Saturday, September 17, 2016

Next Update France!

Drum roll please!  We would like to announce that our next update will be, wait for it, in France.  Yes, we went down to the embassy yesterday.  Our purpose was to pull out our passports and give-up on this application, and reapply for our visas elsewhere.  We arrived at the time allotted for picking up passports, and the men working the gate said, “The visa section is closed today.”

ARRRGGGG! My internal dialogue said, “Why didn’t you put that on the website.  This is the advertised time to pick up passports.”  I just wanted to cut my losses and get my passport.

The guys working the front gate (they are amazing people) were truly sympathetic to our plight. They recognized us from our previous four visits and they called up to the visa section to see if we could pull our passports. 

Several minutes later we were sitting in the Visa Section waiting area. As we entered the office the man at the front desk said to me, “Five minutes,” holding up his hand to numerically emphasize his request for more time.  I smiled nodded and took a seat.  As we waited, and watched French gameshows, I saw stamps, stickers, and passports and they were all in the same location.  I look over to Jen and whispered, “I think we are getting our visas!”  She expressed her incredulity.  But 5 minutes later we walked out of the consulate with 4 visas and permission to go to France. 

To God be the glory!

To punctuate the beauty of this miracle the Lawrence family received their visas in the mail not 3 hours earlier.  We were scheduled to meet at a restaurant and commiserate, instead we celebrated (I ordered a croquet monsieur). God demonstrating once again that He is in control of all things.

Here is a mistake I can make in this moment.  I could say, “Oh, I must have learned my lesson now God is letting me go.”  That cannot be the case, God is not a schoolmarm withholding recess until you learn your maths. 

There are many people who made it to the same point we did and God said, “Thank you for seeking me but you will not be going.”  If God chose not to send us, then He prepared us in this moment for the step.  It does not mean that we heard wrongly from God.  Just that He is the one who sets our steps.  He was honored by our plan (Proverb 16:9). 

Here is what we can say about seasons of waiting like this.  They are good because we get more of God.  This season of waiting was the better plan God had for us.  Now we get to step forward having seen God move in His unique and patient way. 

In short, we were blessed with an opportunity to experience the command of Psalm 46:10.  We got to be still and know that He is God.  We got to see Him exalted among the nations and the earth.  We got to see God’s goodness when it felt like our plans were falling apart.  And as Psalm 46 shows us, things can really fall apart.  (Read Psalm 46 slowly sometime and you will see verse 10 is not a stop and smell the roses command but a command to the trembling.)

So thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for seeking God on our behalf.  Please do not stop.  My hope is that our journey will stir your affection for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Our next update will be in France!  Now I have to put kids to bed and repack all of our suitcases. 


  1. That's awesome! It would be awesome if I could visit you all in France, but if not then Africa :D

  2. To God be the glory! All things in His time! Yay! So happy you got the desires of your hearts. Love you all and will miss you terribly! May you go and bless the hearts of those you come in contact with!