It seems the answer comes when you’re least expecting it. After weeks of answering our phone on the first ring, snatching my cell phone every time I heard the ding of an email, it was a quiet Friday night. Expecting another “click and delete” junk e-mail (I really should unsubscribe), the subject line had me catch my breath.
It was from Cam, and there’d been a posting and now, now, after weeks of expecting it at every turn, it happened on an unassuming Friday night.
It happened again while I was putting the kids to bed. Toothbrushes spinning and repeated instructions of “get your jammies on” and “if you want to read stories, you need to get in your room now” the phone rang. Yeah right. I’m in the middle of bedtime chaos and some telemarketer wants me to answer my phone? I did them a favour and let it go to voicemail because no one wants to sell a mom in the middle of bedtime anything, am I right?
My cell phone jangled its old-fashioned ring. And then the house phone again. This time I left bickering children to get it.
A six-week contract. Possibly permanent. Daytime hours.
And just like that, the piece fell into place. In the middle of bedtime din, when all I could even make out over the phone were bits and pieces of the good news we’ve waited to hear for so long.
I have been rejoicing and thanking God and feeling so much lighter this week, even as we juggled changed schedules and babysitting.
It was around last year at this time that I prayed, “Lord, make me different when I come out the other side of this journey. I don’t want to be the same person I was going in.” I don’t think we recognize our scariest prayers when they’re coming off our lips. This one has brought me to my knees more times than I thought when I uttered it the first time. It’s been challenging and frustrating and at times, lonely as hell. God has been silent. I have felt abandoned in a wasteland. I’ve doubted and worried and second-guessed. I’ve been rash and impulsive and angry.
But I’ve also found patience in a new way, a deeper sense of gratitude. Freedom from my stuff, freedom in greater simplicity. Cam and I have found a stronger marriage, and learned what it means to choose to be joy-full.
And God has walked with me through it all. And He’s walking with you too.
Keep praying. Keep seeking him. Something that kept me going was the wisdom from Jen Hatmaker in her book Interrupted, to go back to the time you were certain about something from God. I kept going back to that place.
Yell if you need to. It is so true that God can take our anger, and it was in some of my angriest moments that the Holy Spirit really spoke…perhaps because I was at my most honest and vulnerable.
It’s so scary to take these leaps, these risks. It’s scary to be obedient, to say yes and then feel abandoned, to wonder if you’ve done the right thing. It’s so easy for emotions to take over and to want to run back to safety.
Don’t do it.
Trust in the God you know to be bigger. Trust in the God who called you. Trust in the God who calls you his beloved. He knows the way, and He’s taking you there. One frustrating, sometimes slow, agonizing step at a time.
Trust the process. This breaking of walls and refinement and change, it’s hard stuff. It’s the painful stuff.
But it’s the good stuff. It’s the stuff that freedom is made of.