Today I took my kids to their P.E. class but instead of being at their usual park location, it was much farther down a windy, country road into a part of our area I haven’t traveled. As I drove, it seemed to take so much longer than it should have, the distances seemed confusing, and I found myself missing a turn and feeling a little lost on how to reach my desired destination. As I returned a few hours later to pick up my now tired out, played out, dodgeball pummeled, older kiddos (thank you, Coach Steve), I marveled at how the second trip to a new location is always so different. Once I’ve been there before, those distances seem much shorter, landmarks look familiar, and directions make perfect sense.
My little family is standing at the beginning of one of these roads right now. We have clear directions and all the excitement of heading through a new frontier, but there are all the questions. How long will it take to reach that turn? Will we know to stop at that landmark? Will we have the supplies we need to make it there? Is this really where we are supposed to go? Did we hear any part of the directions incorrectly? And yet even as these questions momentarily pop into our minds and hearts, it’s as if they simply cannot take hold for more than the second it takes to ask them because of the Truths set up so firmly. These Truths have been there much longer and have had far more opportunity to grow and flourish. And even in the midst of the unfamiliarity of change, the inability to rely on the known and “secure,” there is at the same time the strongest sense that while I may not know, I AM KNOWN. Have you been there? To quote the beautiful words of Cleland McAfee, “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God…there is a place of full release, near to the heart of God, a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.” My exact steps at the moment may require extra care, watchful vigilance because the obstacles are new and intimidating, but even at the same moment as I carefully scan for the next move, there is this deep abiding sense that wherever I am and wherever I’m going, He KNOWS…and I am KNOWN.
During the last few months as we have waited for our directions, waited to hear which unknown path would be ahead, one thing has remained steadily on my heart. If you do not understand how beautifully you are known by the One who created you, how do you do life? How do you move forward, how do you make decisions, where is the peace, the joy, the overwhelming sense of HIM overflowing into the whole story? How do you live? I fall on my face and pour out gratitude that I don’t have to spend a moment experiencing the debilitating emptiness of a second without Him, and that neither do you. What we miss when we don’t look up and see Him with His hands all over the twists and turns of our paths! If you do not know Him that way, do not understand the passionate love He has for you and just how much you are known to Him, do not spend another second with that loss. There is so much abundant LIFE out there when your eyes are opened to what He is doing on your behalf! Choose to see HIM!
As final decisions are made, I will begin sharing the story of the last few months here on my blog. I believe this story is the reason God asked me to begin writing here because He wants His story shared. He wants the details of His movements known, and He wants His glory shouted from the rooftops (via wireless internet). He wants me to write so that my children hear, so that we write on our doorframes and talk about Him as we go about the new journey ahead for our family. While our journey may not seem spectacular or awe-inspiring to others, it is miraculous and beautiful because it has been touched by God going before us and working in our behalf, just as He does for every one of those who calls on His Name! And I know that before I even realize it, we will be traveling this new road and the landmarks will look familiar, the distances seem measurable, and the turns be more obvious. We will have seen results, proven His faithfulness yet again, and have history written on this blank page. But even then I will continue to look up because what truly matters is not that I know…but that I am KNOWN.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.*