There is an uncertainty in the air.
As if the bags are packed, you are ready to go, and you are about to head outside.
The car is gassed up. The roadmap is highlighted. The journey is about to begin. Perhaps living on the road for so many years has brought a sense of normality to a season and a point in life most people find exotic and rare. Yet it is always the same. The road will soon be the closest thing to home for Emily and I.
We know we are called to go. But first we must build a network of people who shower us in prayer and provide in lieu of the income most people take for granted. We can’t leave for Taiwan a solitary crew, we need the support of the church, the body of Christ. Missions is a faith based life and we are about to start our support raising adventure.
In a handful of hours Emily and I will start a journey that could last three months or several years. By God’s grace we hope and believe it will be quick, still we ultimately have no idea what our journey will bring. Perhaps this is the same feeling in the stomach of a small baby swallow as his mother pushes him out of the nest for the first time.
Lump in the throat. Palms sweaty. Sink or Swim. This is it, the testing of faith. I’ve never had to provide for someone before. I’ve never had someone else’s life on the line. I can sleep on couches and vulture meals at roadside diners with the best of them. (That’s where you see someone hasn’t even touched 1/3rd of the burrito on there plate and you whimper until they hand it over to you instead of the rubbish bin).
You can’t do that when another persons life is on the line. Ultimately this is a time where the safety nets are either gone or very rigid and far away. If we don’t succeed, our entire future is in question.
Now things have changed though. I am no longer just one person. I am a family. I am learning about provision. My emotions flood me daily, eliciting the thrill of a theme park and the fear of a cliff jump. Am I parachuting or just riding a roller coaster? Am I falling or am I strapped in with a harness?
It is here that I secretly loath.
It is here that I secretly love.
God is a God of the journey. A father of lights always calling people from the safety of urban living to the reckless abandonment of sojourning.
Abram left a homeland to go to a place unknown. Jacob, denied a place in his father’s heart ran headlong into the desert. Moses went from prince to Shepard to rebellion leader. Untold countless hours of journeying. It was here that life and God met. Walking on the dusty roads of Israel. Feeling from the godless forsaken Egypt. The heroes of faith were called to a place of leaving.
We follow a long line of leavers.
(Our friends preparing for battle, or maybe our visits…)
Whether it was Ezra and Nehemiah gathering the support of the people before they renewed Jerusalem. Jesus calling, equipping and building a team. Or David grabbing stragglers, strangers, and vagabonds to be his mighty men. The people of God often are brought to a place where they step out in faith, equip themselves for ministry, and then with all the strength they can muster serve.
Something fantastic happens in the pages of scripture. It is in the desperate, the insane, the hard choices that God meets his people. It is not the wisdom of this world that says slave away in a land not your own. Yet the reward of seeing the very people who walk this earth, made in the image of the invisible God, is beyond money. Beyond freedom. Beyond comfort. God meets people on the outlandish journeys he pulls them on. It is now, that for the first time as a young newlywed couple. As a family, we begin our journey not with traditional stability and peace of the American dream. Yet with a deeper, more unfathomable stability and peace.
The peace and stability of knowing you are where God wants you. And as we learned from Jonah. As we saw with Saul. As we grieved with Samson. That is the most peaceful and secure place you can be. I am so glad to be starting off my marriage with a leap of faith.
It’s scary though. When the gas runs out, that’s it. This is an all or nothing moment and we are excited, nervous, terrified.
(I’m far more terrified on the inside then the outside)
Yet, I am so excited. Because so few people follow dreams. So few people follow change when it is pressing in upon them, resigning them to feel uncomfortable. So many stay silent when the voice inside says to speak life. So many choose to float when they could swim. So many stay at a stagnant job they hate, get a degree they do not want, and get stuck in a life they never believed they would have chosen. Our movies scream that we are a discontent generation. And it takes me back to THAT place.
“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
And everything sane and rational inside me wants to start calling up businesses and applying for a good job that can guarantee warm meals and a place to live. Yet everything inside me spiritual and soulful knows that is not what Jesus wants for me. For us.
We all come to that place. It’s not necessarily an occupation or a career. For others it’s a phone call to a parent that they haven’t talked to in three years. For some it’s giving more then you knew you could and riding that faith train. For some the calling of God is the American dream and ironically that alone can make the heart that loves to sojourn uncomfortable. For others it’s staying in the same place and making a change to be more like Jesus. More spiritual.
That place where you know the almost invisible whisper of the Holy Spirit is slowly building to a dull roar. Where Jesus is calling and telling you, “DO SOMETHING! FOLLOW ME!”
So we are packed. Gas is in the car. We don’t know how may miles lay before us or even if we have enough fuel to get to where we are headed. We do know though that it is here, in the uncomfortable, the unknown, the terrifying, that God has called us.
And that is my most favorite place.
All Photos courtesy of Gian Carlo Photography! Check him out, he’s amazing!