Every Loss Is A New Beginning – Guest Post by Missionary Kevin Walton Discussing The Journey of Home Assignment

home assignment is an adventure waiting to happen

Image courtesy of Zachary Collier via Wikimedia

We have a unique perspective on time – those of us in the missionary community who regularly have to make transitions between places so distinct and different – that it seems more like popping in and out of a parallel universe than traversing the same globe. These transitions remind us that we are sojourners engaged in eternal matters, ever mindful of the brevity of life.

Preparing for home assignment this past year was like being on a raft heading toward an eventual waterfall.  When it was far off we saw it on the map and knew we had to prepare for it, but the current still seemed calm and familiar.

When we bought our tickets it was as though we could begin to hear the distant falls and the reality of it started to sink in. Drawing closer the pace quickened; prompt decisions were made like the averting of protruding boulders.

Possessions needed to be abandoned.  When departure was a few days away there was no escaping the ever-escalating frantic current.  Ready or not – the dramatic fall was upon us.  In the last moments we said our good-byes, secured our belongings and discovered ourselves airborne.

Now that we have landed in the United States, the metaphor has been eclipsed. What seemed like a waterfall now seems to be more like the falling sands of an hourglass.

There was the constant feeling of time running out and being drawn toward a single transitional moment when our world got tipped upside down. Instead of being an end, it was a beginning, and we find ourselves on a new mound of sand beginning the next short chapter of our life.

After being here only a few weeks we feel the sand ticking away.  After a short time in the States, we will again pass through that transitional moment upending our life. For us that single moment was the plane ride over the Pacific Ocean to the other side of the globe, but we all pass through life-changing transitions whether a wedding, a disability, a birth, a significant loss, or a new job that turns our world on end, for better or worse.

These transitions are key moments to remember that the sands of time are in God’s hands. Even though our life may get turned on end, every loss is a new beginning leading us, ultimately, to a single glorious transitional moment from this life to eternity.

every loss is a new beginning

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8 Comments on “Every Loss Is A New Beginning – Guest Post by Missionary Kevin Walton Discussing The Journey of Home Assignment”

  1. The Nelkin's Says:

    This is a very good reminder.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  2. Dave Says:

    Having just spent a week with 12 missionaries on home assignment I’m sure every one of them would say amen! So what do you think are the long-term repercussions of being such time travelers?

    Reply

    • Brian Stankich Says:

      Dave, good question. I’ll throw a few out if you throw a few out and maybe others will join into the fray.

      Beneficial Repercussions

      Longing for Home – a sense that permanence will not be found on this earth and that our only true home is after the resurrection

      Adventure – making new friends all over the place, experiencing new stuff, never a dull season of life

      Difficult Repercussions

      Where is Home – struggling to find permanence due to regular shifting of geography

      Connection – too many shallow connections floating out there…

      Reply

      • Dave Says:

        Beneficial: Increased cultural “synapses”; the ability to see any topic from more than one perspective

        Difficult: Not having those alternative perspectives appreciated; difficulty in making productive use of those perspectives

        Reply

        • Brian Stankich Says:

          You hit a home run with that. I use my cross-cultural synapses all the time. I also feel disrespected, honestly, when my skills in this regard are overlooked. But that’s on me I guess. But that’s part of the issue, that missionary types don’t go around tooting their horn about their skills. Ha, you just hit a tender part of me, Dave.

          Reply

  3. bonniemaeevans Says:

    Beautifully written analogy. I have never been a missionary in another country but at this point in my life with kids leaving home, aging parents needing care and concerns regarding my husband’s health I can relate. What a wonderfully exciting way to look forward to each day leading us closer to Heaven! Thank you and God bless in all you do in Jesus’ name.

    Reply

    • Brian Stankich Says:

      Bonnie Mae, thanks for your encouragement. I’m grateful that you share the perspective that each day brings us closer to wholeness, health and complete love with the Lord. Continue to be encouraged as He transforms you into the image of Jesus Christ.

      Brian

      Reply

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