Many of you know we have been in transition over the last few months. This summer an unexpected opportunity to move back closer to family opened up. Truth be told, we weren’t looking for an opportunity to move or change jobs. We were content in Orange County. Ely had an incredible support system in every way, from school to church to his treatment site. Danny had been working hard over the last few years to build a strong program at Concordia and had an incredible coaching staff and team coming in to the new school year. I was searching my heart for where God was calling me, and I suppose that side of me still felt quite open ended leading up to this new adventure. But, all in all, we were settled. Invested. Building a life there and then this door opens… not a quiet, discreet door where we’d have to be searching for it otherwise we’d miss it, but one of those loud creaking doors that wake you in the middle of the night when they are opened. There before us was a door wide open for us to take a step through. Into what, exactly? Idaho, at first glance, but we weren’t really sure what that would look like. And this, my friends, is the faith walk we’ve been on over these past months.
The decision to move away from stability to a new unknown, albeit to a place we had once called home, was equivalent to moving from a boat that we knew was held together by strong, healthy boards and could survive a storm to a boat that looked old, worn, and leaky and trusting that boat could hold up under what was ahead. California was stability, Idaho was a leaky, old boat. I can’t tell you how many times Danny and I looked at each other like we were crazy to even consider such a plan. But something continued to draw us forward… perhaps it was the loudness of that creaky door opening. We couldn’t help but take notice.
We often walked in the evenings after Danny would get home from work. The late summer evenings are beautiful in Southern California. We were out walking, discussing again whether we take the adventure on a leaky, old boat or perhaps call that insane and stay put in certain stability. Something kept drawing me to that old boat telling me there was more to it than my little eyes, my perception, were seeing. On our walk, I was having a silent conversation with God that went about like this:
Me: “God, I know this whole thing is another way to strengthen my faith. I know that you will use us wherever we are, but I feel like I need to work so hard to figure out exactly what that perfect plan is. My heart tells me to trust that you will reveal it to me when you are ready and give me peace about it but my mind tells me to try harder to find where you are revealing such a plan so I don’t miss it. This is crazy. I feel crazy! Do you realize what has to come together in order to move back to family? It’s impossible… okay, maybe not impossible, but highly improbable. And yet, I desire it and feel SO CRAZY for entertaining this idea! But you are calling us there, aren’t you? Why can’t I let it go if you aren’t? Is this your will God? This is really hard to figure out and understand. I need you to tell me what to do!”
And when I finally finished with my monologue, God spoke to me through one of my love languages… Disney movies. Specifically Finding Nemo. Clear as day, the scene where Marlin and Dory are inside the whale and Marlin is hanging off the whale’s tongue for dear life pops into my mind. All I hear is Dory’s voice saying, “IT’S TIME TO LET GO!”
My head tilted back and laughter came rolling out of my throat which got a “weirdo” glance in my direction from my husband. A sense of relief flooded through me, like I just needed permission to stop trying to figure it all out. My job was to let go. To step out onto that leaky, old boat and know that I didn’t have to bring all the safety gear on board along with a step by step evacuation plan if all goes awry. And it was in that shift, I no longer saw a leaky, old boat. I saw stability. Not in programs or people, but in my Abba Father. His stability would go with us whether we stayed or made the jump to Idaho. I felt permission in that moment to see with new eyes. I had been blinded by worry and anxiety of details that needed to come together and ran into all the what-ifs. The leaky, old boat – if you will. I was terrified of sinking and the impact it would have on my little family. But what if, in the sinking, we find that we can actually breathe under water? What if my perspective of the leaky, old boat is all wrong and prevents me from an adventure to actually see the Kingdom of Heaven at work here and now? Knowing that all the “problems” I could imagine happening could never threaten my good, faithful, steadfast and victorious God suddenly cleared my blind eyes to see anew. What could I possibly fear when I put my eyes on Him? And how could I not run full throttle onto that leaky, old boat for an adventure by His side?
Herein is where I find myself- on this new adventure. I have watched God faithfully go before us. And daily I have to remind myself that I haven’t passed him by; no in fact, he still goes before. He hasn’t left me on that leaky, old boat to fend for myself and my family. And every day is an opportunity to let go of what I think I know and allow him to open my eyes to what He is doing. It’s a giant perspective shift and an acceptance that what I see before me isn’t the whole story and in fact, truth laid out in front of me might be quite different than my initial observation.
For all of us, each day is a day to let go. Perhaps in the process of letting go, all the worries and grievances that were clouding our vision with monstrous fear can clear out so we can see.
And I mean really see. And in turn – really live unabashed in adventurous Love.
Thanks for listening,