sunday, september 8, 2013.
I arrive at The Music Man's work with Little Buddy so we can join him at his going away party. I foolishly check my iPhone and discover the school has made a decision about our pending applications: we have not been accepted. Wow. My first thought is, "ha ha, God… very funny!" My second thought is, "I've got to get home to keep packing." I know in my heart he has told us to go, though apparently I don't know where. This is the second bait and switch this year. Our baby was the first. We laugh and kiss and say a quick prayer and saunter into the party.
After the party we receive a call from our new camper-van mechanic, who informs us he can't fix our new mysterious van-intermittently-just-won't-start issue until next Wednesday. So we couldn't even get to Cali by Monday for registration if we tried. Two denials are more comforting than one.
We leave The Music Man to finish his day and head home, when an unknown call comes in: a friend of a friend wants to sublet our apartment. Of course he does! I laugh and tell him to come on over to check it out. Why not? We like them and they like us, and of course they love the place, so we take the plunge and sign the papers and commit to live life somewhere else for a while.
We are certain God has told us to go, or rather, has invited us to go. We haven't heard the audible voice of the Lord or anything like that, but he has confirmed it to us in so many ways and we are each independently certain we are to go... but where? I am in the basement packing and asking God if we are reeeally supposed to leave our lovely little home, when I see a small scrap of paper flutter out of a box which I am taking to the recycling bin. It says, "Luke 13:31-35". I don't recognize the handwriting. I smirky-smile suspiciously and wander upstairs to look it up. It begins by saying: "… leave this place and go somewhere else." Somewhere else is pretty vague, but we suppose it doesn't just mean some other small apartment in Seattle, so we continue packing and leaving and going to a land of which we know not... but thankfully not for a few more weeks.
That I can relax into curveballs like cancer, or dropping everything and going to school, or not going to school as it turns out, is proof that God really is changing me, for which I am so thankful. Don't get me wrong, this has been super intense and really stressful, and not just sometimes, but we really do believe that God is calling us to go. We are relieved we don't have to do the impossible and leave this weekend, we are beyond relieved that we don't have to put Little Buddy in childcare (nothing against childcare, but for some reason we have never felt like it was right for this particular little guy), and we are relieved that we don't have to go to school! That last one just applies to me, actually. I love love love learning, we both do, but after applying I remembered with a sense of panic that I've never really enjoyed school much.
The school offers no reason for not admitting us, but I can think of several: we have no money for school, no childcare lined up, no money for childcare, sporadic attendance at both of our two churches, we are fresh off the cancer train, and then there's my recent cannabis adventures and my absolute refusal to break trust and relationship with our less than two year old son and abandon him for a full five days and nights during the end of September whilst away on a student retreat for the purposes of building trust and relationship with others, etc, etc. But we'd like to think that the folks there simply prayed and asked God whether or not we were supposed to go, saw a great big red light in the sky (because God has something else up his sleeve for us), and told us to get lost!
That afternoon we all sit at home, staring out the window at the pouring rain. A box of books my Mama shipped up for Little Buddy arrives, one of which is the kind where Granny and Granpy record themselves reading the story in their own voices. Little Buddy pulls it from the box and starts listening to My Rainy Day Imagining Book, and we listen too...
What's there to do on a soggy, wet day? When all of those raindrops won't go away? Don't sit around 'til the rain is all through -- God has adventures just waiting for you!
Imagine a hospital full of the sick. They need a doctor so you show up quick! Each one feels better when you've done your best -- God helps them heal and get plenty of rest.
Imagine a treasure that you'd like to find -- lost on an island, the pirate-y kind. You've got a map and you follow each clue. What's the best treasure? It's God's love for you!
Now you can see that the rain's not so bad -- not with adventures like these to be had! Jungles and treasures and castles and more -- That's what God gave us imagining for!
The bible says: No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
We look at each other and laugh… it's our verse. Little Buddy finds another book and sits down on the potty. It is an old Serendipity book from my own childhood that we've never read to him, but in an desperate attempt to occupy him while packing the day before, I threw it down from the top shelf so he could check out the pictures. The Music Man begins to read to him: Flutterby was no common bug or butterfly and set off to discover her new world. "I wonder what I am and what I'm supposed to do?" She'd see a group of ants or bees or butterflies and think to herself, "that's what I must be" and set about trying to be just like them, but each attempt was met with near disaster. But in the end, Flutterby discovers the moral of the story, which is to "be just who you are."
We start to suspect someone is trying to tell us something. We are not certain what to do or where to go, but we are pretty sure it involves us just being us, learning how to listen to God and follow where he leads, and doing the one thing God has clearly told us he created us do to, at 3 different times, through 3 different words, from 3 different strangers: worship the Lord from the mountaintops and high places. And none of us are just along for the ride -- this is a family purpose.