We finally did it. We left what we called home, and we are now residents of the Lone Star state. Well meaning friends and all manner of family keep asking me how I’m doing with the transition. They want me to pinpoint a simple answer when I’m still juggling the myriad of emotions that I haven’t even brought myself to fully pinpoint or process just yet. But, let’s try to sort through them, shall we?
One night, while asking the Lord to show me what the heck was going on in my heart, He lovingly and tenderly whispered this Scripture to my weakness.
“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt”… “As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened;so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.” (Exodus 13:17, 14:10-16 NASB)
As I embarked on a journey with the One who knows my heart better than I, I would love to say that I am Moses. Cool, debonair, filled with faith and splitting oceans like it’s going out of style. I would love to say that my heart has been steady, but it hasn’t.
I am, in fact, Israel.
I literally uttered the same words to God that the Egyptians did in that moment. Maybe not verbatim, but the same heart and spirit was there. I felt the pressure of home calling out to me while standing before this mass ocean of what I know are His promises and His grace for our family. It’s difficult to put into words, but I was there… With Moses. And Israel. For a split second, I was there. And I never understood Israel more than in that moment.
Leaving home in itself is scary. Leaving all that you know to step into a place where there’s nothing, nothing tangible, is just… crazy. And it’s hard. And if I can just go ahead and be transparent? It plain sucks. It strips away your comfort in every area. Financially, relationally, physically, emotionally. It causes you to be totally and completely exposed to the God of Ages, to your spouse, your kids and to yourself. And being exposed and emptied of myself is my least favorite place to be. It’s uncomfortable.
So, you want to know how I’m doing? I’m uncomfortable.
But. I asked to be.
I sang the song. I prayed the prayer.
I asked God to lead me where my trust is without borders.
I asked God to walk upon deep waters. I asked Him to take me deeper than I could ever wander.
I really, honestly and truthfully did.
So He took me at my word.
And here I am. In Texas. Being forced to put action to my words. Forced to be valiant.
So, that’s how I am, friends.
I’m standing somewhere between Egypt* and our family’s Promised Land. And I really, really want to return to the known, to the comfort of knowing. But I married a man, who, like Moses, leads our family well. And I love a God who makes flat terrains of land (because, there sure are a lot of those in Texas, y’all) into Springs of beauty.
*Family and Friends in Orlando. You are not my “Egypt” in the sense of bondage. You are treasured and I pray you know how much you are missed. I merely used this metaphor to describe how comfortable I am back home with you. How known you are and I am there. Please know you are not my bondage. So don’t ever read into this as though you are.