Commissioning: I'll hold your hand

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The golden October sunlight was shining through the high church windows into the choir of the church. Jelle and I were kneeling down to receive a blessing after the promises we had made. Our four children standing behind us, at our feet, looking down on their kneeling parents. (a bit embarrassed maybe to be in the spotlights) holding each others hands.

I felt the touch of the pastors hand on top of my head, while he said:”” It is finished”” and this verse from Is. 43 :13
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you: Do not fear: I will help you.
The congregation, including some friends and family said: Yes, to the questions if they are going to stand behind us.
How is it possible to describe a moment like this? A glimpse of a deeper reality what is hard to catch with words. A tiny few minutes in a few crazy full weeks. And still, a highlight in this time as a foundation for all what we do, did, and are going to do.
How can I describe how much I needed this blessing?
How can I describe how blessed I felt through the receiving of the blessing and the gift of the commissioning?
It was the next day, that I had to get my head around the final packing, back into the routine of leaving, organizing the move that I came around my blue chair, needed to be put away.
My blue chair had a place in our bedroom, close to the door which leaded to the backyard. I savoured being there one last time. As a moment of goodbye.
The place what I have loved,
The place where I spent many, many quiet moments on all different times of the day or night.
I sat and remembered the scene of the day before and I just wanted to rewind it. The whole scene of our family there receiving the blessing.
And than this promise on top of it: Jes. 41: 13 I opened my Bible again and was surprised:
In the margin was written by my own handwriting Jes. 41:13: August, 2014
I pondered back and was glad to find my journal, (not yet packed) but I also remembered: These were the weeks that we -with trembling and fear- not knowing what it would mean-but also with a sturdy hope, decided to move to Osijek. These were the weeks that we cut the button, so to say, and it was this Bible verse what had been encouraging me.
And now, more than a year later, God put his stamp on it. And confirmed: I’ll hold your hand.
I cannot tell how many fears I fear from time to time, behind my smile is another me. The fearful one. But God knows that and He confirmed what I needed in a powerful way. The only thing that I can say is: Thank You, Lord, You are so much bigger than I can imagine.
He knows how needy I am, and was at that moment of bending down on that bench, where Jelle and I had been before on our weddings day, a bit over fourteen years ago, and now standing there with our four children.
Today was Sunday again. We went to the local church here and couldn’t understand a word, not even the Bible reading. But the signs were the same: Bread and Wine were shared as a never stopping promise that our God is our Redeemer, willing to hold our hand.
Tomorrow is our first week. School starts, our work starts and we are prepared.
But my, how happy I am that this is the foundation of our little school and all our work among Roma, in our team and in whatever we’re doing:
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you: Do not fear: I will help you.
Now finally, I want to ask you something. I bought a little notebook a couple of weeks ago so that -who wanted- could write something in it.
A word, a blessing, a song, a hug or whatever is in your heart when you have us in mind. It is impossible to send my little notebook all over the world, so please use this weblog (or sent an e-mail) and reply and I promise: I’ll cut and copy and read and re- read on those dark, scary days, filled with discouragement, exhaustion, disappointment and tiredness. Knowing that that will come.
It is for these days, that I can sit back in -maybe yet another blue chair- and think of all of you who are surrounding us, with love and prayers and commitment.
Please would you write in my little notebook?
Thank you very much!
Let’s stay in touch and see what will be around the corner of this week!