Moving Home Sweet 'homa

by - July 11, 2014

I've begun packing again. Not for a trip, but for a move. The move back to Oklahoma. Happy sigh. It was 7 years ago this month that I committed to moving to Texas and beginning that long haul at Seminary. And now as these boxes get taped up, I'm committing to move home. It's kind of hard for me to believe, but it is definitely happening. 

I have certainly not been shy about how much I love home (definition home: Oklahoma, where I come from, the general vicinity where most all my family live - "most" is for you Lane). Where the waving wheat smells sweet. (Disclaimer:  I haven't actually spent a lot of time smelling waving wheat in Oklahoma). Home is where my parents are.  Where cancer is present, and even more importantly isn't present.  Where my grandma's voice can still be heard in person. Where my brother and the 4 people he brought into our life, live and love and are in plays and ballgames and like to drink coffee on the porch. Where some of my life-long and favorite friends are a couple of miles away instead of a state and a couple of months away. (Some of my other favorite friends will remain here in Texas.) Home is where the Lord first called me, second called me and now for the third time has called me back to serve Him. That is where I am moving. The place where I can live life to serve the Lord, and be the daughter, sister and friend I love to be. Oklahoma.  I know the step toward home isn't always the next one.  I cannot type out words to explain how grateful I am for this to be the next step for me.

I had a friend ask me why I didn't just move there already, if that is where I want to be. I've had other people ask me the same type of question. My decision is to believe in who God is, and trust His Word, His plans and His Spirit to guide me. That when He says He has plans for me, for life, for ministry, for relationships, for purpose, that He means it. That it's concrete, not in theory, not in general to humanity...but for me (and for you). And I (you) can rely on His timing and trustworthiness to reveal it. I could have chosen to move home several times over the past couple of years. When Dad got sick, when other family were hurting beyond what I would consider reasonable. When I experienced difficulties and trials here. I could have said God would want me to move home. I could have dug to justify, and to run home. But, there wasn't peace. Peace came in the "be still." There wasn't firm direction. Had I gone home before, it would have been in my own strength, my own wisdom. Like a loving Father he would not have abandoned me...he doesn't do that. He would have still worked. He would have still shown me, but there probably wouldn't be the joy, like there is now, in knowing it's Him that is making the way. Instead of me digging one out.  I have decided several times, that I would stay and root here in Texas, say "yes" to everything, dig in be present many times, but again His ways are higher than mine.  A good reminder to not resolve myself to what I think is the plan, but to resolve myself daily to the Plan Maker. You don't waste as much time that way.

When I took my current position with Hope For The Heart last year, I thought that was the final plan: I would be in Texas. (I'm always trying to get to that final answer moment) I knew for certain on 8-16 that this job is where God was leading. I had no idea that this job, that I thought was locking me in, would be the very way God would bring me back to the land where I know He wants me to serve, and love and be loved, and live. He brought me to Texas, but from all the way down here, he kept making my heart new up there. I am not who I was, at all, 7 years ago. I am not who I was, at all 4 years ago. God is good. And faithful. He gives the wheat and the honey. Just like He told me He would.  Getting to work from home, and move to Oklahoma isn't the proof that God is good or faithful.  That truth was never contingent on where I live.  God is good. Believe and See. The rest is just gravy.  Good gravy if you will.

I'm so thankful to continue working for Hope For The Heart, as I move to Edmond to join the works-from-home crowd. Because of the nature of this work, and the heavy travel involved, my position has been opened to be a remote work position to allow me the opportunity to be surrendered to the work He has called me to, and have time to build into home and family. Now as I continue to go to lands he calls me to, Where The Trees Talk and Hope is needed, I will get to come home to the people I love. I will continue sharing about discipleship and transformed lives over there, and can live that out back here with the lives and family God has given me. I don't know exactly what that will look like...but, I know that's what He is doing. My life is transformed through my relationship with Jesus Christ and the power of God's Word. I'm not who I was, because of who He is. And I like it. I like to share it. I like to talk frankly about it. I like to show others it is possible. I live to honor who Christ is and His authority in my life through living out this change.   I am getting to serve Him in ways that are incredibly difficult for me, and I love more than I imagined possible.  And now I get to do that from home sweet 'homa. I might burst. I will still cross the Red River southbound often, thankfully. But, I like to drive, I like to sing in the car. I like to stop in Ardmore and get a coffee. I have a few deeply sweet friendships that I love here that I already look forward to seeing on my visits back, because I have already started missing them.

In our staff devotions this week we were asked what we think of when we hear the word surrender. I realized that 7 years ago surrender to me meant: giving in, loss, insecurity (leaving my job and going to school), fear...but I was committed to it, because He had made it so ridiculously clear. Surrender meant obedience. I thought mostly about what I would have to do in that surrender. But, the first words I listed on my paper this week were: release, freedom, new life, letting go.  Like Elsa walking up a snow covered mountain.  It immediately struck me how different surrender looks now.  Now I think more about what HE will do when I surrender.  It's not loss anymore, it's life. It's gain. One step at a time. Blind and weak; bold and certain. It's no longer just about obedience. I surrender, because now, even when its hard, my heart wants to be wherever He sends me.  I don't ever want to be anywhere else; whatever wave He tells me to step on. (and there have definitely been some hard waves that have been scary to step on.)  But, case in point, sometimes those waves are exactly where you want to step, and you kind of do the happy dance as you put your foot down.  Guess what I'm doing right now.  God is good. 

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