Relieved, thankful and excited that Jonathan has a visa, but also still in limbo and still waiting.
It’s different – wonderfully different – because we know the outcome. There is very little doubt that we will be granted a family visa. But we still have to go through the arduous process of numerous forms, having an interview and never quite knowing the timing of anything.
And so we’re waiting.
I had foolishly begun to imagine an immediate reboot of our American normality. All we needed, in my head, was the big ‘yes’ and then we’d be on our way. I even started a little decluttering in anticipation of having to pack our ever-expanding belongings into a meagre suitcase allowance.
Instead, we’ve got a little while longer. We can’t get a visa interview until the end of June, and there are various commitments in the UK until August. And I’m more than happy to be here – the blessing of being in the same place as family and friends, the reassuring normality of English routines and the fact that we do feel relatively settled.
But I just need my heart to pull back from that American imagining, and re-settle, and reconsider how to make the most of these next few weeks and months. I have no doubt that God’s timing is just right, and that there will be good things and God-glorifying things that come out of this time.
It’s tempting to think that we’re treading water as we wait, but I know (as the letter to the Ephesians reminds me) that God has already prepared the good works that we’re to walk in. I know that and I trust it. The psalmist in psalm 139 speaks of God hemming him in, ‘behind and before’, and laying His hand on Him. Not that he’s trapped, but that God in His perfect wisdom and love has him, and his paths. I love that picture.
Waiting, but also hopefully walking in those good works with God very much ‘behind and before’ – looking for those good and God-glorifying things that will come out of this time.