Theological Correspondence Across the Globe, Summer 2017 {Letter #3}

Over the course of this summer, two of our writers, Lianna and Amy, will be exchanging letters to each otherfrom their personal desks straight to the blog. If you have any ideas of what youd enjoy seeing them write about, feel free to send us a note. Read Letter #1 here and Letter #2 here

6.1.17
USA

Amy,

Ah, virtual, New Zealand kiwi-fruit. Thanks for that!

How different our lives are! I am not deciding between jobs, much less countries. And you’re right; your life doesn’t seem small to me. It seems adventurous. But I understand there is no arriving at a lifestyle or location that doesn’t hold its own tensions and lessons. There is no arrived.

Not long ago, my engagement ring fell apart. The diamond didn’t fall off the prongs; the set of prongs (plus the diamond) fell off the ring. Yes, imagine. Forget sentimentality, I suppose, because it was beyond repair. The minute I noticed the hole in the middle of my cushion cut setting, I had three reactions. I gasped and pronouncedly called my husband’s name. I envisioned the possibility of selecting something else. But dominantly I thought, Oh well.

When at first I didn’t know if I’d be able to find the prongs and diamond, my gut-level reaction was that I’d merely left it behind a few fractions of a “moment” sooner than when I’d have left it behind for eternity anyway. Then, I became concerned my little girl would find it and try to swallow it. If there was any reason I had to look for it, that was it.

We’re between worlds; my Jesus is in the next. But God has told me to be here today (and, of course, He is also here too). But in contrast with you, I know of no changes looming; I am aware of no large leaps to take, no extreme tests of faith—they certainly could be imminent, but I have no particular reason to expect them. My thoughts don’t echo with the unknown like yours.

In this sense, I must be in the section of a race when the runner purely needs to keep the commitment and keep going—or what I imagine would be that section of a race, considering it’s been a few years now since high school gym class mile runs to give me fresh context about these things. Strain for what’s ahead, and keep running.

There are [many] times in life when I have started to learn new subjects or skills, and have eventually lost interest in continuing. I start, I accomplish what I set out to do, and I move on. Perhaps I lose interest because I am not being intellectually challenged, or upon arriving at the accomplishment it doesn’t click as something to hold my attention long-term, or I am drifting toward a different goal that interests me ahead.

But with Christ, there is no choice of finding myself moving forward from Him; there is nothing ahead beyond Him. I cannot be disjointed because, along with the church, I am His—and will be part of His bride. I cannot be displaced because I find myself where—as God’s child—I have been made to always be. And I cannot be disinterested because He is always more.

Still, considering how settled my husband and I are in life at the present, it would be all too tempting to either start seeing this world as my home—diamonds as things that matter—or to see this time of life slow or dilute my passion for the Lord and His gospel. Strain for what’s ahead, and keep running.

I regard your trust highly, friend, and I praise God for it. And further, it helps me. I am imagining your circumstances and the faith in God’s love and grand story for this world they require. I am leveraging your trust to spur my own—to test my heart in order to learn if I am still running as though the only certainty I have is Christ.

And in Him—as I test my heart—I see that He has given me much today to spend and much reason to be spent for Him in seeking righteousness; prizing His gospel; and loving my family and the church. This is our best “adventure”—mine, most days, simply comes with cheese sticks and Cheerios.

But whether continuing with a day that looks very similar to the one before or stepping into the unknown with no knowledge of what the day will include—these words, this provision: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). Wherever we are, we abound.

Do tell me about some of your fun in New Zealand!

always, in Christ,
Lianna

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