A few months back, I was sitting in church, listening to our pastor give a message. I don’t even remember what the message was about now. However, I vividly remember that pastor turned in our direction and spoke the word “return”.
In order to continue, let me back track a little. A little over 3 years ago, my husband accepted his job here in California. At the time, we were a little apprehensive, but mostly excited to embark on a new chapter together. We love travel, and thought how neat it would be to live in another state and especially one as iconic as California. We thought our weekends would be filled with adventuring to all the cool locations and landmarks. Children were on the agenda someday, but not for a couple more years. However, God had other plans.
Shortly after breaking the news to our families that we would be moving clear across the country, we were facing the reality that I was pregnant. I was pregnant, and we were moving. About as far away from our support system as we could get. But we did it. We put on our big boy and big girl panties and we did it.
However, our experience here has been very different than we had expected. I kept trying to tell myself that God had a purpose for bringing us here. And that is what I would tell myself on the bad days. The days when I felt like a complete outsider that would never fit in. The days when we had no relief from non-stop parenting. The days when I felt like a failure because my business didn’t take off here like it did in Alabama. The days when the urge to get the h-e-double hockey sticks-outta here was overwhelming. I felt as if I was simply surviving my days here and not thriving in them.
But can I tell you, GOD IS FAITHFUL. For all the moments I felt despair, God responded with love. And then, He affirmed what I began to know in my heart as to His plan for us here. And can I tell you again that God is FAITHFUL.
About a year ago, I was on a flight from Sacramento to New Orleans to second shoot a wedding for a dear friend. Seated all around me were fellow-Alabamians who had just spent the last week at a church conference. I was deep into my chosen reading material for the trip. The book was titled “Good or God? Why Good without God isn’t enough” by John Bevere. At seeing what I was reading, the man across the aisle struck up conversation. Come to find out, he was a pastor of a church in the Birmingham area. His wife was seated next to him and then joined in the conversation. After sharing a little about myself, his wife spoke such words of affirmation to me. She shared how she and her husband also moved away from home shortly after getting married and had children. She said that God used that experience to draw them close. That experience gave them such a firm spiritual and marital foundation that laid the ground work for where God lead them from that point on.
The plane took off. The pastor and his wife got out their travel pillows and slept for the duration of the flight. But me, I was rejoicing quietly. I was praising and thanking God for orchestrating such a divine moment. You see, God already knew something that I was silently freaking out about. After I returned from my trip, a test confirmed it. I was pregnant again.
I desperately wanted and prayed that God would send us home before the baby was born. Because I didn’t know how we would do it. Two kids and no support system. If I’m honest, the last year has felt like an eternity. Waiting and wondering when the news would come that we are moving back to anywhere closer to home. Again, if I’m honest, I had grown anxious. When God?! When?! All the while, God was trying to build my faith. He wanted me to trust Him. I tried to stay strong in my faith and believe that God was working it out even if we couldn’t see it.
So when God spoke the word “return”, I was floored. In that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit telling me that we were going back. Back to Alabama. It was a promise. We didn’t know how or when. But can I tell you, GOD IS FAITHFUL. We are on our way. There is still a lot that has to be done before we can put down roots again in the Mobile/Eastern Shore area, but I have complete confidence that God is already working that out as well.
Maybe you are facing a major life change. Maybe you are awaiting an answered prayer. Maybe you need to let some things go and believe that God will work out the details.
He is FAITHFUL.
“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” -Psalm 121:8