without a home, but not homeless

While Wesley and I are going through a fairly lengthy immigration case we have to find a way to be together. I cannot live in the States before I get a greencard and we can’t even consider immigrating to Denmark yet (apparently we are too young).

At first it seemed like our only option would be to stay on each our side of the world, California and Denmark, and try to visit each other when possible. We would continue from long distance dating straight into long distance marriage for an unknown amount of time.We didn’t even consider it an option.

When we’re married we make every effort to stay together as much as possible and that’s how it is, no discussion. In October 2018 we spent a few weeks wringing our brains for ideas, searching for every legal loophole and praying our hearts out. We were trying to figure out how to stay together as husband and wife with two different citizenships.

A lot of hours were spent on our phones during those weeks. Google searches, immigrations forums, travel.state.gov and long conversations on Messenger video call.

Finally a second option seemed to appear. It was birthed in our minds, I believe, by God. He seriously always has such good ideas.

Since we couldn’t live in each other’s countries for more than 90 days at a time we were going to travel in other places until our documents got approved. We both like to travel and have done it a fair bit, and even though it meant that we wouldn’t have a home and most likely not an income for the first year of marriage we were confident it was the right decision.

Planning moved forward, we got married, we applied for the permanent residency in the United States and now we are waiting. Since our wedding in April we’ve spent ten weeks in Denmark, a few days in New York City, two weeks in Pennsylvania, three weeks in Minnesota and now we’re counting weeks on a mountain top in Costa Rica. As I’m typing this out, it all looks like a dream. I get to travel the world with my husband. What an adventure. It’s like a forced opportunity. We had no other choice but to do it, but we didn’t mind all that much because.. it’s fun. At least most of the time.

The hospitality and generosity of our family and friends has been amazing. Open arms, warm beds, free access to the fridge and kind offers to help with everything we could possibly need. They’ve provided so much for us when we had nothing to give in return and it’s been a great blessing. I’m really grateful, but I tell you what.. gratitude is a choice sometimes.

In all honesty I’ve been shocked by my own roaring desire for a place to call mine. My own home, my own schedule, my own kitchen, my own bathroom and my own bed with my own sheets and maybe the safety and consistency of my own job.

I’d like to consider myself a flexible person, but it has not been without struggle this time around. I’ve had moments where I felt so sorry for myself. When I woke up in a friend’s basement and all I wanted was to walk to the kitchen and eat breakfast with my husband without having to dress appropriately or when friends would post about their new apartment and I would look at my bunkbed and my travel toiletries and secretly wish it was me.

You can imagine the circle of emotions. Deeply wanting to be fully in charge of our own life, then the guilt for not being grateful or aware of how blessed we are followed by prayer and peptalk and then round and round we go. 

After five months living out of my backpack I think the lesson is finally sinking. Prayers for your own heart is a powerful thing because God actually has the power to transform. My heart is slowly changing to the better. Jesus says that whoever wants to find his life must lose it. Sounds a little mysterious but it’s become pretty simple for me. To lose your life is to get rid of selfishness and selfishness is often hidden in self pity. I’m learning to look up from my own belly button and get my mind off what I want. What my mind decides transfers into my heart, my hands and my words. Jesus never intended us to chase our own safety and comfort. He intended us to live life with Him and for Him, 

Now I’m a lot more content and a lot less sad. I’m finding my life because I’m seeing more and more of God’s purpose around me. Switchfoot says it like this, “I’ve been learning how to die”. It’s not very easy but it’s very good. I think I’ll keep learning this lesson for the rest of my days.

Without the complaining it’s much easier to see how blessed we are. Door after door has been opened for us. Even though we don’t have jobs we lack nothing. Random small jobs have shown up on the road. Substitute staff at a preschool. Two weeks of building log cabins in Pennsylvania. Making cotton candy at a county fair. Painting a kitchen. We are always more than okay and always taken care of.

We don’t have a home, in the sense of a place we live permanently. But we have everything we need, we have each other and we have a promise from God our Father that he knows what we need before we even ask. And what does a good Father do to his children? He cares for them, of course. We don’t a have a home or an address , yet we are home because we belong to God. When God says we belong no one can say that we don’t. They can try, but the beauty of belonging is the confidence that you are wanted where you are. 

We may be without a home, but we’re not homeless.

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