52.38 2015-06-15 18.27.17 2015-06-18 14.31.16 2015-06-20 14.19.47 (1)   2015-06-24 18.09.38  2015-06-27 19.43.08 11026247_10153329643806145_8120891279275436574_n11046544_10153393408416145_4276533951476500989_n 2015-06-11 12.35.34 2015-06-05 13.59.25 2015-06-20 15.04.23
God bless America, land that we love!
When we feel lonely, there are so many like-minded individuals who speak English. When we are sick, there are dependable doctors to call.. who change their gloves. When we put on our shoes, there is no need to check for scorpions first. When we struggle with parental issues, there are various places to turn for help. When we’re not even sure what to make for lunch, there is a free lunch in the park. When we want to worship in English, there are plenty services to choose from. When we travel anywhere, there is no fear–people follow traffic laws!

All this has seemed like a gigantic sigh of relief! But it has also made me see a different kind of danger living here. It’s not that we feel unsafe here. Perhaps we feel too safe here. Could it be that in all this sweet land of liberty, we don’t need God as much? I don’t know. But to be honest, I find myself praying far less in America. In Brazil, it seems we call on Him constantly because we need Him! Constantly. But here, I’m tempted to rely on superficial substitutions for all that God is. 

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for
God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8

Not WalMart. Not loved ones. Not medical care. Not quality education. Not traffic laws. Not 911.
GOD is our refuge— our constant Companion, our Healer, our Protector, our Helper, our Provider, our Pastor, our Sustainer.

I dread saying goodbye once again to all that we love in this country. I really do. Maybe this is me pining for some good in the hard… BUT in a crazy way, I kinda can’t wait to get back to those “Oh God. If you don’t show up, we’re screwed!” prayers. Because He always does. SO maybe it’s not the worst thing to live so far away from this land that I love. Because it is where we have felt the nearness of our God the most–perhaps because it is where we have needed Him the most.

[Disclaimer: My fear in sharing all this is that it could offend someone, which is not my intention at all. This is simply something I’ve been wrestling with–how to cling to the Lord. Not just in hard times, but also the best of times. I’m not saying you need to move overseas to rely on the Lord. I think it’s most definitely possible to live in desperate daily need for God here. Perhaps we just have to be more intentional to do so. And I’ve just haven’t. That’s all. :)]

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