This morning I was going through an old prayer journal from last year. I opened up randomly to the month of February (2019). It was during this time that I started hearing God say, “Go home.” In my journal, I was questioning it, though.
“Wait. What? Move? Again?”
The command seemed totally out of the blue. I wrote that if God really wanted us to move I’d bring it up to Tim and maybe after the older kids graduated high school we would consider it. But God said, “No. Go home, now.” So my journal during this time was pages and pages of questions... why move? Why now? Why home? I told God I’d feel much better if I knew why. But He wouldn’t tell me why. He just led me to Genesis 17.
In Genesis, Abraham and Sarah didn’t understand God’s call or His promise either. They assumed the blessing was in Ishmael. But God told them that it was in Isaac and that they’d see and understand “this season next year.” Those words jumped off the page and literally spoke to me. I underlined this phrase in my bible and then wrote it in my notebook. Many times. At that point, I knew that God’s call for our family was not where we were, but where we were headed (home), and I knew that we would understand everything “next year” once we got there. I knew that God was asking for obedience and trust... and that “understanding” was not for us to have at that moment. It was something that would be given to us later.
So I talked to Tim about it. We agreed that there were MANY good reasons why we should move home, and we assumed that God’s reasoning had to do with one or all of those reasons. So on March 25, 2019, we officially made the decision to move home — which ironically is the feast of the Annunciation, when Mary said yes to what God was asking of her (even though she didn’t understand everything). It also just so happened to be the day we originally left our hometown, five years before.
Now... Fast forward to this morning. While re-reading my writings, it dawned on me. God said I would understand “this season next year,” which would have been March 2020 - when the shutdowns started. God wanted us home near family when all this craziness began — but a worldwide pandemic and state closures weren’t something I could have possibly understood then.
It’s something I understand now, though. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times over the last few months our family has said the words, “thank God we live home now.” And not just us - our kids have said it too. The kids we thought would hate us forever after moving them as high school upperclassmen. But so much has happened recently - things that we NEVER would have been able to do or experience if we were still living away.
It’s been such an eye-opener for me. We profess that “God will provide” and we say that “God’s will is perfect.” But do we really believe that when we can’t see it clearly or understand it fully? Do we trust in His HIDDEN will? Do we trust His path, even when we feel as though we are walking blindfolded?
Admittedly I struggled with that at the beginning, but looking back, I am amazed, floored, totally awestruck... not just at the fact that God foresaw Covid-19, but that he started taking care of us long before it happened.
How silly I feel reading back through all my doubts... but how grateful I feel thinking about all the miracles He’s worked on our behalf this past year. What a lesson this has taught me about God’s providence, His Omnipotence... and my littleness.
Friends, “today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” (Heb. 3:15) Today, if you hear Him speaking something to you, even if you don’t understand it... Just follow Him. Because if I’ve learned anything this past year it’s that His will is perfect. Just perfect.