A Crazy Journey of Faith {Why I am Going to Tunisia}

airplane wing journey faith Laurie WallinI’m getting on a plane tomorrow to visit a friend in Tunisia. As in, Tunisia on the north edge of Africa, about a zillion miles from my home, husband and four kids.

She’s been there learning Arabic, loving people, helping new churches grow, ministering to women. Last year after my surgery, she spent hours sitting with me as I lay healing on the couch. It’s my turn to be with her—in the place she’s made her own, her people, her life.

All this while my family is a zillion miles away.

{image: vectortemplates.com}

{image: vectortemplates.com}

My family with the two middle schoolers who have disabilities, a first grader who’s still night-time potty training, and another so sweet and sensitive I’m worried she’ll take the weight of the whole family on her thin shoulders while I’m away.

When my friend asked me to come visit my own answer shocked me: Yes. Just… yes.

I didn’t really know why it needed to happen. It just did.

Every single detail since has lined up in miraculous ways. Like the $435 enrollment cost for the younger girls’ childcare while I’m away being matched by a surprise refund check from my health insurance company… for $435.01.

I don’t have a clue how my family is going to do this while I’m gone. There’s a reason I speak and coach part time… we have kids who require one parent mostly at home (that’s me). But something in my soul knows it’s time to go and see what God’s up to elsewhere in his world and in the heart of one who’s spent years loving his people in a country not her own.

I must trust my family can do this, even if our average days often feel like more than anyone can handle. And that I can do this, even though while I’m gone that means I can’t do …anything. 

It’s unsettling, this letting go. This stretching of the heart across continents. When I’m there, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime series of precious memories with a dear friend. But today? It’s forcing me to look long and hard in the face of four words:

Where is your faith? —Jesus, in Luke 8:25

Where is my faith? Is it in my ability to care for my family? In being present every moment of everyone’s life? In managing their schedules and routines and therapies and doctor visits?

Or is my faith in the One who feeds thousands from a few loaves and fishes?

My answer is this, a prayer:

Lord, I need you to calm the storm in this woman’s heart as I get on that plane. I need you to band together my ragtag group of loved ones at home and help them be a team like you helped your disciples when they walked with you. Where is my faith? It is in You, Lord of heaven and earth. Lord of the land I leave to fly across heaven to see what you’re doing to bring heaven to people who need you.

It’s a prayer I’ll say even as I embrace the joy of traveling with my friend. A prayer I pray for you—and all of us—in the stretching situations we face here, there and everywhere in this wild life.

Looking forward to sharing about the trip when I return… or, maybe even a little along the way!