It's hard to know where to begin this story really. There are hints of it back to 4th grade or in the early part of our marriage. But, I can only realize those parts now looking back. I suppose the story sort of begins in November/December of 2005.
At that time, we were living in Ohio and just about to move back home to NH after an emotionally bad experience, particularly for Scot, in Ohio (that is another story altogether). I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Chloe when we moved back, and being home felt GREAT for a lot of reasons. Part of what felt so great about it was that where we had lived for about a year in Ohio we were not able to find a church to call home. We were longing for one, and we had left a church and a small group here in NH just a year and a half previously that we werethrilled to come home to.
When we got back, the pastor wanted to come by and hear our story. When he did, I honestly can't remember what we told him. I know that at the time, we really felt like there was something "more" for us out there. That life should consist of more than what we had been calling life over the previous year, but we had no thought that that meant anything. We just thought we had been through a challenging couple years and we were ready to move on. Who knows what else we said, but I remember clear as day what he said to us. After we stopped talking, he said, "It sounds to me like God is preparing you for something."
No one had ever said anything like that to us before, and somehow, what we had just said had helped him come to that conclusion. It was the oddest moment actually, we were surprised by what he had said, but when he said it we knew he had simply articulated with words exactly how we had been feeling (but we would have never come up with the words). We were confused, excited, and it started us on a journey to know God more.
We spent the next few months doing that. It was during this time that Scot and I read Gary Thomas's book Authentic Faith. WOW! that book really challenged us to stop just calling ourselves Christ followers and to start acting like one- and to stop doing that only in ways that were comfortable and easy for us. (You know, not swearing, not drinking, and making sure to go to church every time it is open does not a Christ follower make. It's easy, but it ain't all that real! No offense.) I knew what I wanted was a real, living, breathing, change-the-way-I-live faith. Not a faith that separated me more form the world or made me impossible to relate to, but a faith that allowed me to live my life in a way that Christ would if He were living on earth today. We are supposed to be his hands and feet after all, right? It started me looking for ways I could LIVE my faith.....and not just believe it.
But, we didn't know what to do with that desire. We more thought that at some undetermined time in the future we would find out in some undetermined way what exactly it was God was preparing us for. I just knew it would be big and I just knew we'd do it right away and willingly and we'd be off on a grand adventure. Meanwhile, we set about trying to be authentic about our faith in our everyday lives- they were outwardly small things, but hard changes. (You just try not gossiping- EVER. About anyone. EVER. It's hard. Or maybe it's just hard for us.)
We had a few false starts.....like comingthisclose to moving to Utah. But, in the end, we realized we'd be living in limbo for a bit until we knew what God was preparing us for. We never really wondered how we would know what that was. We just assumed we would know when it happened, and we were sure it would involve a career change for Scot that would bring a life change for us.
We were naive. (Dumb, really. But that doesn't sound as nice.)
Throughout this story, there was music that spoke to my heart. I am a musical kind of girl. I eat, sleep and breathe my life in song. My kids are the same. I think my thoughts in terms of music and mark phases of my life with the songs that spoke to me at those times. So, to end this first post, I'll share the lyrics to the song Magnificent Obsession by (who else) Steven Curtis Chapman. This song was my prayer during 2006 as we waiting to see what God was preparing us for.
Lord, You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers and explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life's complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling like I'm chasing down the wind
But now it's brought me back to You
And I can see again
This is everything I want
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You, Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession
So capture my heart again
Take me to depths I've never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You've shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down to so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains
You are everything I want
And You are everything I need
Lord, You are all my heart desires
You are everything to me
You are everything I want
You are everything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You
I want it all to be for You
Our story- Part 1 coming soon.
at 7:23 AM