And so it begins…
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him
As I consider the journey of how I got from there (living in a worldly culture with a worldly attitude) to here (trusting in the promises and the faithfulness of God so much that I am willing to leave what I thought I wanted, what I knew as comfort to experience the grand adventure of His promises).
I remember thousands of tiny details that remind me of the faithfulness of God. I also remind myself of all the reasons why I must depend on Him. I remember after our ninth move in eleven years that I prayed, “Lord, if you want us to be like Abram and Sarai then we will be like Abram and Sarai.” Not totally sure Scott agreed, but my heart submitted.
I sit in the place of our tenth move that landed us in the home we are now purchasing as an inheritance for our children. Faithful.
I remember the last day at a church that had embraced us, loved us and helped carry us through both triumph and tragedy. They celebrated with us when my husband and children received salvation. They also mourned with us when we committed my son’s body to the ground and his sent his soul and spirit homeward to heaven for safe keeping until…”We all get to heaven…” They built us up in the faith and afforded us places to serve. I became employed there administratively and found my passion for God’s Word as a lay leader in women’s ministry. They are still our family in so many ways. The day we left I remember remarking, “don’t think of us as leaving. Rather, think of us as your grown children going off to college. We’ll be back to visit.” And we have. Faithful.
I remember packing up all our possessions for the second time in a year and the essentials into an apartment sized home just down the street, and moving the other 1,200 square feet of stuff into storage. I remember praying about selling our second vehicle and telling my husband I felt sure we would get $2,000 if we did. We took it to CARMAX no less, and offered it to one of the “buyers” there. After checking the title and observing the date, he said, “I’l have my appraiser look it over. We probably will only give you what we think we can get for it at auction.”
I could hear Scott swallow the lump in his throat as a vision of a check for $250 danced through his head. He felt panicky – and if I am honest, so did I. I didn’t let on about it. I just smiled and held his arm. “Let’s get a Coke from the vending machine and wait for the offer. If it is not what we need then we’ll leave.”
I remember the moment we sat our behinds on the soft vinyl seating of the standard issue business waiting room chairs that pressed against the windows a mere three feet from the front of the desk of this “buyer.” He said, “Well, after looking it over we noticed… blah…blah…blah… all of which is pretty reasonable for a vehicle this age. So, we are willing to offer you…”
Can I get a drumroll please? He turned the screen so we could see it. It read, “$2,000.“
I heard Scott exhale the large gulp of air he had been holding and smiled on the inside. We both nodded when he asked if we would accept the offer and I looked at my husband who seemed as if the weight of the world had just come off his shoulders. I smiled gently at him and said, “I knew it.”
He said, “How did you know it would be $2,000?”
I said, “I did some research online and had a general idea of what our car was worth. Then I asked God what should we sell it for. He said, $2000.”
My sweet husband smiled in his cock-eyed way and said, “If you hear anything else from the Lord will you let me know?”
We would make one more move before the end of 2007 as I sat behind a laptop we had been given by a friend and spent the fall days writing my heart out on a fledgling blog. What started as a meager attempt to tell the story of my son turned into this “grand tapestry” you are reading today about my life and journey from there to here with God.
All I heard when I would ask God what I was supposed to do when the light bill came due and there did not seem enough money to pay it… “Write the vision and make it plain…” (Habakkuk 2:2)
So I did. I wrote my story and read other blogs. I found community there. I joined a Readers & Writers group at the church and eventually found my way into a women’s Bible study on Thursday mornings. His Life began to come over me again while other things in life seemingly fell apart. Still… Through it all, healing came. Forgiveness came. Truth came. And ultimately hope prevailed and my heart began to find wholeness alongside my family. Faithful.
In July 2008 I remember lying in bed on an early July morning recounting the debt we owed still unpaid in my year without a job. I began to pray, “Lord, I need a job that pays $XX,XXX and I’m going to go out and find it.”
I sat quietly to hear from Him as I had been learning to do in the Freedom classes at church. “You have not asked Me about that yet?”
“Okay, Lord, I’m asking?”
I honestly began to question whether I was hearing God or just did not want to go look for a job, but I decided that there was something to it and chose to wait. Over the next few months, the Lord would provide approximately half the sum I had asked for through emergency work my husband did on coast after Hurricane Ike and an unexpected bonus my ex-husband received through his employer that was applied to his child support arrearage. Faithful.
The year 2009 would be crazy and full all at the same time. In the summer we found ourselves on the frontier of transition once again. We moved twice in the month of June and once again before the end of that year. June also held the promise of employment for me. I applied and interviewed for the position I am now leaving at Gateway Church. I remember when Angie brought me into her office for the second interview. I remembered I had done this before. Two interviews at Gateway just two years before. I remembered that I had gotten a letter just a week before we would make the final transition away from what had been life and security for us for seven years. That letter said, “You are not the right person for this position.”
I felt the peace of God flood my soul and closed by saying, “If you don’t believe this is the job for me, don’t hire me. I don’t want it if it is not mine.”
I walked away confident that the Lord’s will would prevail. A few days later a call for another interview. Third interviews in these parts are typically job offers. I did not know it at the time but that is what happened. Angie offered me the job.
I knew I would take it but she admonished me to call Human Resources and look at the salary and benefits package before accepting. I did. I would have done it for free. I knew something good happened in those days and God was all over it. The offer was about $2,000 less than the $XX,XXX amount I had told God I needed a year earlier, but it would be the best money I had ever made at a job. I filled out the paperwork, clarified some information with Angie and started nearly one year to the day that I had told God I needed to find a job. And the salary in the official offer… I would realize later… was not only $5,000 more than the original offer but exactly the amount I had told God I needed plus a tithe. Faithful.
The peace I carry in my heart even with all the unknown qualities of this move from employed to self-employed leaves me a bit giddy. I know I am in the center of His will and following His heart for me. It is all I can do now. Confirmation and peace on every side “…I press on toward the goal for which Christ has called me heavenward.” (Php 3:14)
My heart is full, and my cup runneth over.