Going Home

9:28 AM

 As I looked at my beautiful new visa for the first time, nine months of sorrow and loss were swept away. In that moment, I felt the presence of the Lord fill my heart and whisper to my soul, 

"This is it, Rachel. You're going home."

September 2017

After pacing nervously for two solid days, I flew open the door when the UPS truck pulled up. This was it. After four months of waiting my visa decision had come.

"It's like you were waiting for me or something!" the driver joked as I hurriedly signed for the package. 

Giving him a nervous laugh, I shut the door and and ripped open the large manila envelope. Out spilled the paper that would change the course of our married life. As I read and reread the opening lines "You have been denied your application for a U.K. visa," my mind tried to grasp the fact that I had been denied the right to be with my husband. 

We'd done everything right, or so I thought. After going onto the U.K. visa website and looking thoroughly through their required documents to apply for a spousal visa,we submitted our application plus the $2,000 fee. And yet, to our horror, what they asked for and what they wanted turned out to be two entirely different things.

Endless questions raced through my mind. What did this mean for us? Would our new marriage survive the separation? What do you do when you're not allowed to even see the person you pledged to spend the rest of your life with? 

It had only been a few weeks since I'd miscarried our first child without having my husband by my side. And now this... I wasn't sure how much more my heart could take.

After that, the days and months seemed interminable. I was a married woman living as a guest in her parents' home, as far from her man as far can be. All the hopes I had for those early months of married life seemed crushed beneath my feet.

As those autumn and winter days stretched by, I felt my heart twisting in unspoken grief for my husband and the little one I'd never gotten to know. And yet, there is one who knows our hearts and minds better than we do. With God, there was no need to put on a happy face and act like everything was fine. He was the one who stood by me in those sorrowful months and gave me the grace to keep going. When my husband was taken from my side, He stepped in and filled the gap.

Our friends and family rallied around us and in December, we applied for a second time. If this too was denied, our options were very few. After three months of waiting on edge, I got the notification that a decision had been made on my application. 

March 2018

Once again I found myself waiting wild-eyed with expectancy on the mail.  Where fear had once troubled my mind, an overwhelming peace now filled my heart. We had faced the worst before. In nine months of marriage, we'd seen separation, death, and financial struggles, and yet, with the Lord's grace, we'd overcome. This time I could echo the feeling: 

"Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well with my soul."

As I sat there waiting on the document which would decide my fate, I suddenly heard my name sung out over the radio.

"Oh Rachel dry your tears,
Your hope it will rise
 Until the trumpet sounds,
Until our home comes down,
Children of Zion raise up the sound,
Until our home comes down.

 Set up a sign or a post
To give us direction,
Lead us by good, clear paths, 
Show us the way
Our tired and restless ways
Help and defend us, please
Stay by my side 

Your deliverance is coming
For us while we wait,
In the wilderness You walk before us, 
Give us grace"

"A Song for Rachel" by Sandra McCracken 

I looked up with a smile at this small reassurance from heaven. And then, all of a sudden, it was there. My passport arrived and there in it was a new visa stamp to enter the country that entirely held my heart. With tears still lingering in my eyes, I called Nathan. 

"Well?" he asked with expectancy.

"I guess you're stuck with me now, boy. I'm coming home..." 

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