When A Visa Update Has Nothing To Do With My Visa

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One of the greatest blessings God has provided during my Visa application process is Christian friends who pray for me, and show a genuine interest in how things are going.

Some days though that blessing becomes a source of frustration

Let me make clear my frustration isn’t with the people who ask about the process [1], instead it comes from an inability to share any updated information.

Understandably because I am in a foreign Country, and there are large numbers of Visa applications (along with the fact that mine includes eight years of paperwork) updates don’t come as often I may want them. However not being able to share updates with friends can become annoying.

Most days I’m able to control that growing frustration over not having a good answer. But last Sunday was harder than usual for some reason, and this resulted in an explosion of frustration on the way home from Church. Of course things like that can’t be allowed to continue so I spent some time Monday in serious prayer and fasting asking the Lord to help me with this frustration.

By the end of Monday the Lord had given me two ways to respond:

  1. Spend five to six hours at home focusing on updated communication, Bible Study, teaching of Scripture, writing, and organization or paperwork [3].
  2. Communicate about my return more (especially on Social Media)

The first didn’t really surprise me since it’s in faith preparing for the ministry I will involve myself with in Australia. It’s the second part that got me.

You see communicating more about my return would mean sending updates that aren’t directly related to my application process (the paperwork or communication). So that communication would actually ADD TO THE FRUSTRATION, and on bad days feel like I was stabbing myself in the chest.

Which of course leads to a very important question

Why does God want me to do something like that?

I mean seriously, what’s the problem with only sharing an update when something awesome happens, or Immigration contacts me?

The problem is I have a tremendous desire to show everyone I have it all together (everything is under control). And moments like not having a recent update makes clear I most definitely don’t have it all together.

This of course leads to the hiding of that particular part of my life until something awesome happens. At which point it’s shared every way imaginable (including carrier pigeon) to give the idea that I “have it all together.”

There’s just one problem with that…
I don’t

No matter how hard I try there’s nothing John Wilburn can do (other than sending documents which I’ve already done) to make the process go faster.

Bottom line…I need help

Now I could sit here and desperately try to cover up the fact that I need help but guess what? You already know I need it, in fact we all need it! The only thing that covering the fact that I don’t have it all together accomplishes is the building of frustration till I explode like an emotional volcano.

And that’s why God wants me to share updates about the journey home even if there isn’t any updated news. Because it emphasizes the fact that I don’t have it all together, but that I serve a God who does.

To be honest some days it still feels like a knife in my chest admitting that I have no clear answers, but that doesn’t mean I will stop doing it. Because the initial pain of admitting weakness takes the responsibility off my shoulders.

Yes I don’t always have it together
But thanks be to God I don’t have to.


  1. they should be asking for updates that help them pray about the need  ↩
  2. thankfully this took place during the ride home from Church  ↩
  3. all things that prepare me for a return to Australia  ↩

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