Being sent is almost always scary.
The Philippines, 1997. Barely fifteen years old, I spent three weeks sleeping under a mosquito net in an orphanage and praying God would move in me. Standing there with the others, still a child myself with sweat beading at my temples as I shifted from one birkenstock to the other. Wondering what to expect, I took a deep breath and waited. Sounds of voices only slightly different from my own rose in harmony as those beautiful caramel faces began to sing for us and I was instantly changed. 17 years later and I can still hear their voices singing in Tagalog, “Do Lord, Oh’ Do Lord” with more joy than I had ever seen. Langit. The word for Heaven. I went to share my faith with them, but I came home with a better understanding of it.
Wake Forest, NC. 2003. The moment my feet hit the brick walkway I knew I was home. Even the ice storm that kept us huddled inside and skating across the parking lot for a pizza was perfectly surreal. I came home from the visit breathless with surety and a six month plan to pack everything I owned into a U-Haul and get there by August. As I backed down the driveway at twenty-one, my parents waved their last little bird out of the nest and I headed for I-95 North. The little town with the Tea Room and the school at its’ center was home for nearly 8 years.
And then four years ago, God brought us here. Here to this house on this street full of trees. The way by which we came to be here was at times a bit winding and awkward. But we are here. We were sent and we are settled.
Settled. That word still catches me off guard after several years of unknowns. But settled is SO nice– when we can see God’s hand clearly in bringing us. And last night when we stood amongst family and friends and had the humbling honor of hearing them each pray for our family, our marriage, our ministry– and I could not stop praising Him.
For sending us again. Sending us to a town that gave us nothing but a line of question marks when we first knew our destination.
A town that used to be nothing to us– well, nothing but a Starbucks on I-20.
But no more. Bit by bit, yield by yield, God gave us a HOME.
Our journey here several years ago began with question marks…
–but now we have only exclamation points of His faithfulness and care.
I hope I never forget what it felt like in that particular season– to be knee deep in unanswered prayers and wading through questions about tomorrow.
I pray God always reminds me of the past when I am uncertain of the future.
When God hands us the manna of today– just today– and it may look uncertain– after all that’s what manna means- “what is it?” I hope we take it willingly with both hands and know He is always sovereign. Always.
Further, I hope I never forget that settled or not, we are forever and always being sent.
All the time, every day.
In all of our goings, we are still being sent. Between the pre-school drop-off and the grabbing a gallon of milk and the errands, errands, errands– there’s plenty to do out there. May we never get so settled that we forget why we were brought here in the first place.
Let us not stay in here and miss the thousands of opportunities that lie outside our comfy cozy zone.
Because, sometimes– just outside of comfy cozy-you-always-wanted-to-stay-here is the chance for something more.
Something faith-stretching, soul-filling, challenging, tough, tricky, and terribly wonderful.