Don’t you turn away from me
Because my heart and my hopes, they’re in your hands
And if I don’t seem certain
It’s just a common fear from a common man
But I am in your hands
[Bebo Norman, In Your Hands]
People say that moving overseas is a brave thing to do. They say, Oh Holly, you’re so brave — to travel across the world, to live among people you’ve never met, to work in a completely new culture. And it’s funny, because — well, first of all — I’m not that brave. When people are asked to describe me, that word never comes up. Seriously. The other funny thing is, the absolute scariest part of moving to Thailand wasn’t about the culture, or the job, or even the weird food. In fact, it wasn’t about Thailand at all…but about all the things I was leaving behind.
I’ve mentioned it before, how special Washington is to my heart. Leaving behind relationships, and my place on the recall list, and my beginnings in Puyallup… Now that was downright scary. Would I come back to things the same? Would I be able to come back at all? It was like leaving all the things that made me feel most secure, which is exactly what Jesus was asking of me. Not because He didn’t want those things for me, but because He wanted my whole heart.
Trust Me, He’d say.
So after an amazing year of growing and seeing God like never before, I was still very anxious to get back to Puyallup this summer…and I especially wondered what God would reveal in that time. I had two fears coming into the trip. One, I feared that things had changed a lot in a year; maybe I would sense a disconnect and a beckoning to move on. Though I was prepared for that, I prayed it was not so. Second, I feared enjoying Puyallup so much that I wouldn’t even want to return to Bangkok for another year. I tell ya, I just love that place.
Anyway, it’s awesome, because instead of those fears becoming a reality, God again proved His faithfulness despite my uncertainty. I loved every moment of my three weeks in Puyallup. I got to spend quality time with dear friends and with families that bring me so much joy. I went to the beach, the zoo, the malls, the Mountain….consumed BBQ-ed ribs, and steaks, and burgers, and chicken…had fantastic conversations and exchanged encouraging words…received hugs from children I adore.
Yet, I didn’t feel tempted to stay right there. I didn’t even feel a loss in leaving again. Instead, I felt a deep confidence in God’s great sovereignty and love for me. It was like He said, See, Holly? Everything you place in My hands is safe. You can trust me.
I still don’t know what’s to come. I’ve no idea what life will look like in another year. But I do know that, for now, God has not shut the door between me and Puyallup; instead He’s preserved all the things I love most. And while it can seem kind of scary, I’m even more convinced that the only place I want to be…is in His hands.