You just don't know when the next bend in the road will come sometimes. You think you see the road stretching out in front of you all the way to the horizon, and it's a good road that makes you smile with contentment. You're walking it, thankful for what you think is ahead. But then it twists, and your eyes widen with surprise. This one looks good, too. It's just very, very different.
My new road involves palm trees, coconuts, and the crowded streets of a city halfway across the world.
David grew up a military kid. When he was right around the ages that our boys are now, he moved to Germany with his family. As a teen, he lived in Turkey for about a year.
He was different from a lot of guys I knew, and I was intrigued. I suspected that some of that difference came from the way he'd learned to see the world and interact with it from living all over it.
When David took a job here with a local branch of the Justice Department, we heard about an opportunity for our family to go overseas on a detail and serve developing democracies. We both knew we wanted to try and do it one day.
He started sending in applications occasionally over two years ago, and the more we learned about the process, the more impossible it seemed that he would ever be selected. I took that dream and told God that it was OK. I'd give it up.
I honestly really meant that. I'd been restless after we found out another baby wasn't in our future, and I'd wanted to travel. But "travel" shouldn't mean "uproot your life because of discontentment," and I figured that out over a year ago, thank God. He has helped me dig in deep and enjoy my growing boys and planting roots in new church and homeschooling communities.
So when David got an interview out of the clear, blue sky one day last October, I wasn't prepared. We'd even agreed that he should just put in applications without telling me because I didn't want to know a thing about it unless he actually got an interview.
And now he has accepted an offer for a detail that is taking us far from home for at least 14 months. Realistically, we're probably going to be away for 2 years. We're moving to Asia. I found out right after Christmas, and the office is talking about getting us there by sometime in March.
I'm cleaning out every closet in the house, thinking about getting our home ready to rent, checking into medical clearance forms, and praying over our housing application that has already been sent to the Embassy where David will be working.
I've woken up almost every morning for the last two weeks scared to death. But David says I'm way tougher than I look. He says that Jesus told a parable about me. I'm the son who said he wasn't going to work in the vineyard, but then he ends up going anyway. He's right, I guess. I struggle and argue and tell God it's too hard, but then I usually end up heading out with my vine dressing tools. Usually. :)
I'm not waking up scared every day anymore, and I'm thankful for that. I'm starting to get more excited and grateful for the chance to grow in my trust of God. I'm being given the chance to see the world He's made in new ways with my husband and my excited little boys. Homeschooling in a land without libraries doesn't feel as impossible as it did a week ago. :)
God has made it very clear in a few different ways that this is what He has for us. I can't deny it. I don't know all the reasons yet, but I haven't been sorry when I've stepped out into the scary unknown with Him in the past. He has been faithful, and I know He loves us all.
And fortunately, we all love rice and mango. :)