As I type this, my husband is sleeping next to me while my middlest is sitting on the floor playing quietly. We all want Daddy to get as much sleep as he can as he’s working hard to find a job. And I marvel at my children’s abilities to adjust. Yes, they use coping methods, such as chewing on clothes (!), but they transition so much easier than we do. My coping method involves eating, and I am seeing and feeling the ugliness of that right now. Maybe that’s led me to realize it’s time to stop coping and time to put a stop to feeling stuck in between places? Did that sentence even make sense? Transition can feel like one is stuck between here and there. We left there to come here, but we haven’t figured out life here yet. And for us, the hardest part is that transition came right as we were starting to get out of the previous transition. So we transitioned from Colorado to a village south of Edinburgh, and we were just beginning to settle. We’d just started to feel at home, and the rug got yanked out.
We now live 30 minutes from that village, and honestly, as I drove through our new town yesterday, I thought wow, I still feel like a visitor here. So transition followed by another transition. It stinks. And I’ve let everyone know that it stinks. Yet rather than being a champion stinker, maybe it’s time to dig in and find the root of the stink? Or maybe it’s just time to find the silver lining? Or . . . and this is the thing I’ve not wanted to talk about . . . it’s simply time to face the facts that we have to begin again.
“New beginnings” – this term keeps popping up everywhere; to the point where I want to throw my phone across the room! I didn’t want a new beginning; we’d just gone through a new beginning! Why?! Why start again? Are we not allowed to settle? Not allowed to find our place here? Did we make a wrong choice somewhere? All of these questions have gone through my mind repeatedly, and then something changed this week.
Something Someone broke through.
God is so faithful to answer us when we call. And yet in some seasons, it can seem that we call and call, yet He cannot be found. Of course, He’s right there; we just can’t see Him properly. He waits and guides us through the dark places until we’ve worked through the muddle of our own hearts. He waits until our ears are ready to hear what He’s saying, and this week, He’s been saying one thing – “will you follow Me?” My response has been, “Lord, I left my home, my parents, my church, my culture to come here.” And He has repeatedly said “will you follow ME”? And I’ve said “Lord, we followed your call to come here.” My response has been continually – “I followed your call to come do this.”
Are you seeing where I’ve missed it?
If we’re followers of Christ, then we follow Him. We don’t follow a call. We don’t follow a people group or a ministry; we follow Him. He called us to Scotland, and we came. We thought the call involved us living in Edinburgh, but the doors to the houses in Edinburgh were shut. So we took the first open house, and we settled. Yet the call wasn’t to that village or that place. When we had to move, we took the next open house. Yet our housing doesn’t determine or change the call. Do you see where I’m getting at?
I had a meeting this week in which all the pieces to the puzzle fell into order, and I realized that I had been viewing my calling in too small of a light. I was looking at it in terms of leadership, people group, or job title. Those are hats and places. They’re not the calling. But I was trying to plan our lives around those things. Everything felt off kilter and upset, because I wanted a 2 year or 5 year plan. Aren’t we entitled to know the plan? If we’ve left everything, if we’re living in some sort of limbo already, can’t we hold on to something?!?
The simple answer is that we get to hold on to Jesus. He’s the calling. On Good Friday, we went to a church service that evening, and a sweet 15 year old girl sang a song called “Jesus is Calling.” These lyrics pierced my heart:
When your soul is weary
It seems you’ve lost your way
Jesus is calling, calling night and day
When you need a friend to go with you all the way
Jesus is calling, calling, calling night and day
I don’t know that there is a 2 year plan or a plan in the sense that we’ll ever know. But I know that God is on the move; He’s at work. And He’s asked us to join Him. We said yes. We stepped out in faith then, and it’s time for us to step out again. It’s time to begin again in this place. That means following Him here. It means following Him when He directs Mark to a new job in the city or at home. It means continuing to love the people in front of us, which includes this new town and Edinburgh. It means being open to starting again with new friendships. It means that we continually say “yes Lord, where You lead we’ll follow.” We’ll follow even when it leads us to an old broken down house or a town that’s not kind. It means we follow even if we have to leave friends, family, or neighbors/places that we love. We follow because He is our calling. We follow because He is good. We follow because without Him nothing makes sense at all. We follow because we’d rather live here with Him than there without Him. We follow because He is calling us.