It’s all so clear in the looking back (from Bria)

What am I worried for?
My heart is, and always is, Yours.
No matter what life brings,
You are good, Lord, always.
My soul, put your trust in the Lord,
And hope in the One that is sure.
No matter what life brings,
You are good, Lord, always.

That’s the chorus of a song that I’ve begun writing out of the overflow of my heart since we left Krakow and returned to Lviv. Yes, we are back in Lviv now…with visas!

Why do we worry? Seriously. Why.do.we.even.worry??? Didn’t God promise that He has, and is sure of, the plans that He has for us? And that they’re good plans? And that we can put our hope in them…in Him? But, so many times – including this latest visa situation – life starts to squeeze me just the tiniest bit and suddenly I’m freaking out. Oh, silly me. Of course on the outside I try to maintain a strong faith (and that’s not necessarily bad, I don’t think; we should command ourselves to calm down and trust…and even act on it, whether we feel it or not). But, honestly, there were definitely moments – like when our visas were expired and we didn’t have what we needed to get new ones and Lindsay and I were, once again, forced to vacate Ukraine for an unknown period of time; and in those moments, despite how high I tried to hold my head up on the outside – on the inside I looked like one of those characters in a cartoon who’s running around crazy in circles yelling, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

It’s funny how calm and clear everything looks, though, once we’ve come through the situation and are able to look back on it as a whole picture. It’s funny how, in the thick of it, I somehow always forget (or my heart refuses to be comforted by) the truth that God always sees the whole picture. He only sees the whole picture.

For months…for 5 months, to be exact…we’ve been trying to get new visas for Ukraine. We’ve been praying. Our church has been praying. Our relatives have been praying. You’ve been praying. Everyone and anyone we know (and even some we don’t) has been asked to pray for us. Begging God to make everything work out quickly.

And don’t I feel sheepish now? – now that I can see exactly why God was delaying everything.

Mom fractured her right foot in Israel, back in November. Apparently, it was one of the absolute worst fractures a foot can sustain, and takes the longest to heal – going on 3 months now, and she’s still not back to normal. Up until just a week or so ago, the pain in her foot was so intense, that she couldn’t put any pressure on it whatsoever. But just a couple of days before God released the documents we needed and she and Dad traveled to meet us in Krakow, for the first time she was able to use an orthopedic boot and “walk” on her foot with light pressure using her crutches! Our folks had to travel by train, and had Mom not been able to use the boot and to semi-walk, there just would have been no way.

And the goodness of our God doesn’t stop there. Not only did He mercifully delay our documents so that Mom’s foot could heal more and she’d be able to travel, but then we got a massive surprise at the Ukrainian Embassy when we turned all of our papers in. Ukraine has an agreement with America that is, in a nutshell – whatever Ukrainians are required to pay for visas to America is the same price that will be required of Americans for visas to Ukraine, and vice versa. However, for some unknown reason, a few months ago the price required of Americans for religious visas to Ukraine shot up to $379! Our American Embassy in Kyiv assured us that negotiations would be taking place to uphold the agreement between our countries, but despite these negotiations, there has been no change in the price for months. Many of our American friends have had to renew their visas during this time, and have been forking over nearly $400 for each visa! Up until just a couple of days before we applied for our visas in Krakow, Dad had been checking the price listed on the website, and there it remained – $379. So last Wednesday morning, we all headed to the Ukrainian Embassy with all of our documents in-hand (praying that there would be no changes in the laws like we’d encountered the last time we’d tried, in Israel!), we filled out the visa applications, and passed all of it through the little window to the Embassy worker. And he said, “Ok, now you’ll just need to go over to our bank and pay $600 – $150 for each visa.” $150!!!!! I think it took everything in us to not bust out in a worship/dance party right there in the Embassy.

By delaying our documents all these months, God saved us over $900 for our family’s visas!

What am I worried for?
My heart is, and always is, Yours.
No matter what life brings,
You are good, Lord, always.
My soul, put your trust in the Lord,
And hope in the One that is sure.
No matter what life brings,
You are good, Lord, always.

I wish I could say that the process is over for now, but unfortunately, it’s not. Because of the recent law changes, now foreigners in Ukraine are required to register, once they are given visas. It’s another long, run-around, bureaucratic process that will require more documents, more money, and more faith. But this time, I don’t have to act out the faith before feeling it. My heart is full of confidence in the Lord – as it should have been last time. It doesn’t even matter how all of the little pieces might look to me. I know that my Heavenly Father sees the whole picture. And He’s already got His plans entirely worked out.

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4 thoughts on “It’s all so clear in the looking back (from Bria)

  1. Powerful testimony! Sometimes it’s hard to remain “in faith” when it looks as though the situation is getting worse…not better! Reading your posts is such a blessing and source of encouragement, thank you for sharing your journey.

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