I have noticed that a lot of fiction books deal with a character going back to a place they didn't want to return to. Most often it's home, where there are bad memories or bad reputations to be overcome.
I don't mind going back. I go back a lot in my mind. As a writer, I am constantly revisiting my own memories, mining them for the rich resources they add to my prose. I go back to wander the rooms of my grandparents' homes. Back to the home I grew up in. Back to the schools I went to. Back to what's familiar and comforting. Sure, I have bad memories and things I did that I am not proud of. Who doesn't? But for the most part, I enjoy going back. The past is a pleasant place to me.
It's the future that I shy away from. Just yesterday Curt arrived home from a trip to Dallas TX to interview for a job that would take us far from home, to places as yet undetermined. There is no comfort in that thought, no familiarity. The future is not a pleasant place to me. It is a place of shadowy corners and unexpected turns. It is a place our family has not gone. One of the options we've been presented with feels a bit better than others, but we are not guaranteed that place.
We are not guaranteed anything.
Two months have gone by since I got the phone call that would change our lives in an instant. When I hung up that phone, I thought that by this point Curt would have started his new job and we'd be singing praises about the abundant provision of God. We are still singing His praises-- they just sound a bit different. We praise Him because He holds the future. We praise Him because He goes before us.* We praise Him because He provides, no matter where we live. He will provide the answers, the friendships, the church, the community in a new place that He has provided us here. He has already been to where we are going and in that I take comfort.
Perhaps He has a big surprise in store and we will not have to move. Perhaps, like Abraham, He has to move us to accomplish His purposes for us.* No matter what, I trust there is an end in sight, a destination He has planned. He still has it under control and we do have hope and... a future.* When I focus on that, the future doesn't sound so scary. Going back might be comforting but going forward is an adventure. The comfortable life isn't the stuff that faith is built on. My flesh craves comfort, but my soul cherishes the adventure. So I keep going forward, stepping into the unfamiliar while tightly grasping His hand.
Don't let go, I whisper.
I will never, He promises.*
*Verses referenced in this post: Psalm 139:5, Genesis 12:1-5, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37:23-24
Here's a song that I will be listening to today. Maybe you'd like to listen to it too.
Isaiah 41:13, "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'" (This verse is on an index card on our fridge right now!)