Many people have asked me if I’ve heard anything about my visa … I have not. It is just now getting to the time when I was hoping I would hear something. You can only apply for a visa 30-90 days before you leave the country, so I assumed I would not hear anything prior to 30 days after applying. It has been about 35-40 days since the consulate would have received my application. So now it’s the anticipation of checking the mail each day (that’s how they respond to your request for a visa) … and so far, the disappointment of finding nothing. J Another question regarding my visa is what is the likelihood of getting it granted? I do not know the answer to this question. A couple people have told me it’s difficult to get a religious visa. But, I know that I have a sovereign God who’s bigger than these things. A verse that has been a huge blessing to me in regards to my visa is Proverbs 21:1 which says,
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.”
I know that God is bigger than the Italian government. He is in control of the heart of the person who has my visa application sitting on his/her desk. That is a great comfort to me!
Another verse that has been a comfort to me is Job 42:2 which says,
“ ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.’ ”
If it is God’s will for me to go to Italy, nothing can stop that. It is a wonderful thing to be in the hands of a sovereign God!
This verse comforts me too as my living arrangements have changed. I was supposed to live with an older woman in the Italian church, but that is not going to work out now (due to her needing to care for a friend). This came as a bit of a shock to me – and it’s something God is using to teach me. It’s a bit scary to go to a foreign country and not have a place to live. But Kathy King (Frank & Kathy King are the missionaries I’m joining) is looking into other arrangements for me – there are a couple options right now. Hopefully she will hear about one of them in the next week or so. The Lord has a different plan for where He wants me to live than what I was planning on, so I need to trust that He will do what is best for His glory and my good … whatever that may be! But don’t worry, if Kathy does not find anything before my arrival, I won’t be living on the streets! She said I can live with her and Frank until we find another arrangement.
So, I am learning to wait upon the Lord and trust Him. This morning I was comforted by Psalm 73:25-26, 28 which says,
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
In one sense, I know exactly what the Lord is up to in all this … He is up to working things out for His glory. His name will be magnified through all of this. That’s what the Psalmist says – he made God his strength so that he could tell of God’s greatness. It is God who works all things together for good – not me. So, it is my prayer that I will grow closer to the Lord through this process of getting to Italy (and being in Italy, of course), and that He will be glorified!