Roughly four weeks stood between our trip to secure housing and our move. We lapped-up time at church and I squeezed as many extra minutes with friends during those weeks as possible. On one of those Sundays after church my husband pulled me from a conversation to introduce me to someone. Please note how absurd and improbable this is: My husband– taking me– away from a conversation– and he pulled it off!
Happy to talk with an honorable man from church a young man entered the conversation. “THIS is who I wanted to introduce you to!” delighted and excited, two things uncommon to my husband’s disposition, he continued, “Look at his shirt!”
I looked at the vine ripe tomato red polo shirt then noticed the silky white embroidery on the left chest: Springs of Hope Ranch Moyie Springs. Three weeks earlier this would have presented an awkward situation because ignorance would have swallowed the significance of this truly big reveal. This tiny community noted on the breast of his shirt neighbored Bonners Ferry, the place God called our family.
As we spoke we found acquaintances and friends in common and I realized the owner’s of the ranch were the aunt and uncle of a friend I’ve known since kindergarten. This friend and I reconnected a couple of years ago because of my writing efforts and the call God put on her heart to write. On the drive home I sent her a text message and things began to shift as only God can orchestrate.
We spoke, because sometimes texting isn’t the best (don’t get carried away, I said sometimes) and I felt my world shift. Her aunt an uncle needed a teacher, someone with proper state credentials to continue to work with teenage boys on their property. My heart sank as the conversation continued. Weeks ago I surrendered to the idea of going back to the classroom, I’d even accepted a teaching job in Bonners Ferry. Would God turn the tables again and ask me to teach and supervise in a different setting?
Worn out from life’s hurdles I quickly surrendered, “Okay God, whatever You want.” I wondered if the position I accepted would vanish, if God used that to get me where He actually wanted me to serve. We choose to believe the worst about God when it comes to our future but God prepares the best. God did want me and my family at the ranch but His purposes were different than I expected.
In God’s perfect timing I connected with my friend’s aunt who welcomed us to stay in the studio above their garage. “I think it will only be a week,” I said what I believed based on what I was told. I scratched down directions into my coveted notebook and thanked her a million times over.
“That would be fine. Do you have a dog?”
Oh, a dog. Please don’t say a dog will disqualify us. My heart was frayed; even now as I write the story the edges of my heart are tender. Despite confidence that God is big enough to overcome my circumstances the journey fatigued me and it showed. Being a Christian, walking in faith doesn’t prelude you from the human condition. I believe after serving people days on end that Jesus felt that fatigue. He took time away to pray and rest in quietness. I longed for quietness from the ever-shifting circumstances. I longed to catch my breath and be refreshed. It would come, but not for a long while. Even then, rest was an interlude rather than a constant.
Many in the church would argue that our rest comes from God, from our bible studies, our prayers. Yes, those elements provide rest, they demonstrate loyalty and priority, but more importantly those exchanges provide direction and renew a heart’s conviction to persevere. However, God the Father didn’t spare His only son, Jesus from the rigors of the world. Jesus demonstrates the necessity of constant prayer and times of rest.
Leaving my still in the hospital mother-in-law was disconcerting and knowing we now, had a place to stay caused me to sigh and cry. I broke and it was okay.
Is life knocking the wind out of you? It’s okay to break- God’s good and will carry you through every moment. There is a but– You must trust Him.
Then break and be free.
(It’s worth it!)