To say that I am on a journey with God just doesn’t do justice to what is happening in my life, so I think I need to add the word “epic” in there. I have sat down at this computer numerous time to attempt to write a blog post about this epic-ness, and came up empty every time. Maybe this time I will find my words.
Two years ago, I turned 50, and asked something of God. My exact words, echoed by my husband, were “Lord, I want the second half to count. I want the second half of my life to be about Your Kingdom.” God would later stun me with these exact words.
A couple of years ago I looked up from my life to discover both of my kids had moved to Texas. My husband and I both entered into an emotional turmoil of sorts. We were sad, and missed them deeply, while at the same time being overjoyed at what God was doing in their lives. And while I would have packed up and headed south in a New York minute (not sure what that means…are minutes in NY shorter than in Illinois?), my husband was not keen on living “2 blocks from hell”, referring to the heat of Texas.
We listened as our children told us about their lives in Waco, and we both wept and marveled at what God was doing in and through them. They were both being transformed as a result of their “yes” to Him. He placed them in a community of believers like none I have ever seen, and I soon realized that they were learning to follow Jesus in a way that made me yearn for more of Him. The desire to relocate grew in my heart, not just to be with my kids, but to experience what God was doing in them.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when God spoke one word to my husband – “Pack”. We wrestled with it a bit, and then decided to do what we believed God wanted us to do. We began to pack. It took some time, and some confirmations on God’s part, but we eventually realized He was moving us to Waco. One of those confirmations stunned both of us. My husband had been asked to come to a little church and speak for 5 minutes about his ministry to the homeless. The church had two services, so we stayed for the sermon so he could speak at the second service. We did not know the pastor of this church, and he didn’t know us. His sermon was about getting free from debt, and in the middle of it he said these words – “Some of you are in your 50’s, your children are gone, and you are wanting the second half of your lives to count.” The very words we had spoken two years prior. We both felt the reverberations of God’s voice in our hearts. It was at that little church, during that sermon, that God asked my husband if he was willing to take a leap of faith. He was scared, but he said yes. Emotional turmoil just went turbo.
We have lived in Illinois for 27 years, in this house for the past 12 years, have attended the same church for 19 years, and my husband has been extensively involved in a homeless ministry for 7 years. The roots are deep here. Suddenly, packing up our lives and heading south felt overwhelming, sad, fantastic and adventurous all at the same time, and when you’ve crossed the threshold of 50, that many emotions are hard to manage.
Oh, but I’m not done with the setup yet. In May, my daughter returned to Texas from an 8 month trip to Uganda, releasing me from a tension and anxiety I had been unaware was living in my heart. I would not get to see or hug her though, until June 6th when my husband and I arrived for my son’s wedding. Yes…my son got married on June 9th, so now we’ve added a brand new mix of emotions into an already emotionally overloaded heart. Overjoyed to see my daughter, thrilled for my son and his new bride, sad that the mother/son relationship is changing, proud as can be of the man that used to be my little boy, so very happy to be adding a wonderful woman of God into our family, giddy and scared to be moving to Texas, and so darn weepy over everything. Mind you, our house in Illinois is packed, and we sold off a lot of our stuff in a garage sale…but we have no place to live and no jobs in Waco. We are leaping.
My daughter and I returned to Illinois on June 10th, while my husband remained in Waco to look around at places to live and job opportunities. He returned a couple of days ago, having found us a house to rent that is way beyond what either of us expected, with a move-in date of no later than July 19th. But we still have no jobs. We are in mid-air, too committed to the leap to turn around and reach for the familiarity of solid ground.
Throughout this whole process, God has been good, and utterly faithful. And that really is the point of this blog post. Because right here, in mid-air, He has chosen to encounter my heart. His goodness has revealed something that surprised me (as the contents of my own heart usually do).
The goodness of God makes me uncomfortable.