Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forks along the way...

This past October I visited the seminary that I hope to start in the fall.  I had butterflies in my stomach.  I was nervous.

Every day they have scheduled chapel time, no classes are in session for that time of the morning.  The student pastor preached that morning on Hebrews 12:1-2

"As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us.  So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that holds on to us so tightly and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end."
Appropriate I thought for this scared seminary seeking stay-at-hom mom.  It put me at ease.  And being gathered in worship with a group of people who too are heeding the call from God for ordanied ministry was pretty awesome as well.

I thought I had it all planned how my future education path would look.  In speaking with the admissions director, financial aid and the chair of the degree program that I plan to work for, I realized it was silly to plan.  It became clear that my plan was not going to work.

Later that evening the reality of it all hit me.  I cried.  No.  That's incorrect.  I bawled like a baby!!  Sobs and everything!

My sweet husband consoled me by saying, "Uh, hun.  I don't know what to do when you cry like this"

Then he affirmed, "When God calls us into something, we have to do it."

My problem was what this change would do to our family.  Would our marriage be ok?  Would my kids be ok?  Would my house fall apart if I"m not here to care for it?  What would we eat for dinner?

I wanted God to tell me that everything would be OK before I pursued this any further. 

 I Found myself weeping at the communion rail the next Sunday as I listened to the words of the songs the congregation sang.  I found myself dragging my feet a bit on the next steps that I needed to take.  Found myself walking around in a bit of a haze. I found myself not wanting this season of life to end.  How had time gone so fast these past 5 years?  Past 10 years?  How could this season of having babies at home really be almost over?

I felt like there was a fork in the road that I was going to have to decide which path to follow.  I wasn't there yet, but I could see it off in the distance a bit.

Then I found myself needing some direction before I reached that fork.  So I reached for my life map.

I turned to a bright green sticky tab that marked a verse that I must have taught on before.  My eyes were drawn down to the verse.  The words jumped off the page at me in a way that made my heart skip. 

"The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you and you will not have to search for him any more.  If you wander off the road to the right or the left you will hear his voice behind you saying, 'Here is the road.  Follow it"  Isaiah 30:20-21
 I hadn't seen the third prong in the proverbial fork in the road from where I was until I read that verse.

I could choose the path to the right, which could look something like not going to seminary, remaining at home, continuing to work part-time on staff for my church as the children/youth leader, maybe even become a substitute teacher or a teachers aide in our school district. 

I could choose the path to the left, which could look something like waiting another year or longer before deciding to go to seminary.


I could stop worrying about the details.  Stop worrying about whether or not I'll be able to do the work.  Stop worrying about how to finance this.  Stop worrying about whether or not my kids are going to be ok.  Stop caring about what the house will look like in the middle of studying for finals.

Just stop.

Just listen.

Listen for the voice of my Lord behind me saying, "Here's is THE road.  Follow it.  THIS is the road I have laid out for you to follow.  THIS is the path you need to take.  Is it going to be easy?  NO.  But trust ME to take care of the details.  Trust IN me that I know what is best for you.  Trust in me to not let you wander.  Trust in me to lead you to where it is I have been calling you since that day I first whispered into your heart.  Trust me.  Walk by faith.  Here is the road.  Follow it."