It seems to me that it is just at the very precise moment that I have put my weary feet up and sighed deeply with contentment that God whips the rug out from under me and says,
“Don’t get comfortable just yet. It’s moving time again.”
And sure enough, here we are, moving yet again to a place we never expected or wanted. But needed.
When our son, Jack, was in the hospital waiting for his first open heart surgery, I felt God telling me that I was to be like Abraham. I must surrender the life of my precious son to the will of God, willingly accepting whatever that will might be. The mountain top of that surrender was a tall one. And I find myself retracing my steps with my precious boy up that same jagged mountain path each time his heart is giving him trouble.
Then, when God made it clear to The Bearded Wonder and I that we were to leave behind our much loved life in California to live near Boston Children’s Hospital, I again felt the distinct call of God. This time he said that, like Abraham again, I would wander with my family in the wilderness. A people with no country. No resting place. Only the hope of a nation outside of this world, a kingdom unseen. And so it has been these three plus years. Each step of our journey has been packed with the wonderful and terrible kind of stories that have made us a unique family. We settle to rest in our camp for a time and just as we become comfortable it is time to move on again.
A year and a half ago, God blessed us with a darling little yellow farmhouse to rent out in the country. It was a dreamy little house on a beautiful piece of land, full of fun and history. It was a dream. We has chickens and a garden, for goodness sake. It was like my fantasy of country living had been handed to me all of the sudden and with no strings attached. But, as much as I longed to stay in this wonderful place, I knew deep down that that was not God’s plan for us. I knew he had given us a quiet place to rest and regroup but that it would be time to move on eventually.
As I unpacked my last box and settled more deeply into my little yellow dream life I thought, I’m finally able to really rest. Several days later, however, we received a letter from the rental management company saying that our lease was not renewable and that we had several months to move. I laughed out loud and shook my head as I read the letter. I had almost tried to stake a claim in something I knew wasn’t promised to me. I was promised uncertainty, wandering, and miracles. God never promised comfortable living.
So here I sit, in a room filled with partially unpacked boxes in our new rental house in the city. Goodbye country living, I almost had you. But not really. I never had anything but a time of rest from a God who is partial to me and knows how to give good gifts.
I’ve made so many houses into homes. My heart aches at the thought of the many times I have poured my imagination into a home and made it as full of art and love as I know how only to have to pack it all up and start again. So here we go again. I will unpack boxes and stare at walls until I finally decide where to put the book shelves and paintings. I will get familiar with the character of this old home and in time will know how to make it full of beauty and art. Till then I will get to know our new house, keep staring at blank walls, and keep wishing that some day I will be able to make a home for my family and stay put for a good long time. Some day maybe. But in the mean time, I will do my best to embrace the wild wandering that God has blessed us with.
And this is not a complaint by any means. In fact, I have been so moved by the extraordinary generosity of the people who came just this weekend and moved countless boxes and heavy furniture to our new house. And it is truly a gracious, elegant house. The likes of which, I never would have imagined being able to afford. We are blessed and happy to see what it is that God has for us in this new leg of our journey.