I saw or heard that phrase somewhere this last year, and it has hung with me…
…because I need trust to stand tall. Like now!
A few days back, I went with my freshly graduated 18 year old to her yearly physical (she won’t have her license for a few more weeks). As the nurse measured her height, she encouraged her to stand tall – to push her back and heels flush against the wall, lengthen her neck and spine and look straight ahead.
Our seemingly forever season of transition/waiting is about to heat up, and not just because it’s summer time.
God has finally opened the doors for us to transition to the new place we’ve been thinking-praying-talking about for a few years now. Lord willing, we move in just a few weeks. We’re excited. We’re scared and nervous.
New ministries, new and more responsibilities, new church, new house in a new city, new friends, new school (and in a new language for several of our children). New grocery stores, new measures like liters instead of gallons and Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, new identity as we will no longer be those seemingly confident veterans but the very insecure and unsure newbies. For this introvert, it’s the stuff nightmares are made of!
Even in the busy excitement of preparations and hope-to-see-you-sooner-rather-than-later-get-togethers with family and friends, even in the well-known of “having been here done this,” I find myself continually having to choose to trust the One leading us this direction.
Trust must stand tall, especially as I think of what this transition means… will mean… for my family.
Two will remain in the States: one busy with an internship, work and classes at a local university while the other works until leaving for school in a distant state. Six travel with us. All of those “news” listed above, plus others, will belong to them as well.
What happens if we find – or perhaps more accurately – when we learn that this new path has caused significant issues with, or for, one or more of our children? What if one is hurt by others or one decides to choose a different path far from God in this new place or because of this new place? When our children struggle, does it mean we weren’t really “called” or that our discernment of God’s will was automatically defective?
Our marriage will, quite probably, enter one of those proverbial “rough patches.” But this one might be rougher and longer than any other before, and we might wonder, “Can we make it this time? Is it even worth it anymore?” Our parents’ health may decline, or a friend who might as well be family receive one of those dreaded diagnoses…
The list of “what-ifs” could go on, and sometimes as I read blogs (like a life overseas), I get the idea that expat workers really only have one right choice when responding to these hard things that are often consequences of this life we’ve chosen and it’s accompanying painful and challenging transitions. That’s because those of us who write in places like this do want to share with others the things we sincerely believe we’ve been taught by 1) God, 2) godly others, 3) study, 3) observation and/or 4) years of just living this lifestyle. If someone “listens” and then follows – doing what makes sense and seems right to us… then we think they’ve made a good decision; if they choose something different, than we easily communicate, the idea that they are sacrificing family on the altar of ministry. And that is absolutely, and totally wrong.
Why? Three reasons immediately come to mind:
- We (i.e. those giving said suggestions and advice) are not omniscient. We give our advice. Do we then respectfully, tenderly, come alongside – even in the comments section of a blog post, regardless of what others have chosen?
- These words from the end of Philippians 1 ~ “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain… Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…” In other words, we are told there will be hard times, unexplainable, unforeseen and undeserved things will happen.
- We also know “…that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8.28)
Do we live as though we believe God will redeem ALL?
- The hard?
- The suffering?
- The sacrifice?
- The impossible?
- The unfair and unjust?
- Our mistakes and wrong decisions?
- Willful sin and disobedience… even our very own?
Choosing to believe that God WILL redeem, and in His timing – not mine?
That is what it looks like when we allow trust to stand tall.
May you choose, this day (and the next… and the next…) to let trust stand tall.
Encourage other readers by sharing stories of how you’ve seen God redeem the impossible in the comments below!
Owl photo credit: Dick Stewart, Captured Memories