Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It All Started With A Prayer

Several months ago, I prayed a dangerous prayer. I had just finished reading the book, "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I had also recently watched this short video of Francis Chan. I felt the Lord convicting me that I wasn't willing to let go of myself and all my selfish desires in order to bring Him glory. So I prayed a dangerous prayer. I prayed to the Lord and surrendered myself to Him. I asked Him to ask something big of me. Something that would cause me to sacrifice. Something that would grow me in ways I never knew before. And it was scary to pray it. I really had to psych myself up because as soon as I felt convicted to pray that prayer, I immediately started worrying about all the "big things" that might be asked of me. Was I going to face an illness? Were my children going to be hurt? Was Michael going to lose his job? But finally, through His strength, I pushed aside the worries and in obedience, I prayed the prayer. And then, nothing. For months, there was no change. Nothing was asked of me. Life went on as usual.

I still knew it was coming. I just didn't know what "it" was. So I just waited and trusted that the waiting was all a part of the growth process.

Then about a month ago, we were told that within a year, Michael was going to be transferred to a new position in his company. It would require a move on our part and it would happen sometime next summer. It would be a 2-3 year rotation that would eventually bring us back to the Houston area.

Hmmm . . . . okay. I can handle that. I've got a year to prepare. So our minds immediately started racing. We were constantly discussing the possible scenarios. There were lots of "Oooh, wouldn't this location be nice." or "I'll be happy as long as they don't send us to that location." Then came the, "Boy wouldn't it be nice if we could be there by this date." and the "If they don't move us before this date, I'll really be frustrated."

By the way, all of those statements above, were made by me. One night I was reading my Bible and the conviction came once more. Suddenly I realized that I was falling back into my selfish ways yet again. Suddenly this move was all about me and what I wanted. If this was the "something big" that God was asking of us, then He obviously has a purpose in it. Which means He knows the best place to send us AND the best timing. Who cares what I think or want? So I prayed another dangerous prayer. A prayer of surrender. I prayed, "Lord, I want this to bring you glory. So no matter WHERE you send us, I will be ready and willing to go. And no matter WHEN you send us, I will be ready and willing to go."

I kid you not, TWO DAYS LATER we got a call that a position opened up and they wanted Michael to take it. All I could think was, "Dude! This was supposed to happen NEXT SUMMER, not now!!!" Oh, and the location? Alaska. Yep. Both a location and time frame that were nowhere near our radars.

So I started to panic a bit. But just for a moment because I quickly remembered the two dangerous prayers I prayed and realized that God's hand was truly in this. I felt a peace about this move. A peace that was not from within myself. He has a plan for this move. I don't know what it is, but I know it exists. I know He will reveal it to us in His timing and in the mean time, our responsibility is to step up in faith and follow His lead. So that is what we are doing.

The current plan is to have the entire family (pets and all) in Alaska by October 3rd so that Michael can start work on the 4th. That's right. We have one month to sell our house and get going. No pressure there! Suddenly the flashes of white light in my right eye make perfect sense. The eye doctor told me that they could be caused by stress. To which I gave a hearty chuckle and nodded my agreement.

No doubt this process will be stressful, but I have been amazed by how the Lord has provided comfort for me every step of the way. For example, I was starting to really fret about the winters there. About the almost 20 hours of darkness each day. Being in the dark so long sounds horrible to me. I almost feel depressed just thinking about it. But then I was reading in Psalms the other night and found this,

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light about me be night,' even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You." --Psalms 139: 11-12

As soon as I felt a peace about the darkness, I found something new to fret. I stared to mourn our house. I LOVE our house. I have lived in this house for longer than I have lived in any other house my entire life. I brought both of my babies home from the hospital to this house. How could I leave it behind? But then I was reading in Matthew and saw this,

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." --Matthew 6: 19-21

What an awesome reminder that my house should not be my treasure. Was I blessed to have it all these years? Sure! But the things that matter most:  my family, my memories, my joy and peace did not come from this house. They were gifts from the Lord and I get to take those with me!

With so much to do in such a short time, I often find myself worrying about all the details that need to be taken care of in order to get us out on time. I am learning to simply take care of what is before me in the moment and not worry about the things I can't yet control (or may never be able to control). Note that I said I am "learning". I definitely do not have that part mastered yet. But I am constantly reminded of another passage. The last one I will share (for this blog entry anyway). Again it is from Matthew,

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." --Matthew 6:27 & 34

I am so glad to have these scriptures to keep me grounded. And also to be surrounded by such loving friends and family members who encourage us daily. We are blessed indeed. And now we wait and look forward to seeing what all the Lord has in store for our little family in the frozen north!


Pigs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie P. said...

Wow! I had tears in my eyes from reading this blog! So glad you recorded it so you can read in the dark days (literally and figuratively) in Alaska when you might question God's faithfulness in this move. I am so blessed by reading all of the scripture He showed you in your prayer journey to submit to His will! Say hi to Sarah Palin for me! ;-)

Shelia said...

This is so exciting! I think you will end up loving Alaska. Best wishes.


The Bannermans said...

Thanks for sharing your journey of faith and the reminder that God has all the answers in his timing. When we heard that an Alaskan move might be in your future, I told Chris excitedly that Alaska would be a fun vacation. The other day, Chris even looked into flights. Today, when we heard the final news, I asked, "How is our Alaskan vacation budget going?" He replied, "Going down with the lights on in the next room." So, we might get to come visit, if I can do a good job at saving every little penny. I'm going to work hard!

Kim said...

Wow, that is a big change! Can't wait to see all that God has planned for you and your family!

momimi said...

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for my daughter's servant heart!

What a Godly example you and Michael are. I'm SO grateful for my Christian children, their Christian mates, and strong Christian homes--whether in warm weather or cold!