The big day has been and gone, and Jonathan has a visa! Phew!
A sleepless night beforehand, a long nervous wait at the embassy, some admin issues that suddenly threw it all into doubt…and then an eight minute interview that resulted in a visa approval.
While Jonathan sweated it out in a newly acquired charity shop jacket at the embassy, I rollercoastered my way through the emotions. Supposedly distracting myself from it all with a friend at a soft play, I hung off every little textual tit bit from Jonathan that gave some indication of how things were going.
I spent most of the morning reliving that pit of the stomach feeling that I don’t think I’ve had since stumbling into the big hall at school to take a piano exam. A couple of big differences being that there were no pianos involved (thankfully), and I couldn’t do anything to help or hinder the outcome. Completely powerless, apart from praying.
The inner trembling turned to tears at one moment, as it seemed – from Jonathan’s point of view – that it was heading towards a ‘no’. But then the elation as the phone call came just a few minutes later.
‘We got it.’
The relief is huge.
Praise God for answered prayers. Praise God that prayer is not powerless, and we are so amazed and grateful for the many people praying for us over recent weeks and months. We pray on for the next step – that the family visa would come quickly (this application was just for Jonathan), that we would be wise in leaving and arriving, that right and good decisions would be made for the ministries in the UK and the USA.
While we are still waiting, certainty of outcome changes everything. It’s as if we’ve been holding our breath for weeks, and but only realised how tense we were as the sigh of relief came on Thursday. Shoulders are down, emotions are beginning to level out and, while tired and slightly nervous of more upheaval, we are eager for the next instalment of our USA adventure.
Knowing the outcome is a game-changer. Already it’s impacting our feelings, our thoughts and our actions. We can relax, we can plan, we can begin to get ready to go. The shift has reminded me, as a Christian, of my eternal certainties. The outcome that is even more secure and long-lasting than anything that the American embassy can offer. And how that should be the big influencer. The ultimate game-changer for my emotions, my thought-life, my behaviour.
We’re thanking God for His kindness in giving us immediate certainties, but also praying that those eternal certainties would always be the bigger deal.