The other day, my new passport arrived in the mail.
Upon opening the envelope, the first thing I noticed was the absence of my previous passport. I grew immediately irritated as I reflected on the places that passport had taken me – Nicaragua, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, and Rwanda. I found myself wanting to cling to my old passport again, as if my memories associated with these trips were somehow contained within the pages of it.
But then I picked up my new passport and opened it.
I flipped through it's blank pages and as I did, I felt something stir from deep within me.
It's been so long since I've truly felt hopeful in relation to my own life that at first, I didn't even recognize this emotion for what it was.
But as I continued flipping through the blank pages of my new passport that changed.
I began to wonder where this new passport would take me.
I know it will bring me back to Rwanda – I'll lead a missions team there this summer.
Perhaps we'll also return to England. My husband's company just opened a London office so a trip there seems entirely within the realm of possibilities.
But what really made my heart stir was imagining the unknowns, the places that are not yet even on my radar that may become a part of my story during the ten years this passport is mine.
As I stood there, lost in my imagination, I felt something akin to a release.
For so long, my dreams for the future have been so tied to my desire to have a family that it's like I've put all other dreams and possibilities on hold.
And don't get me wrong – I still desperately want a family. But I also learned the hard way last year that sometimes, we can't control when or how our dreams come to fruition.
So as I stood holding my new passport, I felt hopeful.
Within the blank pages of my new passport lie endless possibilities.
Possibilities not just about where to go but about who and what. Who will travel connect me to in the next ten years? What will come from my travels? How will traveling broaden my understanding of God and the world around me? How will it impact not just my own life, but the lives of others?
Of course, I don't know the answers to any of these questions.
Instead, I'm learning to live into the hope of the future; To hold in tandem dreams that may first appear to be mutually exclusive; And to ask, “OK God. What next?” and then bravely walk through whatever door opens.