It is imperative for me to have a plan.
This is the stumbling block to my deepest faith.
I need to know. I need a plan.
As I aimlessly wander about I am in desperate need of a plan. Honestly, I wish I believed in fortune telling. If I knew precisely the end result, I might do a job better of letting go.
Alas, the stumbling block in my faith walk is my lack of faith.
We moved away from our ranch 3 1/2 years ago. My mother-in-law was dying. Everyone else was dead or estranged. And there are eight sides to every story, and I won’t bother to tell our side. But we wish the surviving members all the best, away from us.
Such is life.
When we moved away we needed a fresh start. And we needed Hospice care for my mother-in-law. That was easier to obtain in town.
So, we left.
And we go back for picnics, and camp outs. But we never considered returning because there was too much hurt. We put the ranch on the market, and it didn’t sell. We rented out the houses and waited, and through the generous support of dear friends, we rented a huge house and continued our foster and adoption pursuits.
And we prayed specific prayers, for very specific things.
Recently I was speaking to a MOPS group about praying God’s will. Halfway through the talk I looked down at my phone. My sister was unaware I was speaking and she texted me. And the picture I have assigned to her contact stared back at me from the screen. It is my niece, on our ranch and for the first time in a long time I thought…
It is time to go home.
And the transition back to country living will be a challenge. No pizza delivery. No quick trips to Target. But on the flip side of that are things I have missed. Quiet nights, the hum of the boys on the tractor, and the sunsets.
And sure, there are many things that aren’t the same. Our oldest daughter Maggie has long since moved on to a life of her own. Our sons John and Luke are headed out in the fall. John is going to EMT school, then perhaps the Navy, and Luke to University to study psychology. When we told them of our plans they were each ecstatic for different reasons.
The reality is, it is time to go home.
Our 13-year-old daughter, well, she’s 13. One minute she is over the moon with the idea, the next she’s in hysterics. Overall she knows that our younger sons, the vandals, need to roam free in the wild. It just makes sense.
It is time to go home.
I find it ironic that my prayers for this place to sell, for the memories to go with it, is the very prayer I am most glad wasn’t answered. I am curious, was I praying God’s will?
Was I wasting time… His and mine?
Does He sit on high and just humor me? “Oh, Jami is talking again… Yes, dear? Uh-huh. Yep. Okay, whatever.” Or does He listen with compassion, nodding at my frustration and then empathetically whisper on the wind – “be patient, I will show you soon.”
I cannot understand Him. And I always say He moves how He moves and He saves how He saves. In this instance at 3:00 am as I flip through my prayer journal and I cross off, “Please sell the ranch…” I am relieved and convicted.
Relieved we are going home.
Convicted of the tantrums I have thrown when I didn’t get my way. Shamed of the worry and the fret. Penitent of the things I held tightly to, unwilling to let go and let Him grant me peace so that I might be a better daughter and a lamp unto the suffering.
And still, in spite of my lack of faith, He saved me from my own desires, leaving prayers unanswered, knowing there would be a time to go home.
I tossed and turned on the eve of the announcement of our decision. Worried about the friends whose generosity enabled us to fulfill our dream of opening our hearts and home to foster care.
What would they do? Unable to sleep, I wandered the halls of this enormous house.
Again, I was slain by their generosity.
And I wept for the gift of a son we will soon adopt, and a baby girl safe and sound because of who these dear friends are. They were fully a part of a wonderful experience where this was home.
I wandered and prayed for each of the rooms of a house that someone else will soon come home to… and I prayed the timing would be perfect, but I know it will be.
He moves how He moves.
He saves how He saves.
When will I learn this? When will I finally graduate from the school of doubt? It is one thing for me to type affirmations of how good He is, it would be another if I fully submitted to Him. What would I be like if I was no longer so intense, such a worrier, so afraid?
On the long road home, this is my new journey’s prayer:
“Show me how to let go. Show me how to pray well, well within your will. Show me how to be less of a mess. Show me how to calm down. Never let me forget this lesson, for the hundredth time…
Please never leave me and thank you for always leading me back – home.”
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Judges 18:5-6 Then they said, “Ask God whether or not our journey will be successful.” “Go in peace,” the priest replied. “For the LORD is watching over your journey.”
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