I’m in over my head. My energy, money, and patience have run out months ago, several countries ago. Things are not going well. In fact, they continue to spin out of control. Transitioning from a life of transience to permanence is taking a toll. The waters are deep and I am overwhelmed. Alone in a new city, my duffel bag sits at my feet as I prepare to go home for the death of my grandfather. Tears are streaming down my face as I open my hands and close my eyes. I’m surrounded by the unfamiliar, lifting my cracking voice in unison with those gathered around me, struggling with uncertainty and impatience. Together we sing, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.”
This is the cry of my heart, the desire behind my actions, yet I am afraid. I am afraid of deeper waters, afraid of situations that will stretch and grow me beyond my control. Afraid of trust without borders. And yet. This year of travel has been preparing me for moments of surrender, moments of faith. Moments where I can no longer hold on to my own expectations or stubborn will. Moments where God provides just enough at just the right time.
A few weeks ago, God’s faithfulness provided a miracle I hadn’t even thought to ask for. While monotonously searching for jobs in Nashville, I stumbled upon an internship opportunity to live in community service for one year. I dismissed the opportunity for myself, but passed it along to my sister who is living in Mexico. Without a thought, I randomly told her to check it out during one of our long-distance Skype dates.
She had her heart set on staying in Mexico for another term of teaching, but something had begun to shift. My Dad and a friend had been meeting together weekly to pray over our family, and they had recently been prompted to pray for her to have the strength to make an upcoming decision she thought she’d already made. A few days later, after asking for prayer and fasting from our family, she applied for the internship and had an early morning interview with a team of four. She was shocked when they not only offered her the job on the spot, but prayed over her time of transition and adjustment back to the States.
Three months ago, my sisters and I were all in separate countries. I had no intention of quitting traveling, nor of coming back to the States to live in Nashville. I had resigned myself to a life lived apart from my family, away from home. And yet. I was stopped in my tracks as all of my plans fell through, one by one. As I struggled to give up my own expectations, God softened my heart to His will for my life (which is still unraveling in His perfect timing while I noisily tap on my watch).
It’s been over a year since my sisters and I parted ways in Mexico. We haven’t all three been together since!
Oaxaca, Mexico 2013
It has been 10 years since my sisters and I have all lived in the same city. I am beyond excited and grateful for the work of transformation God has planned for us in Nashville. I am grateful that He sees beyond our circumstances and moves in ways we could never anticipate to bless us beyond our imagination. He takes us deeper than our feet could ever wander.
I am still struggling to see all of the pieces fit together. I am tempted daily to forge my own path, to take life by the horns and force it to give me what I have earned, deserve, want. I’m tempted to hurl myself over the obstacles, ignoring omens and lessons along the way. I’m annoyed by obligation, unpredictability, and the way time seems to be slipping through my fingers without proof of accomplishment. I’m weary of fighting the same internal battles, resenting my own impatience and turning it inward, wishing I could be calmer, focused, faithful.
I am incapable of trust without borders on my own. I crave certainty, detail, and reassurance. I can see a glimpse of the Big Picture, but I want to know and memorize my lines ahead of time. I want to edit out the parts where I am waiting in the wings, waiting for someone else’s cue to take the stage. I don’t want to rehearse, I want to begin. And yet.
Another afternoon storm threatens the horizon, but sunlight persists through the shadows of uncertainty. I point out a faint rainbow on the horizon and the stranger next to me with a gruffy voice smiles. “God is good all the time…” he starts. “All the time, God is good…” I join in and sit down next to him, resting in the shade, sharing a moment of praise and relief from the heat of the day. I am weary beyond measure, but God is faithful. I am choosing to rest on His promises, walking upon the waters wherever