Loose Change

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, or decided to give up the ole typing of the keys.  Most of you know our family had a slight curve in our life path that we had once again engineered for ourselves. I feel like God is constantly laughing at me. Do you ever feel that way or am I the only one with that sick sense of humor?!? I mean, here I have devoted a whole blog with Courtney, even down to calling it Our Not So Engineered Life and yet again get wrapped around my own life plans to the point of feeling like a rug got snatched out from under me again.  And not just the graceful little slip on the floor.  I mean the kind where you knock the sense out of yourself and see unicorns flying around you!

Life was all planned out yet again.  We would stay in our current home, attend the same wonderful church surrounded with the best of friends, Ethan was in a great Christian school and would continue on there, and my family was all right there within just a few minutes.  The perfect little life.  We planned it that way.  Yet we felt so stagnant and couldn’t wrap our minds around it.  Asia and I had this conversation over and over.  Why is it that life is so great yet we feel so unsettled?  Friends, when you ask this question and really start to pray over it, God begins to reveal himself in ways you weren’t expecting.  And it usually means you better hang on tight!

In November, Asia found out about a "dream job" opportunity for him at a sister nuclear plant being built. This had happened before and I just couldn't bare the thought of leaving our perfect little setup we had going on (aka, my comfort zone). But something was different this time. We had been struggling with that nagging, "unsettled" feeling.

Without a lot of hesitation, I surrendered my wants and plans. Maybe I had a moment of temporary insanity. But I prefer to believe it was God's undeniable peace wash over me. I told Asia I supported him fully and if this was what God wanted for us, then He would open the door and if not, He would close it. Simple as that. Driving Ethan to school the next morning, I had an inexplicable feeling come over me and I knew this was it. We would be leaving Dothan - our home, our church, our family, our friends. Asia interviewed and accepted the job. Whoa God! Did you really have to go and open the door so wide?!?

Amidst the preparing to move and the actual move with a two and a half year old VIBRANT boy in tow (yes he deserves all caps…you mommies know exactly what I’m talking about!!) – the last three months have left me feeling like loose change.  I’ve rattled around in an empty jar like a couple of pennies thrown into its abyss.  While we prayed for this and we know it is what God wants for our lives and for our family, it hasn’t been easy.  Change is never easy.  But change is necessary to grow.  Just as the loose change in a jar rattles around less the more it is filled, we too will be less rattled when we are fill with God’s spirit.  

Sometimes our plans need to fall apart for His to truly unfold.
— Anonymous
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
— James 1:2-6

After the adrenaline rush of moving six hours away from all we knew in life wore off and Asia was gone to his new job every day, I found myself very rattled, and as James puts it “blown and tossed by the wind.”  Even though in the back of my mind I had a peace about moving and knew it was what God wanted for our lives, I also had a lot of doubt at the same time.  Did we do the right thing? How is this going to affect Ethan? Did we really just leave everything familiar to do this? I was fighting an inner battle and also fighting off days that I was very depressed.  I second guessed our decision, which means I was second guessing God.  I missed home.  I missed my family.  I missed my friends.  I missed my church.  Alone is how I saw myself and the devil was breaking it down on the dance floor of my pity party! 

This week I finally felt myself snap out of it.  We don’t know what God has planned for us and our family.  All that we know is this is where He wants us right now.  We are not to doubt it.  We are to trust in His unfailing love for us.  My parents are moving here with us.  We are visiting a wonderful church (which happens to have an adoption ministry).  Ethan will be at one of the best public schools in the nation.  And we will make new friends.  Is it still hard? Of course.  But through it all, I am reminded that God is my portion and all I need.  It doesn’t mean it’s all I want.  We naturally want to fit it in and we will.  But all we need is God.

And so, with that I am back in the saddle again and writing – and it feels right. The devil has been thrown out of my party and God is the DJ, orchestrating my moves (which are not always pretty!). 

Just as our pastor has always said – “God is always trying to take us someplace new.”   He expands our mission field.  Sometimes we just rattle like loose change in an empty jar getting there.

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
— Isaiah 58:11