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0:00 When are you leaving for Paris?
0:21 Are you selling your house?
0:43 Where are you going to live?
1:03 Why are you going?
2:02 Why did you take a break from social media?
A lot has been on hold this past year. From movies to Olympic Games to book releases to other sporting events, things were pushed back. For us, plans, visions, and purposes got delayed. Now finally, things have opened up. The world is trying to get back to normal, at least a new normal, in a post-pandemic – and we are finally able to make this move to Paris.
How do I feel about it? Excited, though it seems surreal. Since mid-summer 2021, things have been moving so quickly we’ve barely had time to catch our breath. From visas, schools, moving out of our house, and getting things ready, there hasn’t been time to reflect.
I am excited. What we’ve waited for seems to finally be coming to pass. We had a great trip to Paris earlier this summer to enroll our kids in school. We visited our soon-to-be home. We connected with many in our Paris church community. It was affirming – just what was needed. Even more, we’ve been encouraged by folks awaiting us in France, believing in us and caring for us.
I’m grateful we still have this opportunity. Of course, there have been moments when I lie in bed, look up the ceiling, and think – “What are we doing?” I thought such times would be in Paris, not stuck in the United States. Yet through it all, I’ve been resolved and committed to this mission. It’s not just what we wanted to do; it’s what we feel called to do – and God has continually provided for us, so we could both keep holding out and move forward.
The past year has changed me. I don’t take things for granted now. I know the best laid plans can easily change. I thought I used to walk by faith. Little did I know.
Did I really believe God’s hand was in everything? Orchestrating it all? This past year, I never questioned that. Honestly. I have wondered: “God, what are you doing?”, “where are You taking us?”, “what are You teaching us through all this?” I wish I could say I had all those answers. Yet that’s what walking in faith is all about. It’s not by sight. But regardless of circumstances, situations, or destinations, He directs our steps. As CS Lewis said: “there are far, far better things ahead of us than any we will leave behind.” That’s true for anyone in Christ. The best is always yet to come.
Right now, I’m excited. I’m more at ease with the move. I have greater confidence that it is God who directs our steps and provides a way. I do trust Him more.
It’s really happening! For all those who were unsure if we would ever leave Mississippi, I am happy to say our internal convictions have become an outward reality.
Most people don’t see us as missionaries. Paris throws a loop. Picturesque buildings, arching Parisian bridges, elegant boulevards cement romanticism in our hearts and minds – along with plenty of iconic movies filmed in Paris. Yes, this quintessential art and fashion capital is the 2nd most visited city in the world. But for the unseen, gritty parts of Paris, for the places off-the-beaten path, for gospel communities that can seep and grow in the densest city in Europe, we feel up to the challenge.
Exhilarated and a little sad, I know I am leaving great community in Mississippi. As a non-Southern who came to the buckle of the Bible Belt with lots of naivete – and as a brand new converted Christian – I discovered soulful, honest, thoughtful champions beyond the everyday pretense of “Southern hospitality”. If you want to know why I put that in quotation marks, you need to come live down South.
I wouldn’t trade the challenges we encountered in being “stuck” this past year. From homeschool to life school to rebuffing critics to discovering antidotes to fear, stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.
As of today, we are operating on gratitude that nothing – yes nothing – is ever given in this short life we have on earth. Unmerited grace is the antidote to anxiety and entitlement. We get what we don’t deserve so we can handle all the curve balls life throws at us.
However COVID-19 has impacted you, I hope our story will be an encouragement. Expect us to share the highs and lows of this past year. Most of all, keep a connection with us: via social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), via our YouTube channel, or subscribing to our blog.
BECOME A PARIS PARTNER
In 2021, we have seen God graciously provide in the middle of a pandemic. Living through COVID-19 has taught us that seasons can change, timelines can change, but God’s mission does not.
After a year of waiting due to visa restrictions, we are finally moving to Paris in August 2021. We will finally be “The Tates In Paris” who are actually on their way to Paris & living in Paris. Read our vision for 2021 (3Ps for Paris) & think about becoming a Paris Partner today.
THANKS FOR READING!