There are times in your life when you realize just how short life is – times when you look at those dreams in the distance and wonder what you are waiting for. Do you wonder what would happen if you just stepped out in faith and really pursued them? Would God part the waters for your journey or would His timing not allow the waves to part open, even in the smallest way?
My days of wondering are over.
On a long winding drive last August, the realization of how short life is hit me, hard. I was praying for a young family who had just lost their mom. She was exactly my age and it was sudden. And as I wept for the pain her children and husband were left to bear, it hit me – we are NOT promised tomorrow. As I looked around and took in the green pastures, rows of crops and towering trees that lined my drive, I sighed. This is my space. My heart was instantly content here, in these surroundings, and I made a decision that day – now was the time to start living out our dreams.
You see, we have always wanted to move to a small town three hours northeast. It’s where my husband’s family lives and where we enjoy many weekends at a slower pace, and that pace was one my heart cried out for. The hustle and bustle of a big town has left me depleted, exhausted and drawn in too many directions. The beautiful small town has always been in our retirement plan – once the kids graduated, we had every intention to build a house and someday retire there. Yet that day, on that winding drive, my heart was drawn to begin to really pursue that dream.
Yet, I was scared.
Moving would mean big changes in our lives. We would be leaving all our friends and family and uprooting our children from their friends, school and youth group that they love. Moving would mean homeschooling, which was nothing I had ever considered doing before, not to mention we would be significantly cutting our income, as my husband traded in a seventh floor office for his dream job on the farm.
“God is this YOUR plan?”, I asked through my shaking hands as they gripped the steering wheel. And in His faithfulness, He responded with an image, which played like a movie scene in my mind. As Joshua led the Israelites out of captivity, they came to the fast flowing, flooded Jordan River. Now this wasn’t the first time the Israelites felt trapped in their escape by a body of water. In Exodus 14:21 -31, God worked through Moses to part the sea as a path for His people, destroying the Egyptian army in the wake. God parted the waters before them and the the Israelites walked across the sea floor on dry land. Yet this time, at the Jordan, something was different.
“When the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people. Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass that extended as far as Adam, a city next to Zarethan. The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah — the Dead Sea — was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho. The priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.”
Joshua 3:14-17 CSB
Did you notice it? This time, they had to step foot in the water before God parted it. They had to step in faith and trust a God that had seen them through some unbelievably rough times. As God played this image over and over in my mind, I heard Him whisper to my heart, “My child, if you want to know if this is the right time, you have to trust me. Look, I even called my chosen people to take a step of faith before I showed them how mighty my hand is. My dear child, simply step and all will be revealed.”
That evening, I went home and told my husband all I had experienced on my drive and how my heart was crying out to move at the end of the school year. He has been wanting to move there his whole life, so his answer was a resounding YES! But we knew if this was all meant to be, this had to be HIS plan, on HIS timeline. So we vowed to not say a word as we stepped out in faith. That way, if God chose not to part the waters, we wouldn’t be tempted to push ahead without His approval.
I wish I could share what the last few months have felt like, but I can’t find words to described the awe we have been living in. God has not only parted a way for us to move NOW, but He has blessed us beyond what I ever thought imaginable! So many things have come together with little effort, thanks to His mighty hand orchestrating every detail. After our home sold weeks before it went on the market for well over asking price, it all hit me and tears fell. I fail Him on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis, yet He still chooses to bless us and remind us how loved we are. I will never get a grasp, this side of heaven, just how much He loves us, but during these past months, He has taught us, reminded us, just how all-encompassing His love is for us.
Is God calling you to step out in faith? Maybe you are wondering if you should switch jobs, change your eating habits, or start that hobby you have always wanted to. Maybe you are wondering if you should try your hand at dating, stop an unhealthy habit, or like us, make a drastic life change. Instead of sitting around wondering what you should do and IF you should do it, offer it completely and wholly to God, and then step. Yes, it may not be His timing and waters may not part, but doors of trust will be opened to you in other ways.
And maybe, just maybe, you will get to watch a miracle unfold right before your eyes.