Monday, April 15, 2019

On Hold

James and Ellie Carr
This week I had someone who is close to me tell me twice that my life is "on hold" until I return to the States, and honestly it really hurt.  Both times.  The first time, I got angry at the words and later cried, unable to get them out of my head.  By the second time I heard them, I blew it off, not giving credit to the idea, but the hurt was still there.

I don't view my life as being on hold at all.  My kids are quickly growing up, and I've spent the last weeks figuring out what decisions need to be made about Riley's schooling as her fifth birthday quickly approaches.  Juggling ministry in orphan care here in Guatemala keeps both James and I busy as we schedule weekly and floating events, activities, and tasks trying to keep it all straight.  And then there's the adoption.  Yeah, I haven't actually "announced" it, but we've been in the process for almost a year now.  There are other aspects to my life as it stands now, but let's take those three.  All three are moving forward, as time only moves that direction, but not all seem to move at the pace I would hope.  I often desperately want to slow down the rate that Riley and Ethan are growing up, yet the adoption is something I long to happen faster.  And then there's ministry.  Some days drag by, yielding little fruit while others provide the sweetest rewards.

Apart from my own life, I see how life in the States is whizzing by, often at a pace that seems faster than that of Guatemala.  Relationships that were once dear to us have faded since we moved out of the country.  Skill sets that we practiced in our occupations have gotten rusty with less use.  Family that was once close is no less dear, but yet much more distant.  Clearly, life there isn't on hold either.

But it all lies in the perception, I suppose.  Our lives look nothing like what we pictured ten years ago when James and I were dating.  I'm sure that the paths our lives took are nothing like where friends and family expected.  And while some relationships have grown distant, others have seemed to be put "on hold."  Awaiting the day God calls us back to the States.  Awaiting the day when face-to-face conversations are regular.  Awaiting for the day when our paths return to where they were expected to go.  And in all that waiting, maybe it seems that my life has been put on hold somehow.

Not that justification is needed either.  I know that my life has been shaped by following God's call.  Not in perfection, for sure, but I'm trying.  I also rest in knowing that His timing is perfect.  It is definitely not the timeline I had planned or hoped for my life.  It is definitely not always comfortable.  It is definitely not easy.  But I trust that it's perfect.  I trust that He has a plan even when I doubt and can't understand how things could possibly end up well.  I'll trust when I'm hurt.  I'll trust when I'm frustrated.  I'll try.

Because I know that my worth is not in the life I had mapped out for myself.  I know I'll never find it in the wealth I dreamed of acquiring, in the success I hoped for my children, or in the "golden days" when I retire.  Not that any of those are bad, but they neither define me or my worth.  That can only be found in Christ and the blood that He shed for me.  Apart from that I am nothing.  Only by Him and in Him can I say that I am living the most profound and meaningful life that I can.  And that life is not on hold.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."  Colossians 3:1-4

James and Ellie Carr / Author & Editor

James and Ellie Carr have been missionaries in Gautemala since 2014 and write to share their feelings and how they have experienced God's goodness and mercy on the mission field.


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