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Feeling the Gap

And before we knew it, we are now 6 weeks removed from our Stateside travel. Admittedly I (Justin) was a little apprehensive about returning to Japan.


Our last trip to the States (summer 2019), we remember well the emotions of returning back to familiarity. We were realizing the lives that we left behind - families, friends, fellowship, competency, belonging, identity and more. It was hard to reenter life that fall upon our return to Japan.

During our Stateside visit this summer, the feeling was different. Sure, it all looked familiar. But, things had changed.

We changed...

Unexpectedly, we felt more and more rooted in our lives in Japan and less and less rooted in our "former life" in America. What a strange feeling!

We were feeling the gap...

Yet, the feelings of apprehension were still present as we boarded our flight back to Japan. We were basing this feeling off our previous return to Japan two falls earlier. I cannot explain what would happen next, but something even stranger and more unusual happened. On our empty, 13-hour flight back to Tokyo, the Lord reminded me of the calling on my life...on our lives as a family. In a way that only the Lord could do, He further reminded me of His presence in my life and His steadfast love. Suddenly, the two-week quarantine we had ahead of us didn't look as daunting. We looked with anticipation to reunion with friends in Japan and our ministries. Our children counted down the days until they could return to school. And finally, after much transit, we were home. Not simply in our physical home. We were home, because God was here with us. Reminding us of who He is, who we are and what He has called us to do. We're human, so we certainly still feel the gap. But, the Lord has given us a peace. He is causing us to flourish.

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly."

- Psalm 52:8-9


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