Saturday, 7 March 2015
Being a planner when you don't know the plan.
In May 2014 we sat in huge auditorium listening to a man talking, with great humour, about Abraham and the conversation with his wife, Sarah, when God had told him to move his family. Abraham had to explain to Sarah that they were moving, but had no idea where they were moving to.
I laughed and looked at my modern-day version of Abraham sat next to me. I could relate to Sarah's horror at the prospect of packing up her home and her family and leaving without knowing which direction to take. It was funny because I was married to a man who is also a dreamer and has huge faith. It was funny because we were talking about someone else.
And then it happened to us.
And suddenly I wished I had Sarah to talk with.
The year following on from our trip to India has been a whirlwind for us. Hearts ruined, tears sobbed, questions asked and eventually lives laid down daily, we have wrestled with wasting our lives and finding purpose. Last summer Jared was offered a job in Bangalore and we began to prepare our hearts, our boys and our family and friends for the prospect of our moving out there. After finding a peace in my heart about taking our boys to such a huge unknown life change, the job offer was withdrawn and we were left confused and back to the start.
We had no idea what God was doing with us. We clung to our trust in His plan and the promises He has given us. Like Abraham, we knew there were changes ahead but we didn't know what they were.
Over Christmas we noticed a house for sale down the road with enough bedrooms for our family to live in but also for us to welcome other people into our family. We weren't sure who this would be, but we knew we had dreamt about this.
Was this the next step? It was beyond our price range. But after viewing the house we decided to put our house on the market 'to see what would happen'.
Our house sold. For above the asking price. Within six days.
Perhaps this was the right direction, then.
We put in an offer on the big house, knowing we did not have the money to afford the mortgage. Some may say we are crazy. I would agree.
It took six weeks for the owners of the house to accept our offer. Six weeks of agonised waiting as our buyers were organising the purchase of our house. It was more than frustrating but in that time of waiting, we were able to see more clearly what the house was going to be used for. We began to see our dreams being realised at last. Dreams that we had held for over 20 years. In the waiting, we found purpose.
This week we have had a meeting with people who may invest in our house, partnering with us to restore and love those broken by modern day slavery. We continue to pray for God to provide.
And so we have found ourselves, like Sarah and Abraham, taking steps of faith without knowing what the next step will be. We put our foot down tentatively, and then look for the next place to step. We only know one step ahead. When people ask us questions about it, we don't have all the answers. Often we simply have to say 'I don't know'. Because we truly don't.
I don't know if Sarah was a planner but if she was she will have learnt, like I am learning, that sometimes the unknown is more exciting than any plan she could have made. When fear of wasting my life silences the fear of the unknown, I can take those tiny steps of faith knowing that my God, the Master Planner, already has it all mapped out.
One day, when I meet Sarah, I will have a chuckle with her over our husbands. I think we may have lots to discuss.