We hear it several times a week these days. It’s the natural response to our current situation and easy to understand why people keep asking us…
Two weekends ago, my husband graduated from college. Four years ago, he decided to go back to school finish his Bachelor’s degree. Much to my amazement, it all went by very fast.
And with the completion of a big step like this comes curiosity. Everyone wants to know what is coming up next. What dreams are we going to chase? What places are we going to see?
The short answer is, we have absolutely no idea.
If we were to take a “traditional” route, we can see two options: 1) apply for jobs in his field of study all over the country (because there are zero in our town) or 2) apply for a job in our town, doing something different than what he’s been training to do for the past four years.
There are some appealing aspects of each option, such as a stable job. But whoever said life should be stable? And whoever said we are traditional?
The problem we face is that we simply don’t have a clear answer from the Lord regarding what we are supposed to be doing. We know our life should look like the Kingdom and not like the world, but does that really clear anything up? In many ways we feel like we are staring down a long hallway full of possible doors to walk through, without one single flashing sign to guide us. There are days I long for such clarity. For a God who would write it on the bathroom mirror, impossible to miss.
As we have talked and talked and talked, and traveled to conferences, and talked some more, we realized there is only one thing we are sure of right now. We’re not sure about next year or even tomorrow, but we are sure of what is in front of us today. And that is, how blessed we have been to find a community of believers who know what it is to love each other, look out for each other, and push each other to be the people God created us to be.
These are people who gladly open their home for an entire day to host a graduation party. They allow complete strangers to take over their kitchen, rummage through their cabinets, leave the yard in disarray, and at the end of the night say thank you for allowing them to host.
These are people who drop everything to babysit a child whose sibling is ill, give their Saturday afternoon to cleaning and moving a friend into their new house, rally around those who are hurting to provide comfort and care. They give their time, money, energy, and every available resource to one another. All for the sake of the Kingdom. All because they have allowed God to teach them what it means to live life together.
It may not sound like much. There are a lot of really great folks out there. God is doing miraculous things all over the world through His people. But for whatever reason, we believe God has big things in store for this particular group of people and we’re eager to see what He does through them, and with us.
So for today, we are staying right where we are.
We know that to remain in a certain location in order to be near a group of people who are not biologically related to us sounds strange. It’s certainly not traditional. Especially when that choice means taking risks and letting go of stability. But it feels like the Kingdom. It feels like trusting God and allowing Him to show us how He wants to use us. And it certainly feels like something a disciple would do.
It’s not all rainbows and butterflies though.
Slowing down is hard. It means more waiting. We have no certainties, no guarantees. We often feel restless and wonder what exactly God has planned for us. But what a blessing it is to have a community of people who also wrestle. Who will wait with us, pray with us, and encourage us. And these same people will someday send us out into the world, if that is where we need to be.
So we strive to be present. To look around us, take a deep breath, and one more step forward.
Tomorrow everything could change. Five years from now, things will surely look very different than they do today. But today is all we have. And today this is what we’re doing. This is our “what now?”
Your support and prayers would be greatly appreciated!