These are Transitional Years


noun: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

The beginning of a yearning…
…a yearning that burns, leaps at the thought of the World Race.
Oh to be there again.

Memories of ages past. No, not ages, just years…but it feels like ages.
Ages gone; ages home.
Time flies, yet inches along.

When I returned from the World Race, I thought I’d never want to go again.

I was tired. No, exhausted. Longing for the embrace of family and all familiar things.

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Family is beautiful, and I’m so grateful.
Memory tricks us, lures us back to comfort.

But little did I know I would jump right back home into the familiar, but soon into transition. Changes came quickly, and I was swept along in the current. A beautiful, fast-moving, white-water rapids current, splashing me rudely in the face one minute and rushing over me and calming my fears in another.

I was left with little time to process. Or maybe I am a terrible processor. It takes me forever to figure out what I learned from something. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe this is normal.

I’m still processing the World Race and feel like I will continue to do so for a very long time. I think, that this is ok.

Change comes for all of us. Transition is inevitable.

>>Fast forward to a year after I returned home, and I’m longing for it all over again. The World Race.

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This must be what mothers experience after giving birth to their child…they say they will never do it again, then time forgets the pain and you remember only the joy and long for it again.

Pain is what grows us, challenges us, changes us.

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Pressure cooker, that was the World Race. We hate it and we love it.
Oh…to be that close to the Lord again. Oh to feel His presence with every breath, every step.

He is still here. Oh so close. Right here.
Just, He feels different.
Grown closer, yet feels farther.
As if that is possible.

I have thought and thought about how these past 2 years have gone since I left for the World Race.

I began a life of transition that has never stopped. Oh how my life has sped through many twists and turns since September 2012.

I should be used to transition by now, but the thing about transition is that each new one brings new challenges. You can get used to moving but constant change brings uncertainty. It requires great trust in the Lord.

 These are transitional years, but these are defining years.
I am learning who I am–who He has made me to be. This is EXCITING, AMAZING, THRILLING, TERRIFYING, WONDERFUL.

Life as I know it now, is not how I thought it would be.
This is okay.
I trust the Lord. He is faithful.
He provided an amazing job and a place to live.
He is making a way for my family.
He will lead us and guide us.
He hears the longing of my heart. He knows it better than I even do.

cropped-cropped-copy-Cambodia2.jpgAnd so I trust Him with my future and the future transitions.

All of the growth and challenge and pain, that will bring more growth and challenges and delights and failures and laughter and hugs and tears and struggles and LIFE, which causes me to go back onto my knees in prayer, giving thanks to my Father for His GOOD gifts, He has given me life and breath and these struggles are momentary.

Our lives are meant to be lived for our King.

I will keep lifting my eyes to Him. Transition means stepping closer to Him.
Focusing my eyes on the Giver of Life.

I trust in the most Trustworthy One. He is my Faithful Guide.

I see these transitions continuing, and though I know it won’t be easy, I’m not worried or afraid.
Instead I am confident in what my Savior will do, in the plans He has for my life.
Transitions require us to move, to take a step, to ACT, to obey.

Transitions move us closer to Him, because they shake us from comfort.

He didn’t say it would be easy, but He said He’d be right here with us. That’s a promise I’m holding onto.

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So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
-Isaiah 41:10


The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,

    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I was young and now I am old,

    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good;

    then you will dwell in the land forever.
For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.
-Psalm 37:22-28

Expectations of my expectations

I’m getting very, VERY excited. As I read more of my fellow World Racers’ blogs (wow…that felt weird to say!)…I see the places and the people and the panoramas…the travel, the adventures, the silly fun, all wrapped up in God revealing Himself in incredible ways…wow. It gives me the chills. And I tell myself, “That’s what I’ll be doing in 9 months. I’m going to do that!” And I can’t help but smile and then take a huge, deep breath of disbelief, excitement, and not just a little fear of the unknown.

My expectations for the World Race will undoubtedly be shattered. But I can’t help but have them. So, without further ado, my list, in nice, neat, bulleted form.

I expect:

  • To be scared and intimidated at first, then to realize God had my back all along and it wasn’t as bad or as scary as it seemed
  • To be out of my comfort zone and not at all sure what to do
  • To sit on a bus for 20 hours at a time
  • To be tired all the time, especially on travel days (I don’t sleep well on planes or buses or cars, or anything that moves, really :-P)
  • To make new, lifelong friends
  • To really, really miss my “old” friends
  • To ride an elephant in Thailand
  • To be homesick
  • To miss at least one engagement and wedding and birth of a baby while I’m gone
  • That I will be changed
  • To grow in crazy ways that I never thought possible
  • To have the Holy Spirit fill me and work in and through me
  • To hold precious, beautiful children
  • To swim in the ocean
  • To get sunburned
  • To preach and be scared out of my wits with nothing to say because I hate public speaking
  • To probably have diarrhea (haha! This is just a fact of travel in general)
  • That God will show up
  • That He will confirm my life calling
  • That He will equip me
  • That I will grow in confidence
  • That I can’t do anything on my own
  • That I will feel helpless and broken
  • To learn to love as He loves
  • To be sweaty and red-faced all the time
  • To eat rice a majority of the time
  • To have at least one mango shake in Thailand and Vietnam (because they’re heavenly)
  • To somehow find coffee everywhere we go on the Race, because it’s a necessity
  • To be broken of my expectations
  • To have nothing left to give
  • To drink warm beverages all of the time, including water, because the rest of the world doesn’t do ice 🙂
  • To laugh randomly and giggle endlessly at everything, because that’s just what I do
  • To be surprised
  • To fall in love with every country and people and place, despite initial feelings/frustrations/barriers

All in all, I’m not sure what I expect. It’s all jumbled together. But I do know that I have expectations, and no matter how hard I try not to have them, there will be some time when I will be stretched beyond imagination because of an expectation I had that was broken and I won’t be okay with it and won’t see it coming. I know this is where the love of my teammates and the grace of God comes in.

That’s one more thing. Since I’ve read all of these World Race blogs, and have now begun my own, I’ve realized something. God shows up in miraculous ways, ways that could only be from Him. You will probably see me blogging regularly about that. There’s another expectation for ya. And one more: I expect to be loved like crazy by my teammates, by the strangers I’m put together with that I will form incredible bonds with, because that’s how it works, and that’s how crazy awesome it is when God orchestrates bringing strangers together. I expect it, because I’ve seen it happen time and time again, and it’s amazing.