Monday, March 21, 2011

The Next Chapter

Last week my sister was teaching a lesson on Hannah for our Girls of Grace class.  As she spoke on Hannah I thought to myself how I could never do what Hannah did, give my three year old over to someone else to raise.  The whole concept just seemed wrong.  But Hannah did just that and we all know that Samuel grew to be a man used mightily by God.  God--of course--had a plan.

As I listened I was skewered with this thought--
Sometimes God asks us to give up good things in order that His plan can be accomplished.

The next day, Josh was leaving for two job interviews, both in the vicinity of 2.5-3 hours from here.  That morning I was getting out my my gear for some personal time in the Word and I remembered I would be teaching the Girls of Grace lesson for the next week.  I peeked at the lesson book to see what it would be on, only to discover I would be teaching on Rebekah--specifically when Abraham's servant shows up and says "Come be Isaac's wife!" and she pretty much without hesitation says, "Sure!" because it was apparent God was at work. (I'm paraphrasing a bit there). ;o)  And the recommended Bible memory verse to go with that lesson?? Well, of course it would be Proverbs 3:5-6!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

*Gulp*  It wasn't necessarily the verse I wanted to read when sending my husband out for a job interview that would mean a move for us.  I had a feeling he would return with a job offer. And I thought to myself I should have convinced him to not apply at those schools (me and my micromanagement again).  That evening Josh returned home with not one, but two job offers.  A guy who three years ago interviewed and interviewed and INTERVIEWED and couldn't get anything (which kind of started him thinking about going back to school) now had two offers in one day. 

Josh and I had discussed what we would do if a situation like this presented itself.  Last year he had a classmate get offered a job an hour and a half from Lincoln--she turned it down in hopes of getting something in Lincoln.  She ended up with no job for the next year.  We didn't think we were up for any high-stakes gambling. ;o)  We always thought we would trust God--the first place that offers Josh a job we go with it.

But I was back-pedaling now!  Surely God couldn't want us out there!  Move away from family and friends and our church--everything familiar??  We waited for word on a third interview . . . and they went with somebody else.  Friday he turned down an offer from the Brady school district and we made a trip to check out the town of Arapahoe.  I cried . . . a lot.  To make it harder, a job opened up closer to Lincoln, causing me to agonize over what to do.  Go with the sure thing or hope he get not only an interview, but an offer from this other school?  Was God opening another door or was I grasping at escape routes?

My mom suggested I call a friend of hers--Laura Gilbert--as she has followed a husband to different areas of the country for teaching jobs.  How thankful I am for the godly older women God has placed in my life!  I recalled a similar conversation I placed to Laura (again at the urging of my mom) encouraging me to bravery as I headed out for brain surgery five years ago. She is a cancer survivor you see. And here she was again, her words giving me the wings to do what I needed to do.  I love her dearly for that.

Here's the deal--we all like to keep our lives as easy and struggle free as possible.  We're literally born seeking comfort and security.  But when we determine to venture out, God grows us.  God did not call me to a life of health, wealth, and security.  He called me to follow Him.  And oh-so-often that has taken me down roads I did not wish to go.  And EVERY SINGLE TIME I am always the better for it.  But many times I have trudged the path He picked rather grumpily.

Not this time.  Oh, I'm fully conscious what a move means.  I've been a teary mess these last few days.  I'll be a teary mess over the next few months, I'm sure of it.  But I am at peace.  God is good.  He always, always, always has His best even when I don't understand. Because of that I can graciously tell my husband, "Yes!" I kept wishing God would flash me a handwritten sign with the answer, but deep down He was quietly writing the answer on my heart.  I just needed to accept it.  And truly I can't wait to look back five years from now and see how God was working.  Don't you just love hindsight?

Thank you to my dear family and friends who have prayed us through this decision.  You know who you are. ;o)  I am so very blessed to have you each in my life.


Kris said...

With 3 years now of hindsight, I wanted to let you know He is soooo good- all the time!

Bless you, dear one...He will be faithful to complete the good work He has started. ♥

Anna said...

*wiping away a few tears* ...and *big emotional sigh* So thankful, though for a clear answer from the Lord! So sad to see you go, but even more excited that this is the Lord's will for you guys, and I will love to hear your hindsight perspective one day in how the Lord is working through all this.

...and if there's anything we can help out with, let me know! Big hug to you, dear friend.

Kathryn said... Anna I'm wiping away more than a few tears but also so very thankful that you are *following* our ever Faithful Shepherd!!!! There's no better place to be than right where He takes you.

p.s. I just looked up Araphoe's population and it was listed as 993. Your little clan will make it a nice, neat 1000. :)

Jackie said...

You are right...we wait for God to give us a signal (surrender Dorothy?) and all the while He is writing the answer on our hearts. NOTHING will grow us or mature us or draw us nearer to Him that walking the path HE made for us. We have prayed all the while Josh has been in school and will continue to pray as he takes on that job. We will pray for both of you to shine, shine, shine in a new place with new opportunities every day. And we will pray (selfishly?) for Him to bring you back close to us sometime as well.

cheryl said...

Oh Sweet Janna...I love your heart! And as an older woman who has followed my husband to 5 different states with job transfers, I can attest to the fact that God is working it all out for your good, your kids good, your husbands good and for His Glory! It's a wonderful thing to trust the Lord for your direction in life. He won't let you go wrong. You have a whole, big new mission field in your future...and you will be awesome!