Wednesday night. Whew – July, August, and now September are just flying by. Our recent move has me feeling off-kilter since we are not living anywhere permanently at this point. Lots can be said about that, along the lines of “where is home, anyway?” Seems the more that proverbial rug is pulled out from underneath me, the more I long to find that place where nothing changes, where security remains. It’s not in the surrounding circumstances, not in the physical realm, really. When we were faced with our fourth move, in 1991, the truth of that statement hit me squarely between the eyes: if we were being transferred from TX to CT, this was happening to us through the filter of God’s plan, and as much as I might regret the fact of it, I wanted us to be where God wanted us even more. This particular move meant leaving Houston where we’d become settled, where we were comfortable and had established some friends. It meant going someplace new, unknown. Yet another learning experience — but for the first time, I felt willing to embrace it, wholeheartedly. I’m not sure why — maybe I had learned something from the previous three moves. Maybe I had learned that God would not forsake us. I remember being inwardly excited to see how God was going to work, and He did not disappoint!
To recap the summer: in early July, we moved from Plano to Atlanta. Unexpectedly, upon our arrival we decided it would be best to do renovations before moving into the house we’d just bought. So, our current living arrangements could best be described as “living out of a suitcase.” Highlights: on August 9th (it coincided with my birthday so I’m seeing it as a wonderful birthday present!), Rob received his “permanent” socket and is walking well again on his prosthesis. Fast-forward to the end of August: we left for Wrightsville Beach and the kids all joined us there for Labor Day. We stayed in NC for a few more weeks, ending with welcoming our nephew, Cole, back from Afghanistan — so many prayers for him and his safety over the past year have been answered. Thank you, Lord! It’s great to have him back “stateside.”
I have just read a book, To Heaven and Back, by Dr. Mary Neal — tells the true story about a woman who was involved in a kayaking accident, died, went to heaven, but then returned. She literally saw her body, realized she was leaving it, then realized that she was being told to return…. I do not doubt for a minute the truth of her experience, having experienced a similar “visit” to heaven, and I could identify with some of her emotions, for sure. The book highlights the fact that God has a plan for EACH of us. I remember telling my mother, after her amputation in Aug., 2000, from Necrotizing Faciitis, that God wasn’t done with her yet, and that’s certainly why she had survived beyond all expectations. She lived for another ten years — extremely difficult years for her, but somehow it was a part of God’s plan. She proved to be such an example of perseverance, and she did not COMPLAIN. Wow. It’s hard to imagine not becoming a complainer knowing what she had to face each day. I reflected on her amazing example when I spoke at her funeral. Here’s the thing: God provides the gift of life for each of us. Sometimes it’s an inexplicably difficult road — and we always have to remind ourselves: this is not heaven! The truth is we never really know who is watching, who is learning, who is in need of seeing our “walk” with the Lord. It’s also true that we are constantly being refined, being prepared for what is coming next….
James 1: 2-5
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.