The drive all the way across town took more time than I had recalled, which made me especially thankful that I had crammed as much as possible in the vehicle. The Mister would undoubtedly appreciate my efforts to save us an extra trip between the house and the apartment. Our apartment. I still couldn’t get used to the thought that we were on our way to officially taking up residence in a space only slightly larger than a hotel room, much less that we had willingly taken the steps which brought us to this point.
We had substantially down-sized the collection of stuff that had accumulated over the past ten years, had packed a storage unit top to bottom with the want-to-keep-but-can-probably-get-by-for-a-few-months-without items, and were hoping to fit the rest within the bounds of a two-bedroom rental. There wasn’t really a plan for our next move, so my husband and I were prepared to sit-tight while taking some time to discern about what was next for us.
Speaking of that man of mine, why wasn’t he answering his phone? We were suppose to be meeting any moment now, surely he had left work already.
Just about that time, his typically heartwarming ringtone prompted an aggravated “Where are you?!” muttered under my breath. The voice on the other end was calm and apologetic, and yet clearly indicated that something was wrong. That quality in his tone was one that I had hoped I would never hear again. And yet there I was, moments from signing an apartment lease, listening to my husband explain that his position at work – the same one that he had secured earlier that year, and had even filled on an interim basis prior to that (explained more in Without a Plan) – would once again be shifting.
As years of “working for the man” has taught us, change is inevitable. Companies restructure and move in new directions — frequently, as it turns out. Yet the details surrounding this particular transition were especially hard to swallow. Of all the layoffs and reorganizations we’ve been through, the nonsensical explanation made this scenario feel like a knife to the heart. It just wasn’t fair.
Though an injustice of this degree typically warrants at least a few moments of sulking, in the words of a beloved you-tube sensation, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Within minutes, we were sitting across from the apartment manager reviewing terms and conditions. Of course there were a million questions racing through our minds. What did all of this mean? Why was this happening today of all days? How did this impact our decision?
With about two seconds to think about it and more unanswered questions than we’d faced throughout the entire process, we did the only thing that we could make sense of… fix our eyes on the fundamental and proceed with the most immediate step accordingly.
So we signed the apartment lease.
Uncertainty reached its pinnacle that day as what felt like the one remaining piece of our comfort zone – a job that Kel had worked hard for and enjoyed doing – was stripped away.
It wasn’t long after that when we recognized a subtle shift had begun taking place. What started out as merely a seed of willingness to go, had taken root and begun growing into desire. As much as we hated the thought of leaving our loved ones, we sort of loved the idea that perhaps there was a reason for all of those failed attempts to cram our lives into the expected mold.
We didn’t know where. We weren’t sure when. We had no idea how. We weren’t even certain if. So we settled for taking it one day at a time. It became our mission to focus on simply figuring out what the next act of obedience looked like.
We hoped and prayed and waited for direction. And when that didn’t seem to work, we threw ourselves little pity-parties for how stranded and “left to fend for ourselves” we felt.
There were times throughout the voyage that felt as though the ceaseless waves were bound to capsize us. Yet in the midst of the struggle we were graciously offered one unwavering truth… His Sovereignty.
Placing our absolute faith and trust in Him requires patiently waiting upon the Lord – for as long as is necessary – and clinging to the promise that He is working in the stillness. It is resting in the peace that He won’t forget about us.
Even when it feels as though He has.