20, and Being Here.
Be careful not to forget the Lord your God…He brought you out…He led you through… Remember the Lord, and Praise Him. (Deuteronomy 8)
Twenty years ago this past week, Hubs and I took our first roadtrip together to the #GreatWhiteNorth. Where he’s from. We had been dating for about 3 months at the time. Both of us were preparing for ministry as single people with calls to very different demographics and places. In fact. I had returned only a couple weeks before from interviewing with a church plant on the West Coast. We weren’t young. I was going to graduate in a few months. We had a lot in common but we were also from different generations, very different personalities, different ways of looking at ALOT of things.
But here I was travelling to meet his family. To see his life. Talking about how all this would work if we decided God had freed us from our separate calls to be single, to move forward in ministry as a family. Alot of the trip I was like “what in the world?” So surreal, travelling out of the country to meet the family of this man I’d only really gotten to know well a few short weeks ago.
On the way, it became apparent that all the “what ifs” were starting to aggravate us both.
“If we decided to…”
“If we got married, what would…”
“How would it work if…”
And then he just decided to ask me to marry him, going down the highway at 100 clicks per hour in the middle of nowhere Alberta. (I didn’t find out til after that he had a plan for a romantic spot but in true #GreatWhiteNorth fashion, there was a snowstorm at Lake Louise that weekend!) Hubs asked me in an act of faith, in order to move our conversation out of the “what if’s” to “what will be”… it was overwhelming, happening fast, but as much as there were so many unanswered questions, we felt we needed a commitment to each other to really find out the answers.
So I said yes. It was a great day. It felt right, and real, and wonderful, after being called away from my dreams of marriage and family a few years prior. I couldn’t believe this was happening.
But it did, and here we are, 20 years later, still riding the roller coaster that is our life together. And I can’t help but ask myself the very question that popped into my mind a few days after he popped the question, in a quiet moment sitting in a car on a street in a town I’d never been to before…
“How in the world did I get here from there?”
It was a leap of faith in every sense of the word #faith ~ now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1-6) ~ but it was more than that.
It was the power of the Holy Spirit guiding me to places I never dreamed I’d go, into a good land where I’ve dwelled and wanted for nothing, but also sometimes into a wilderness that made me question why I left everything I knew, everyone I loved, for the sake of this.
“How did I get here from there?”
It was God and God alone who guided me to this place to “commit my ways to the Lord, to take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37) That verse didn’t mean to me that God gave me just what I wanted and asked for, but He, through His Holy Spirit did a work that allowed me to give up things I thought I wanted (the here) to take me to places I never dreamed were possible (the there).
So here I am, no longer in #thethere but living in #thehere ~ this family I’ve been given is my home ~ that good land that God promises when we walk in obedience. I don’t deserve the goodness, but I’ll admit I feel sorry for myself thinking I don’t deserve the loss that comes along with the goodness either. But it all… it all…
it’s where I am…here, in this land…