Most of you have heard, one way or another, that we have decided to make our temporary stay in Texas a permanent stay. This was not and is not an easy decision. Well, I say that, but you know what? When Wednesday came, and Donny texted me that he "got an offer" we both knew what we were to do. Sign the offer. Return the offer. Leave home. Move to Texas.
How did we know? This summer, well, this entire past semester, has been filled with questions, tears, fears, excitement, changes...all preceded, followed, and wrapped in prayer. I don't mean the kind of prayers you pray before dinner casually asking God to "bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies..." or haphazardly said when a person in need crosses your mind, "God, bless so-and-so..." I am talking about prayers that bring you to your knees, if you are not already there, and sometimes flat on your face. Prayers that lift up the name of Jesus, prayers that surrender everything-husband, children, jobs, friends, church, comfort, identities...when I say everything...I mean EVERYTHING, knowing/trusting that God knows the future and knows what is best for our family and where He can most use us. Prayers that were filled with more tears than with words. Prayers that were short, long, said while driving, whispered while making dinners, with Donny and I together, all by myself, out loud, sung while getting dressed, thought while playing Uno or Marco Polo in the pool.
Why am I telling you all this?? Because I am changed, I should probably say changing. I have seen the power of prayer at work many times before in my life and in the lives of those around me. I know Jesus answers prayers and I know that they are not always the answer we long for or in the time that we beg for. This was another of those times...
This summer was the first "crisis" (yes, that is really how it seemed) our family has experienced where it was just us and God. There were no friends here to bring us dinner. No family to watch our kiddos. No one. Nothing. Just us and Jesus. I think that is exactly where Jesus wanted me for the summer. So far away from my "comforts of home" that I had nowhere to turn but to Him. Yep, that is what we are supposed to do always, automatically, I get it. I, however, often turn to "my girls" and THEN to Jesus to see what His will is. Not this time. Sure, I called friends and family, but for the most part, it has been Jesus and Jamie. I have crawled so far under His wing this summer that I feel His protection, His peace, His heart. That is why, when Donny said, "I got an offer," I knew we were to be in Texas. Sometime I will share ALL of the other ways God has shown His hand in this situation so that we knew, without a shadow, a trace, or a smidgen of doubt, that we were to move to The Lone Star state. (Interesting name, don't you think? That's how I've felt this summer...)
Does having absolute peace make it easy? It made making the decision easy. There was really no decision to make. It had been made long before we even knew. Now, saying that, this is emotionally, one of the most taxing times in my life. Our family has been broken and has lived alongside friends in their times of brokenness so many times in the past 3 years. You wouldn't believe it if I listed it all out. These friends of ours are more than friends. They know us inside and out. We planned for our children to grow up together. These were friends who love us for the messes that we are. Friends who we would give or give up most anything for. To leave those kinds of relationships and come to a place where we know no one, well, it's miserable, scary, painful, sad, indescribable... It hits hard in the gut like a physical pain.
Growth is not always easy. Change, for me, has always been significantly difficult. So, putting those two things together, all in one summer, well, what else could I have done but pray, surrender, and trust? I am daily, sometimes many times a day, praying,
"Lord you know _________ (insert the name of one of the four of us). You know his/her future. You know how this move will shape that future. You hold him/her in your hand. He/She is yours."
To end this long monologue, if you are still reading, =) I will share a section from the Bible study I am currently doing. (The fact that God led friends to mail me this study at this time of life is NO coincidence. Jesus planned it long ago. I'm so thankful they listened!)
"What He can do with a willing life surrendered at His feet is more than we can comprehend. I just know I don't want to miss it for whatever I'm clutching in my hands."