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Longing for home...

After the first 7-8 days in Scotland, my brain and (mostly) my heart started telling me it was time to go home and see everyone. It’s routine. That’s how it has worked for over 40 years. I’m not sure I’ve ever had to fight through such instinct. I moved an hour away from my family when I got married, but the distance then and since has always been something doable. I could still reach my comfort zone, my family and friends, and, of course, my pets.

Now it feels a wee bit surreal, which BKD might define as a bizarre combination of fact and fantasy. I’m leaning more towards the latter. Perhaps the hardest thing is being the outlier—the one who doesn’t know what to say or how to behave according to the standards of a new culture. I say dessert when I should say “pudding” and grilled cheese when I should say “toastie.” I never realized the extent of the language differences. Mama Huffty has been educating us though. Apparently, you should not say “pants” here because that only refers to underwear; pants are known as “trousers.” Of course, in learning this, my mind files through occurrences where I am quite sure I’ve been talking openly to others about needing to “wash all my pants” or “what kind of pants I plan to wear to dinner tomorrow.”

I should have done more research there.

So here, I am master of nothing. I am again in the learner’s seat. I have no control. We were so happy to get a car, to own something. It was stabilizing-- however false that notion truly is.

As God continues to break down our distorted illusions of control, the beauty is that we are finding more of Him. Nothing good here has happened aside from His goodness, grace, and mercy-- and the prayers from you all. He has sent us some of the most wonderful people, not “some kind of wonderful” but completely and thoroughly so. I wish I could introduce them all to my friends and family back home. We’ve met and dined with people who are 100% on fire for the Gospel and demonstrate a true Christ-like love for others. At times, it has left me speechless.

A final rabbit trail here pertains to pride, which God keeps bringing to mind. It’s a bit fitting given we are now walking through an entire month that celebrates just that rather than the changing, saving power of the Gospel. Psalm 10:4 states, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” One can infer that the stripping away of pride, then, leads to seeking God and making room for Him. Both imply action on our part.

Often, people want to know why we are in Scotland of all places. Why not somewhere that poses physical hardship, whether it’s violent persecution of the church or starvation or thirst? Of course, my answer to that is because God said so. Since being here, we have encountered many others God has sent to “safe” areas. We’ve met people planning to be missionaries in the U.S. We’ve met people from England who are now missionaries in Scotland as well as other Americans in Scotland for missions. Circling back to pride, I must wonder if this inter-mixing of nations isn’t meant to break down our national pride so He can truly use us. People prefer what they know and where they feel comfortable. We tend to lean on the ways of our culture which results in a division of trust in God. He only gets a piece of it, yet He wants (and deserves) all of it. Now, as Sassenachs in Scotland, we’ve certainly been forced to hand it all to Him. Pride does little to propel God’s work, and the idea that being an American is special is irrelevant. Our true home is with Him, and it always has been. In our depths, that is what we really long for.

Please pray for us and all God’s people, Philippians 1:9, “that our love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that we may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

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