|Candid shot of the Sheps with Petoskey Stones in MI several summers ago.|
Yes… I have hair here…yaddy yaddy yada.
Tonight I was thinking that there are some parts of this
in order to chase
that I simply cannot tell anyone:
The parts where I get scared,
The times when I doubt,
The moments I hurt,
The pain of walking away from our parents and grandparents,
The fear that comes with knowing we will be away as they age and even as they may pass from this earth.
But… who can I whisper those dark secrets to?
We want to show our faith, how it has grown as we have been obedient to God. We want to show that our strength is found there, that we are weak and made to be all that we should be when we reach out our hands to Him.
And so I realized… I need to tell these things to anyone who looks our way, witnesses our steps, and even walks alongside of us. Because this is our story. We do not follow this path because it is easy.
We follow it because we are willing to stake everything we have, we are, and will become on our belief in the story of Jesus. This faith in our God requires that we follow his footsteps with reckless abandon. We drop our nets and follow.
We have lived in the basement of my parents for the past 14 months or so (I have lost count). And now that this time here is closing… I feel the pain of the separation. I worry about my parents and this quieted house after we leave. I know my mother will read these words and it will make her cry. This makes me sad and yet, I feel compelled to be transparent.
Being here has been amazing. Last January I wrote in a blog entry that was an open letter to God
I am blown away by the forward sight you have burned into my mind. Your provision, exactly what we need, right when we need it... both strengthens my resolve and tests my belief.
There is no other possible action for us except to exist as the beings you have created. You know us and you have shown us who we are. For us, there simply is no other possibility. You have called us. You have chosen us. For us to refuse would be to condemn our souls and die. This is our life. Nothing compares.
Even so, still I must take steps that require blind movement. The vision you have given me of a home with green grass and high walls that secures the lives of children you hold in your hands as we find them forever families. I know how it will be. And between me and that day I am aware that mountains stand:
- Our house must be sold... for less than we paid, and within 6 months.
- Two cars must be paid off... one within 6 months, another within 12.
- Our adoption must be completed and paid. $14k to go!
- Consumer debts must be paid off.
- Annual support must be secured from friends, relatives, and churches.
- A SUV or club cab all wheel drive vehicle must be obtained by donation.
We are dwarfed by these mountains...and yet by faith we know You can move them. We have seen you do more in the way you healed our souls. We have felt greater things in the way you hold our chaos and converge reality. We have heard your voice quiet the noise. And so, we claim these obstacles as gone.
And now as I write these words tonight… each obstacle has been removed! Although some were not resolved exactly as we thought they would, each and every mountain is gone.
This evening Kellie, the kids, and I went to out to dinner with my mom and dad. It was difficult for me because tonight feels like a major milestone in our leaving. I am taken by surprise by the power of emotion that overwhelms me tonight.
We have been in STUB (Shepherd Transitional Underground Bunker) now for quite sometime and now we are moving things over to Kellie's parent's house to also spend some time with them.
We leave with some friends tomorrow for a few days of retreat over Easter and when we return we will be mostly moved into the Johnson's home. I did not expect it to be so difficult to make this little move.
Crazy Love (nod to Francis Chan).
Yes, crazy Love Hurts (nod to Incubus).
It is also Hurts Real Good (nod to John Mellencamp).
I will not walk away from the conviction of my faith. I cannot deny the pain… and still, I cannot help but acknowledge the inner peace knowing that we follow the path that God has made straight before us.
And so, I suppose we need a new acronym. STUB won't work for the new digs. It is a 2nd floor lodging complete with two bedrooms, a common area, and a full bathroom. It is certainly not underground.
SLAG- Shepherd's Loft Awaiting Guatemala should do the trick.
Just keeping it real folks. Keeping it real. We do not waiver in our faith… and yet, we still feel the struggle from time to time.
75 Days. Guatemala or bust!