Thursday, February 18, 2010

Going Back

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!)
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Anonymous said...


I have commented before--I love your writing and I can't help but notice the similarities in many ways. My husband has been out of work for almost a year now. I think I am finally now learinging to surrender. I have stopped looking for signs and saying "by this date...he will have a job" this is truly a cross. I do not know when it will be lifted...I do not like it! But I know God is here and I am not afraid to give him my opinion of things. He never turns me away.Hang in.

Amy Williams said...

I went through this same type of situation about a year and a half ago. My husband *knew* (God had presented many clues) that he would be losing his job. Two days before he lost his job, he had another job offer. But this offer took us to a somewhere new and "scary"--down south to Georgia. But as I look around 1.5 years later, this new a scary place has been filled with so many blessings-- blessings we couldn't be a part of if we had stayed in MI. I wish you and your family success as you trust God on your big adventure.

Debra said...

We know how faithful our God is. Continue on my friend!
Love, Debra

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty. Although my husband hasn't lost his job, he's at a place where he doesn't know if he wants to stay with the same company or take a chance with a company that is wooing him. There is a possibility of a move, and the possibility of staying put. Your words are an encouragment to me, as I turn to God asking him to put the answer to where he wants us on my husband's heart. If we move, I will have to quit my job, but it would be worth it to be where God wants us to be.

tiggerdaisy said...

I absolutely love your honesty. It's so refreshing.

Prayers and blessings as you journey through,

Sandra Holland said...

You may not remember how scared I was 7 years ago when God called Scott to quit his job (partner in an accounting firm) to head to seminary to study to be a pastor. We didn't move but 80 miles away, but I was leaving my friends, my neighborhood, my church (notice all the "mys") and I was really scared. Looking back, of course God was faithful. He always is. It just takes us a while to see and trust. I had big words for our kids and for Scott about what an adventure it would be, but I was really afraid I'd never find the kind of friends, neighborhood, church, etc. that I had in Charlotte. And I was right in some ways. All that is different here, but it's all good and we've all grown in ways that we couldn't if we weren't willing to take a chance. You'll be in my prayers. I know God will be faithful as he always is.

Peace, friend,

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with a job loss. This same situation is affecting so many people right now. It is easy to lose your faith during this difficult time!!!! We are dealing with a similar situation right now. It is nice to see others dealing with a similar situation and to be reassured that God is in control. That is where your focus needs to remain. It is hard to remain there the longer that the situation persists, but we too understand that God is in control. He knows where we are headed. He is preparing us and the situation to unfold in his time. Our faith is unshaken - we know God will provide above and beyond anything we would have planned out!

imoomie said...

I can't help but remember back to when you were so nice to me when I was transplanted here. I was removed from all that was familiar and numerous times when it mattered the most you included me in your plans.
I hope you aren't going anywhere, but if you are, God will go before you and there will be kind people waiting to make the transition easier.

I continue to pray for you and yours as you daily wait upon Him.
Blessings - Heather

Anonymous said...


Remember this...

The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.


Grace Lane said...

Mary Beth,
Praying for you and your family. Knowing that the Lord is with you on every step of your adventure.
Four and a half years ago my family had to make a move because of my husbands job. God has been so faithful to be there every step of the way. One of the blessings of our move: my youngest daughter met her husband and now I have a wonderful son-in-law.
Thank you for your ministry.
God Bless,

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Marybeth,
I came here to leave a comment on your daily devotion, and thought this would be a good place to put it.

I have sometimes fretted over decisions about the future, and wanted to figure out what God's will was for it. I have come to the same conclusion you did, that I need to step out in faith, and trust God for the outcome. I think sometimes He doesn't care which choice we make in a job or where we live and such, because He will always be there to provide for us.

Have a blessed day!


Colleen said...

I love how you are keeping God in control, and to Him be the glory! We moved several times, from state to state when my boys were little. Starting over was an adventure, though the last time was in a place I didn't want to be. Lo and behold, it was in this place that I was born again, and began my life as a Christian. God has His own plan!

More recently, my husband was laid off from spring through fall last year. He's working now, but looking back, I can see God's provision in that, too. I was healing from surgery and going through radiation therapy for breast cancer, and my husband was able to be home to cook, clean, shop, etc, so I could rest and take care of myself. Pretty amazing when you think of it. As soon as the kids were back in school, he found work again.

When we look for His grace and God's hand in our lives, we find it. Hindsight makes that so much easier! Hang in there. I will pray for peace for you.