Citizenship in Heaven… by Susie
This summer will mark the 14th anniversary of the day I crossed the Canada/US border at the Peace Arch and began a new chapter of my life here in the United States. I was following the love of my life into his land, ready to embrace his friends, his family, his country. It was harder than you might think. While our modern lives are full of moving here and there, leaving family and friends and familiar places, there is something that shakes at the foundation of us when we leave our homeland. Thankfully, I was wildly in love with my husband of 2 weeks( still am 14 years later!)and so it was an adventure of a lifetime and I was ready to follow him anywhere (still will!)Still, it was hard to think about leaving my beloved Canada, and as I dealt with the sadness that came with thinking about my impending move I often thought about a phrase from a Celine Dion song (don’t laugh! I know you are laughing!!) in which she sings, “J’irai ou tu iras, mon pays sera toi ” which translates as ” I’ll go where you go, my country will be you.” A perfectly cute and cheesy response to my darling when he asked if I was ok with leaving the “True North, strong and free” MY COUNTRY WILL BE YOU! Pretty romantic huh?!Of course, the romantic gushy stuff will only sustain you for so long and so eventually I turned from Celine Dion and instead drew wisdom from God’s word 🙂 Several passages of scripture have given me strength and comfort when I’ve felt like a foreigner here even though its been my home now for 14 years. Of course, there is our heroin Ruth who chooses to follow her Mother in Law to a foreign land after her husband dies:16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17.
Those words say it all. But what really encourages my heart is the reminder that this is not our home, and that we have a place prepared for us in Heaven. And whether I’m Canadian, or American, both, or neither,I’m first and foremost a citizen of heaven!Philippians 3 : But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.Every July, with the 1st being Canada day and the 4th being Independence Day, our family usually has a jam packed few days full of fun in celebration of these great two countries. Last year I decided to take it up a notch. We did all sorts of fun Canada Day Activities like have our maple syrup on waffles for breakfast, color maps of Canada,pull out our magnet pages of mounties and moose! ( www.makelearrningfun.com)And, of course, no theme day is complete without another great ABC book:
The pinnacle of the day was that I FINALLY got all the paperwork together to file for documentation of their Canadian citizenship! July 4th we moved onto American books and activities. Hurray for the county fair, red/white/and blue cupcakes, parades and fireworks!!! In addition, we had a blast doing some of the activities described here – one of our favorite preschool/kindergarten blogs here at RaisingDeepRoots :And again, we pulled out a wonderful ABC book.
But more importantly, over the long weekend, I made a point of reminding my kids of the eternal home waiting for those who trust in Jesus and their true citizenship in Heaven. It didn’t hurt that daddy had been in Africa for the past two weeks, telling people of the Horn of Africa about the endless love of a creator God who was willing to die for them so that they too might have citizenship in heaven. We took time to think about heaven and we read, from several of their favorite children’s Bibles, the revelation accounts of John. Both the Big Picture Bible by David Helm and Sally-Lloyd Jones in her “The Jesus Storybook Bible” have fabulous stories and pictures to help you and your children think about heaven. It was truly wonderful to spend time contemplating heaven with my precious boys.
This July, perhaps this mama will finally consider looking into getting her American citizenship?Eeeek! I don’t’ know about that!! Thoughts dear ones?Many of you have up and left your “homeland” to move this wonderful country and many of you have been so irresistible that you’ve enticed others to leave their homeland to come here to be with you! LOL! Many of you, dear friends, have answered God’s call on your lives and are serving him in many places around the world and are raising your children as citizens of a country that is not your own homeland. Regardless of your citizenship or the citizenship(s) of your children, I hope you’ve been encouraged to have some fun teaching your children about where you’ve come from, to participate in the national celebrations of where you now live, and ultimately, as followers of Jesus Christ, to treasure your citizenship in Heaven.Every tribe, every tongue, every nation…..Susie
Tell us…we’d love to hear where you are from, where you are now, and how you celebrate the country you live in!