Some people love adventure and roaming the earth to have an adventure is done with ease. Home is where my heart is. I love everything about home. I have a Pinterest board with that title.
My family moved a lot when I was a child. I have always had trouble leaving the familiar. I need a plan. Anxiety began to reside in me at a young age. Every move was another traumatic, lonely excursion. It never occurred to me that I could do something about it and over time, like a stubborn weed grips hard soil, it became part of me. I tried hard not to let it stop me, but I’m sure opportunities were missed.
In the late 90s, my husband and I took two mission trips to Ukraine and while those trips showed us spiritual lostness on a world scale, I battled anxiety. The first one we went as team members. Once we returned to our comfortable life, pride and amazement swelled in me. That trip was my first time flying too! Mission accomplished, good job. A big check for such a feat. Barely enjoying normal life again, to our surprise, we received a message requesting my husband be the team leader of another trip to Ukraine, to take place only six months later. I could not believe it. But I knew God was doing this. Me resting on my laurels was not in His plan.
Thankfully, the Lord used a completely different situation in the early 21st century to call me to pay attention to my issue with anxiety. I won’t explain that, but the result was I obeyed. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God guided me to some practices that put me in scripture consistently, daily. These practices were in addition to a morning quiet time I’d had for decades. The result was His peace and a transformed mind. Anxiety starts in the mind. Much of what was begun then remains in my spiritual practices today.
In 2019, my husband sensed we needed to call the IMB (International Mission Board) as our next assignment in ministry. I could not believe it. I knew this would mean we wouldn’t visit a foreign and unfamiliar country, but we would live in a foreign and unfamiliar country.
For years, whenever I’d read Psalm 139 my eyes would gaze on vs. 9 which says, “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.” Thoughts would swirl as I wondered if Psalm 139:9 would ever be true for me. Today as I live in a foreign country writing this, I am aware I am very far from the familiar, it is on the far side of the sea, and I’m living in the verse to the praise of His Name.
Yes, anxiety visits still, but God’s Word has long-term effects and I benefit greatly from the years of investment. You can too.
“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.” Corrie Ten Boom
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.