When Jesus Invites You to the Beach


Come to the beach.

Let’s talk.

I’ve got a warm fire going for you and breakfast started for you…I know it’s been a long night.

I have words for you. I have more for you. You are not done. No, definitely not yet. You may feel like it is all over because you are unpacking your bags…with no knowledge of when you will pack them again. I know there are some nights that you wake up and soon find that tears roll down your face, and you aren’t sure why. But they come. I know you feel out of place, like a stranger with a familiar face.

You may be putting away your overstuffed passport, wondering, “Will another stamp ever grace those pages?” You may feel like you’ve lost your place in your community, but you’ve never lost your place in my heart.

Even if another stamp never graces those pages, I still want you to know my love. I still want you to know you have a calling, a purpose, a reason for being right where you are right now. I did not bring you here to drop you and leave you, but to escort you into a new season—a new season with new ways of being and new expressions of My life through you. It will not look like the one you’ve recently known, but it will carry forward the treasures of that season. Yes, you do have those treasures. Some came through great pain, I know. Some still bring a smile to your face. These treasures are for you, yes…but not just for you alone. They are meant to be shared, and in so doing, multiplied.

It will take time. I am in no rush though. I am here to ask, to listen, to speak, to correct, to clarify, to hold, and to heal. Lean into me during this time. Listen to me.

I have words for you.

Let’s talk.

Come to the beach.


If you have not already, read John 21.

After Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples were not sure what to do next. So they did all they knew to do, they went back “home.” And it was in this state of returning to their previous life, fishing, that Jesus meets them in a profound way. He comes to them as they are on the boat, tells them that they’ll catch fish if they’ll just throw their nets on the other side of the boat. And they do. They catch so many fish that the boat begins to sink. “It’s the Lord!”

They rush to the beach to enjoy breakfast with their Savior. Jesus speaks to them. He heals, He calls, He re-instates—even causing hurt as He does so. But then He sends them out into a new season, a season that would not have been possible had they not said yes to walking dusty roads with Him in the first place.

return picReturning Well: Your Guide to Thriving Back “Home” After Serving Cross-Culturally invites you to come, just like the disciples, and talk with Jesus. Providing you questions to engage with Him that follow the transition process. Returning Well leads you to hear from Him words of truth, understanding, wisdom, healing, and calling—words that will propel you into a new season full of life. By using Returning Well, you will discover how this recent season of cross-cultural service influenced you, how to re-integrate well, and what moving forward in faith means for you.

Will you come?

Find out more at www.ReturningWell.com.


What challenges and blessings have surprised you as you have returned?

How has Christ met you in the midst of transition?


  1. Beth Everett May 15, 2016

    Thank you for this post, Melissa. I was going to copy and paste some words that especially spoke to me but realized I would have to copy and paste the entire post! This post is for me – thank you!

    Funny enough, I was recently eating breakfast at the beach (pictured here) and once again reflecting on this season of re-entry (it’s already been 11 months). So thankful for HIS invitation to come.

    And I have a copy of your Returning Well book!  Again – thank you!

    1. Melissa May 15, 2016

      Beth, that picture is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing, and I am so blessed to hear that He is using these words in your life. I am asking Him to continue to give you sweet times with Him as you continue to reflect on your return.

    2. Elizabeth May 15, 2016

      I love it when you share photos, Beth. <3

  2. Joanna @ MumsKidsJesus.com May 16, 2016

    Hi Melissa…thank you so much for your post. I’ve just taken a look at ‘Returning Well’. It looks like an amazing resource. We are just about to return to UK after 7 years in Turkey, and don’t have anyone to debrief us on our return. So your book gives me hope and great excitement that there is another way to debrief. I love that it will involve using a companion to walk alongside me in my re-entry. I will definitely be buying this!

    1. Melissa May 16, 2016

      Thanks for sharing Joanna!  And yes, there is great hope!  I am asking Him to bring along just the right Companion for your journey, and that your journey through Returning Well would truly be renewing for you!

  3. Elizabeth May 16, 2016

    P.S. Melissa, John chapter 21 is one of my favorites! Thanks for writing this 🙂

    1. Melissa May 16, 2016

      How sweet!  Such a beautiful chapter of calling and restoration….love it! 🙂

  4. Catherine May 16, 2016

    My goodness, this was a timely post. Two years after returning to my passport country, I’m still wrestling with questions of purpose and meaning. Looking forward to reading the book!

    1. Melissa May 16, 2016

      I am lifting you up right now, Catherine, asking Him to lead you through Returning Well in such a way as to bring clarity to the places where you currently have questions!

  5. Janis McArthur May 22, 2016

    Melissa,  thank you so much for your post!!  This is so timely.  It has been almost three years since I came back from Laos.  Before Laos I was in China for two years.  The transition from China to Laos was a difficult and painful journey.  There were many days when I would cry out to God asking why did you send me here?  On my return to the U.S. I felt very disoriented and had a hard time transitioning again.  But now after almost three years, I can honestly say that God has brought me through.  I am a new season now and still learning and growing and ready to see what He has for me next.  Some of the fruit I saw during this time was seeing my daughter get married and give birth to a beautiful boy.  I am a grandma and get to see  my precious grandson every week.  What a joy!!  I am hoping to go back to Laos soon to collect my belongings and say good bye.  Whether God calls me to go back overseas or not, I am open to whatever He has for me.

    1. Melissa May 23, 2016

      Thank you, Janis!  I am praising Him for bringing you into a new season!  And many congrats as well on being on grandma and passing on your legacy of faith. I pray that He continues to usher you into the next season of what He has for you and that you are able to have good goodbyes as you collect your things in Laos. Many blessings!

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