Messianic believers in the land also have inspiring and even miraculous stories to tell about moving here. Hence we are delighted to present a new feature in Kehila News, “Why I Chose to Make Israel My Home.”
Israel: Home Sweet Home!
It is exhilarating to look back at the journey of how far one has traveled, especially when it has been one that was long, arduous and full of yearning, starting as far back as 2003.
Growing up in the USA, I loved my family, friends and the four seasons of the northeast. Yet, since I can remember, there was always a deep stirring in my heart that there must be so much more to see and experience in this world. That was confirmed each time I read a National Geographic. So I determined that as soon as I could gain enough money and independence, I would travel God’s beautiful planet. As a girl who avidly read her Bible, I knew that Jerusalem was ground zero and all roads led there. Eventually, I would go to this city from where my faith originated.
After many travels and completion of my university studies, my heart’s desire was to travel to Jerusalem. So in 2003, I traveled, along with a dear family friend, to Israel for the fall Feast season. From the moment we left the airport and arrived in Jerusalem, a startling and wonderful revelation occurred…with tears of joy, I exclaimed, “I am home! I will live here the rest of my life!” Those around me were surely startled. Perhaps they thought I was overwhelmed by emotions, but I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I had come to the place where I would live for the rest of my life. It was a certainty and great peace from God.
Immediately after that, I met the man, unbeknownst to me, who would become my husband three years later. During those three years, I traveled back and forth to Israel every year to volunteer and participate in the Feasts. The Lord continued to confirm to me that I would live in this land, one day, “for the rest of my life.” Every time I returned to the USA, I began to feel less connected to the reality there, as my heart grew more connected to the land and people of Israel.
Although I continued to give 100% to all that I did, I started to see the doors closing on my once thriving life in USA. My “spiritual” grandmother with whom I lived died, my pastor resigned from the congregation, my closest friends moved away, etc. There just seemed to be a distancing of all I held near and dear – until it came down to just God and me and the question of Israel. Many tears were shed in prayer, as I thought about leaving my family and the land of my birth as I pondered the great uncertainty that was in front of me. Yet, a greater love and hope filled my heart – the love of God for His land and people I knew I would regret it forever if I did not courageously obey the Lord to return to Israel to live for the rest of my life.
An invitation came to return to the land, and when I spoke to my dad about it, he said he knew that was where my heart was calling me and that if I would return to Jerusalem, I would be in the center of God’s plan, the safest place to be.
Meanwhile the 2006 war with Lebanon broke out, and I received phone calls of concern about my impending trip to Israel. Yet, God assured me that my earthly father’s support reflected His desire for my life. Also others from my faith community also felt that Israel was calling, and I must respond. As I began to give away my belongings, complete a book of poetry, and spend time with family and friends, I experienced a sense of urgency and closure that I must return immediately. So I moved to Israel during the 2006 war with Lebanon. It was at this time that I married.
These last 14 years have been the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. We have weathered many personal, physical, political and spiritual storms. We have trudged through much bureaucracy, delays, frustrations, culture shock and everything experienced by most when moving to a foreign land. Of course, God is always in the business of testing us until we are refined and come forth as gold.
I am forever grateful that God opened my eyes to the great and marvelous things He is doing in Israel and all over the world today. Every day, I am a witness of the restoration which was prophesied thousands of years ago by our forefathers and prophets. Despite the challenges, it has truly been my highest joy to live in Jerusalem in these momentous and miraculous days, knowing that everything God has written will come to pass and I will see it with my very own eyes!
We stand on His Holy Mountain and proclaim day and night, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Come King Yeshua, come quickly!” We have a sign in front of our house which says: Home Sweet Home