I woke up this morning as Jake was getting ready to go work. He was standing at the side of the bed slipping a shirt over his head and he smiled at me. I love waking up to his face. He whispered, “You look like a Disney princess.” Ha! That got a laugh and a smile from me. He’s gone now and the house is quiet. It reminds me of how life used to be. Pre bus.
It’s odd this life we are living now. I don’t quite understand it. It’s so different from the life we’ve lived before. I can’t help but wonder what The Lord has in store for us and why he has taken us on this detour.
Last May when we made the final decision to separate from the Coast Guard, everything seemed so simple. We knew we’d have time off – we knew there was risk in what we were doing – but that’s all part of the adventure – right?! But Honestly, we didn’t really think there was any risk. A simple job transfer and it was all falling into place nicely. No need to worry. Just go and enjoy our time while it was there for us. A once in a lifetime opportunity. We couldn’t pass it up. Who gets to choose their own adventure? We did!
I had a plan so beautifully drawn out with every detail accounted for. Off we went and life was grand!
But then The Government Shutdown happened. Oh did that ever put a kink in our plans. By mid October I was in full panic mode. What had we done?! We’d given up all our security and there we were – out in the cold. On our own. With no safety net! What had we been thinking? Why would we give up a perfectly safe life in exchange for an adventure??!
I wrote this post on October 10th after an excruciatingly long day of panicking, when I finally slapped some sense back into myself. I can still taste the panic when I read it.
By then we figured it was going to take longer for everything to work out, but certainly by the first of the year we’d be back to our comfort zone – which was really my ultimate desire. To go back to living in our comfort zone where everything was safe and known. Sure, I wanted an adventure. But I wanted an adventure with an end date.
My goal that month became to live in the moment and accept each day gracefully as a gift. I had to stop focusing on the future. I had to breathe. It wasn’t easy. How could I plan when I didn’t know what was ahead? I couldn’t. I had to be present in the moment.
October and November and most of December passed and we continued to have no word on our future. But we spent those months living the most incredible adventure we could imagine. The sights we saw, the people we met, the experiences we had. All breathtaking and inspiring. Still in my heart, every day, was the nagging seed of panic and doubt. But I was learning to trust and The Lord was sharing tender mercies at every turn.
Then came the Holidays and Texas and the most incredible friends you could ever imagine. I wish I could describe to you what the following 6 weeks was like. But I can’t. I bought a journal the other day in an attempt to write it all down, because I’m afraid it will be forgot and it cannot be. Perhaps once I’ve worked through those 6 weeks on paper I can share them here. I’ve tried to give glimpses of the miracles we witnessed. But I’m afraid it doesn’t quite do it justice.
How we were ever worthy of such divine intervention, love, and comfort, I’ll never understand. Yet there it was. An incredible gift where faith becomes pure knowledge that a loving Heavenly Father was not only aware of us, but he was guiding our footsteps. No longer do I feel the seeds of panic and doubt. I’m no longer afraid of the future. I don’t have to carry that burden.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have to continue to work and plan. It’s still our life to live. Our desire is still for Jake to work for the Air National Guard. His paperwork is still being processed. It’s going on 9 months and there will likely be another couple months before he hears the final word as to whether or not he’s accepted back into their ranks. When that happens, we still have until August before he will start training (and getting paid). Thats the plan.
But who knows what will happen? I don’t. I’m open to the idea that everything we think is best, may actually not be what the Lord has in store for us. I have complete peace in my heart. A peace I didn’t know I could have in a position where I have no control.
It’s been 20 years since Jake returned from his two year mission to Mexico and came up to Alaska to marry me. I remember looking through his missionary daily planner shortly after he got home and reading a poem he had copied to lined paper that had been notably worn and obviously read dozens of times.
The last few weeks as I’ve been thinking about our life, words from the poem I read 20 years ago trickled back to me. A quick google search and I found it. It suits where we are right now perfectly. This life of ours right now looks nothing like my original plan. But I’m going to shut up and enjoy the ride.
A Tandem Ride with God
When I first met Christ
It seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
But it was a tandem bike,
And I noticed that Christ
Was in the back helping me pedal.
I don’t know just when it was that
He suggested we change places,
But life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I knew the way,
It was rather boring, but predictable…
It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
Up mountains, and through rocky places,
At breakneck speeds,
It was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, “Pedal”
I worried and was anxious and asked,
“Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer,
And I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life
And entered into the adventure.
And when I’d say, “I’m scared,”
He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed.
Gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.
He said, “Give the gifts away;
They’re extra baggage, too much weight.”
So I did, I gave them to the people we met,
And I found that in giving I received,
And still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, In control of my life.
I thought He’d wreck it;
But He knows bike secrets,
Knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
Knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
Knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.
And I am learning to shut up
and pedal in the strangest places,
And I’m beginning to enjoy the view
And the cool breeze on my face
With my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.
And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore,
He just smiles and says…