{Segue} Building my R.A.F.T.

Simple raft (Mykola Swarnyk) / CC BY 3.0

Nearly four years ago as I was preparing to come to Taiwan, I attended Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) and learned, among many things, about the importance of building my RAFT.

RAFT is a nice little acronym that’s meant to help us remember the foundational elements of a healthy transition:

Think Ahead.

It’s a term that’s tossed around the Morrison community a lot, probably because we’ve all been through PFO and because we say goodbye so often. When someone is leaving Taiwan to head home to Canada or the U.S. or to travel on to new exciting places, you hear a question like, “How’s that RAFT-building going?” Over time, I’d forgotten the specific components of the acronym, but the meaning remained quite clear to me: RAFT = healthy transition. (Side note: thus I was surprised to type “build your raft” into Google and find a list of websites about actual raft-building–who knew?!).

At the beginning of this year, I knew that leaving Taiwan to get married and move to South Carolina was going to require some major RAFT-building (more like an ark?). Then God prompted Charles and me to stay in Taiwan which meant moving to a different city to work at another Morrison campus. While I’m thankful that the transition to Taichung, Taiwan will be a little less dramatic than it would have been to move to Beaufort, SC, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be a plethora of changes in the next year. Let’s count a few, shall we?

  1. Getting married.
  2. Changing campuses.
  3. Changing cities.
  4. Getting married.
  5. Leaving the dear MAK community and some exceptional friends.
  6. Specifically, leaving my sisters.
  7. Moving back into teaching high school English after teaching elementary & middle school courses for the past four years.
  8. Getting married. (Are you sensing a theme with this one?)

It’s a delicate balance between saying “farewell” (the “F” in RAFT) and embracing life to the fullest now. I have just a little over three months left here before heading back home for a wonderful whirlwind of a summer. That’s three months of experiences waiting for me, and I don’t want to miss them. Part of the difficulty of a transition like this is being in “the now” and in “the next” all at once. I’m trusting God’s guidance to help me navigate this bend in the river without capsizing.

A wise friend recently gave me a verse that I saw with new eyes in light of my current situation: “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer” (Romans 12:12). I love the fusion of those three commands. Rejoice in hope–take joy in what is to come and what is certain. Be patient in affliction–perhaps this is the trial that you or I am facing right now, and we are called to persevere through it. Be persistent in prayer–cover it all with prayer because that is where our strength lies.

God has a lot of names in Scripture, and while “The Great RAFT Builder” is not one of them, I’m confident that if I’m going to build a strong RAFT, I have to lean on the Lord for it all. As I work to have a healthy transition into what’s next, I am clinging to the words of Romans 12:12 and to the promise of God’s presence, comfort, and direction in my life.

Segue Series

I’m an external processor, and as I explained in a previous post entitled “Why I Blog,” one of the reasons for this blog is simply for me to examine and sift through the things on my mind and heart. For that reason, I’ve decided to create a series entitled “Segue” that will begin retroactively with a post I wrote about a month ago and will serve as an outlet for me to process the transition I’m experiencing now and in the coming months. In effect, this series will help me to build my RAFT.

Segue means “to move without interruption from one song, melody, or scene to another,” or it is “a smooth transition from one topic or section to the next.” I love that, don’t you? There are so many words that mean transition, but this one specifically captures the idea of the kind of change I want to experience. I want a smooth transition, an unruffled move, a tranquil segue from this scene of my life to the next.

So, if you see a post with {Segue} in the title, know that this is part of the process for me. You might be more interested in my other writing, like posts about my Chinese New Year break or about god parades in Taiwan (both coming soon!), but I hope you’ll indulge me as I seek to share this stage of my life with you as well.

*Click to read other posts in my {Segue} series.

One thought on “{Segue} Building my R.A.F.T.

  1. Those are a lot of transitions in one summer! (By the way, how many times are you actually getting married? ;-) Did you know that we’re going to be in New York for a family wedding in early July? Have you guys set a date yet?

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