Three and a half weeks ago, I was sitting down after a full day of work, chatting with my husband on the phone. I had last seen him around Easter when he came home for a week. For the past year he has been working a province over and only made it home for the major holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. With a child in school, driving a school bus and an acreage with animals to take care of, we found it difficult to make the trip out to see him. I’ve had my husband work away from home all of our married life and am quite used to it, though that hasn’t changed my constant hope and desire to have him find work either close to home or with a job rotation that allows him to be home more often, instead of months and months of being absent.
I’ve prayed for years and we’ve both looked and entertained ideas and options that would bring our family together. Nothing has worked out in that regard. In fact earlier this spring we had a another close opportunity not pan out yet again that left both of us feeling frustrated.
And so on a Wednesday evening we began entertaining the idea of moving out to where he was. He had always been so resistant to the idea, for a number of reasons, but things had changed that made it not as impossible for him as before. At the same time, things had changed for me as well, bring us into accord.
Yes! Let’s consider uprooting and moving so that we could be together as a family!
We figured it would take time, probably 6-8 months to sell our acreage and so I got cracking by calling a realtor in our area to get her opinion of the state of the market and what she thought we could sell our place for, as things have been in quite the slump in our area for a number of years. Driving the bus around, I had seen many places go up for sale and stay on the market for most of the school year.
Before we had even finished drawing up the listing agreement, we had a showing! Literally one week after discussing the possibility of moving and only 2 days before I was scheduled to drive out to see my husband for 3 weeks. I was frantically trying to clean up the place so I could leave, and finish school, and make the house show-worthy, and do the paperwork that comes with getting a house ready to sell. Lawns to be mowed, garden to be weeded and arrangements to be made for the animals.
Then we had an offer come in and we accepted the night before we began the two day drive to see my husband. I was in shock then and I’m in shock now, because after a couple weeks of waiting we have officially sold our place only 3 and a half a weeks from when we started thinking about it!
I’m sitting in my husband’s rented apartment, thinking about all the times, we’ve tried to “make it” happen before. How we’ve tried to find ways to have our family together and how many times we’ve been disappointed and crushed by having jobs ripped away at the last possible moment. How we’ve worked at trying to move before and then one of us would balk or life would throw us a curveball that made it impossible.
Now as I watch what’s been happening these past few weeks. How life is changing up so rapidly and surprisingly smoothly, I am shocked, yes, but also deeply aware that God has been answering my prayers and is still answering my prayers. That it’s all just been a work in progress that has taken a number of years to line everything up. Certain things had to happen to prepare each of us for this moment. There were things we had to let go of and realizations about ourselves that we had to discover before we could move forward in order for all this to work. Some of this was intentional and some of this was beyond our control.
I would pray and pray and cry out to God, begging Him to make things work out and bring my family together. And I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind why He wouldn’t answer my prayers. You would think God would want us to be together–a wife with her husband, a child with his dad. Over the years I’ve been angry, confused, disheartened, numb and indifferent But I’ve also been content and at peace with the way life has gone. My prayers have ranged all over the map, but they usually have all boiled down to letting go of myself and binding myself with God, renewing my hope and trust that He has us in His hand.
Prayer baffles me.
So it helps to read books like Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door. Though it’s geared towards kids, it’s a great book for explaining the unexplainable such as prayer. The story expands on the idea of communicating without the use of words, and how to relate to the incomprehensible—both the microcosmic and the macrocosmic. So I’m glad I’m reading through it at this time with my son, especially now with so much changing up in our lives. It give me hope that when I don’t quite know what or how to pray, or fears steal my words, that I can still reach out to the almighty God and that He hears me. That He cares.
Which reminds me of that bit in the Bible found in Daniel 10 where Daniel has a vision and is told by an angel that God heard him from the moment he first opened his mouth and yet it took him a long time to come in response because he met resistance along the way. And I consider that the truly big prayers of our hearts may take time, whether it’s because forces beyond our understanding are at work against us, or that we ourselves need to grow and evolve.
Maybe even now this move will not work out, and that makes me afraid. It scares me the most to see so many things fall into place, because I’m just waiting for it all to collapse at the last moment. It’s happened before. It may yet happen again. God knows I have trust issues. It’s something I tell Him almost daily. Sometimes with words but most often with a deep clenching in my stomach.
It helps to walk it out. Literally. I walk and I walk. Walking is an act of prayer for me.
So life is changing, and as I tell my son, we just need to roll with it. We need to let go of that which hinders and embrace the adventure!