Waiting Beside the Columbia

 

waiting-beside-the-columbiaStretched ahead and behind the Columbia River snaked but offered no reprieve from exhaustion. Dwarfed by dry scraggly canyon walls we drove parallel the Columbia River. The uneasiness and insecurity of driving the truck and towing the trailer morphed into a humble comfort and modest victory.

Summer’s tail offered little beauty as we drove beyond the river into gently rolling hills sucked dry from summer’s long draw. Grasses waved beige, brown and tan in a heat filled breeze. We matched the scenery tit-for-tat. We succumbed to the reality we couldn’t change: We were stuck in the vehicles until we arrived. Camouflaged well into the scenery thanks to wilted energy levels and an attitude which accepted our circumstances we resided: The only way to end the agony of a long distance move was to finish.*

The sun rose high and my heart sank when the map suggested another four hours eight minutes separated us from our new community. I’d learned to convert our load with time and cringed at the realistic picture Google Maps couldn’t predict: Six hours remained (on the short side). Like a ball of yarn tossed across the floor I my mental stamina and overall determination began to unravel.

Pity Party, Remorse, Regret and More

For the first time since we said yes my circumstances forced me to be still.

There’s no sense in running from your heart, it will catch up to you. Because of this I usually force myself to face even painful realities, a meager attempt to live honestly with myself and others. However, our sudden move offered little time to do more than work furiously. Afraid to face the collateral damage because I was unsure of my strength to follow where God called I consciously diverted my attention from the painful realities this move meant fully aware a time would come to face reality.

Here and Now

In the blur of fatigue and waves of emotion I wondered how crazy we were. A sniffle led to several more and tears smudged my cheeks. Powerless to put a stop to thoughts of family, friends, business and ministry I welcomed them with heartache, “Why God?”.

Why do you have us leaving the people you brought us back to?

Why do you have us leaving family who just moved to town?

Why do you have us moving now?

Why are our real estate transactions going crazy?

How will this work out?

The measure of reality I faced cut deep and faith waned. Truthfully, faith is hard to live out. More often I stumble my way through it. We didn’t move on a feeling but God put all the pieces in place and that felt incredible. It was exciting to watch and experience a series of circumstances seamlessly come together but now, like a typical Old Testament story, the main event* was over,  circumstances were challenging and I was in every way tired. Bleak scenery didn’t help matters much.  (*We often consider the main event the obvious acts of God, but I believe the main event is the heart change through the entire process God takes us through.)

Despite how you feel, you can stay strong. 

When physically exhausted and emotionally depleted it’s easy to doubt. Times like these grow faith that demonstrates itself in new situations. I didn’t feel strong or capable but heartache and tears turned into prayers. A walk down memory lane tenderly reminded me of God’s character in my life.

You LOVE us.

You are FAITHFUL to us.

You are on our side, not against us.

You PROVIDE what we need…

Then God brought to mind the countless ways He cared for our family over the past several years.

psalm-43-5

The destitute scenery didn’t change, my position behind the wheel hadn’t budged but my heart was satisfied. God and I would need to do this several more times over the next few weeks.

God is good all the time, my disposition isn’t.

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