What is marital bliss?
Well, I can tell you what it is not. 😊
Yesterday, John and I spent the entire afternoon gathering and compiling yet another set of South Africa permit documents for me. There were moments of affirmation. And other moments? Well, let’s just say that John and I weren’t always on the same page. But, together, we made it through the massive stack of requirements.
As many of you know, I have two permit applications currently in process in South Africa. My permanent resident application has been in play since July 2016. When this permit failed to materialize, I was required to apply for a temporary resident permit before my current permit expires in October. The temporary resident permit has been in the system for nine weeks. Both permits should have been processed by now.
Why do I say this?
Well, our family submitted our permanent resident application together in July 2016. John’s permanent residence application was approved in November 2016. Micah and Caleb’s permanent residence applications received approval in September 2017 and Jake’s permit was confirmed in November 2017.
So, where’s mine?
Temporary residence permits typically take four to five weeks to process. As I shared, my current application is approaching the nine-week mark. With just days remaining until Jake, Caleb and I board a plane to travel to Oregon for a family visit, if I do not have one of these current permits in hand, I will be required to apply a third time in at the South Africa Consulate in Los Angeles – so that I may be allowed back into South Africa.
Have I been frustrated?
Have I been anxious and stressed?
Have I been discouraged?
Have I cried?
Have I prayed?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I have called upon my God again and again and again for His answer on this situation.
It is no secret that I am not keen to fly to Los Angeles and do this permit thing – all over again – twice in just eleven weeks of the same year.
However, as John and I compiled this second set of documents, I am grateful that I can use many of these papers again – because the time frame between filings is so short. I am grateful because we are soooooooooo familiar with the process and what we need to do. I am grateful because although this task doesn’t rank very high on the marital bliss scale, John is right there with me. He helped gather every document and assisted me in putting the comprehensive and complete stack of documents together – again – for my very likely trip to the South Africa Consulate in the next couple of weeks.
Unless the Lord acts on my family’s behalf in the next three days.
Why only three days of the upcoming five-day week?
Well, if the approval comes through in this time frame, I must surrender my passport to have the new permit affixed to one of the passport pages. With the boys’ and my international flight just days away, I need to have my passport in hand as well. Thus, for the permit process to be completed we have a very slim margin. We have reached the point that unless there is a Divine act from God Most High, I will have no choice but to travel to Los Angeles very soon after our family’s arrival in Oregon.
Friends, many of you have been praying for my permit situation for weeks. Thank you so much.
I have reached the point of acceptance. It took me a while to reach this pinnacle. But, I’m here and it is here that I will worship Him, praise, Him, and love Him as the Lord does His thing.
My Lord and Savior is at work in ways I do not see or understand regarding these delays. However, I trust Him to see me through this time – even if I must travel to Los Angeles in a couple of weeks.
I am comforted by the truth that He is with me now – and He will be with me wherever I go.
Centuries and centuries ago, the Lord promised Joshua that He would be with him as he led the Israelite Nation and crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land:
The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you;
He will be with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.
New American Standard Bible, Deuteronomy 31:8
I take these promises for my own:
My Lord is the One who goes ahead of me – no matter what happens.
He will be with me – no matter what happens.
He will not fail me or forsake me – no matter what happens.
I will not fear or be dismayed – no matter what happens.
Whatever happens – permit here in South Africa or a journey to obtain one in the States – the Lord is good.
He is faithful.
He knows what He is doing.
My hope remains in Him.
I trust Him.
My God has given me an incredible husband in John to help me with this situation. John’s wisdom and planning is a gift to me and though I wouldn’t call any of this marital bliss – the blessing is sharing my life with him.
And you, too!
Thank you for all of your prayers.
We’ll know soon enough what the Lord is planning to do as we await His answer for my permit situation, and I’m sure there will be a story to tell.