Ready To Fall, Part 1
I’m going to be homeless in 3 weeks.
Not the typical kind of homeless where you get kicked out because you can’t afford it anymore and have no job and no money and no family or friends to help you.
The kind of homeless where God actually TELLS you not to look for another home when you move out of your current one… in 3 weeks.
And I’m falling apart. The Ativan container looks sparse. And so do the kleenex boxes, ice cream, Nutella and peanut butter. Anything caffeinated or carbed, really, needs a refill.
My children miss their mother. As crazy as she normally is, she's a down right mess now. My husband is used to this. We move all the time. I fall apart all the time. We have stock in Ativan. And Kleenex, Breyer’s, Nutella and Skippy.
Last time, we were living in Colorado, our baby was due any minute, and we wondered if we'd stay or go. We packed as if we were leaving, but painted and decorated our home as if we were staying. 1 day after Zach’s birthday, the Colorado house rented, and so we moved back to California 5 weeks later. Only God’s peace allowed me to survive a postpartum move like that. A move into a smaller and uglier home far away from the beautiful Rocky Mountains and open space.
This time, we leave a beautiful home again. But instead of having options of where to go next, we have nothing. Every time we begin a search to rent or to buy, we feel this catch in our spirits that we aren’t supposed to do either. We are to wait.
Wait? For what? The second coming? The new owners will be moving in June 21, and I would kind of like to know where my stuff should go. How is it going to look when I have to tell these people, “Sorry. God told us not to move.” Yeah, that’s not going to fly.
And with just 3 weeks left, I wonder how to pack. For storage? For another home? For short term? Long term? For a local move? A long distance one? To Africa? Or maybe Montana? I. Have. No. Idea.
In fact, I have felt no leading to even pack. Just to wait. And I’m mad.
Because God knows me better than that. What am I supposed to do with myself? Wander around my house and act like it’s not happening?
I’m a doer and a planner and an organizer when it comes to things like moving and anything else I’ve done at least a dozen times or more. Jeff, on the other hand, is a last minute guy. “Oh hey, we have to be out tomorrow? Time to pack!” And it works for him. Every. Single. Time. It’s not fair. It’s not right. I’m home staring at walls and wailing for answers, and Jeff is just too busy to worry about something that’s happening NOT today.
I’m mad because Jesus tells us to live like Jeff lives. And I’m mad that it actually works for Jeff. And I’m mad that I absolutely cannot do that no matter how hard I try.
I’m like Sarah in the Old Testament when God tells her and Abraham they're going to have a baby. And then He waits a few decades when they physically CAN'T have one… But Sarah can’t stand it. She takes things into her own hands to make it happen.
And that’s me. Okay God. You have made it very clear that we are moving, but we have no idea where, and our finances show that it's absolutely 100% impossible to purchase or even rent a home that 5 people would be comfortable living in. In both scenarios, we can afford 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, maybe 2 toilets. Or, a really crappy 3 bedroom 1 bath if we don’t care about COPS episodes being filmed on our street.
I’ve told God: Here are my 5 loaves and 2 fish. I know it feeds like 1 little boy, but see if You can feed thousands of people with it.
But then I get impatient. Because my moving checklist says that by 3 weeks, I should already have the movers contracted, the storage containers on reserve, and oh… a new home to move into.
And I go all “Sarah” on God and on my husband…. “Here’s a 2 bedroom 1 bath condo that’s about 1000 square feet. I know it’s half the size we have now and it’s actually a bit too expensive for what we can afford, but we’ll be fine, right?” I search daily, hourly, scouring the internet for any home or apartment that might be a possibility and try to figure out how to make it work.
Other days, I take a different approach. Who cares that we made a pact I would be a stay at home mom while we raise our children? We need money! Let me fill out some job applications and go to work full time. My family will never see me, but they will have a home!
And this is when you know God is about to act. It’s the 11th hour. You are completely wiped out and ready to throw in the towel. You can’t take one more thing. Or so you think. Until you have to take one more thing. And another. Oh surely now He will reveal Himself. And another month goes by. Your 5 year old is counting the days until his birthday, “39 more days!” and you are counting the days until you lose it, or Jesus comes. Whichever happens first.
The battle is fierce and oh so confusing. I trust God has this, right? I mean, I know He promises to take care of us… He just doesn’t promise I’ll like it or even understand it. He doesn’t promise it’ll be easy. And that’s why I’m anxious. I don’t WANT to go through this. I don’t WANT to do the right thing and trust Him. LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME!
I know I’m not Jesus. Not even close. Hang nails make me cry. I haven’t the courage to stand up to my enemies or be obedient to a cross. NO WAY. My cup of suffering involves not having money for Starbucks or having to return my brand new swim suit because I can’t afford it. Let’s get real here. It’s not like I don’t know I’m a big fat baby. I totally know it. I’m an American. I’ve never REALLY suffered a day in my life.
But see, I have an enemy who is convincing me I am suffering so I will quit my race set out for me to run. So that I will give up on everything God has called me to in order to protect my selfish little self from the tiniest inconvenience of like, oh say, a place to live. Yes. A TINY inconvenience.
If I never had another home in my life, I would never be homeless. God has provided me with his church body who cares for me deeply and whom I care for deeply, and together, we run this race. We take care of each other.
But I get all individualistic and westernized on God and think it’s about me and mine because that is how we live. Pull yourself up by your own boot straps. Be responsible. Don’t be a flake. Don’t make others have to carry your burdens. God forgive me that I have been indoctrinated in a culture that is anti-Christian and respond accordingly. I cannot always see You when my filter is so blurred, skewed.
I want to live free. I want to live an adventure that You have called me to! I want to jump out of that boat and walk on water with You, but my Americanized life keeps me in the safety of the boat most of the time; and on those rare moments when I get all riled up and jump out with all kinds of faith, I take my eyes off You, and immediately sink, believing and blaming YOU for letting me sink instead of realizing it was my lack of faith that did that.
And I miss it. I miss that thing You were just about to do. That walking on water miracle You were just about to perform. I missed it by 5 minutes. And You help me back into the boat, and ask, “Why did you doubt?”
And so, here on May 30, I admit. I totally doubt You, God. Oh, I see You out there on the water, calling me. “C'mon Jodi! You won’t believe how amazing it is out here!” I’ve even slung my foot over the edge and let my toes dangle in the water. It does feel pretty good. I’ve even hoisted myself up to standing position to get ready to go… I’ve told everyone I’m doing this. I’ve told them You are about to do Your thing, and I will NOT miss it. Not this time.
And then a sea gull craps on my head. And salt water sprays into my eyes, and they burn. So I take a break and tend to my wounds. Everyone in the boat with me gives me all the excuses for why it’s okay I’m not jumping.
I re-rally. Get fired up again. Stand on the edge yelling, arms outstretched, “I’m the queen of the world!” Crouch to jump, and a damn whale goes swimming by and scares the hell out of me. I cower in the boat, afraid he might swallow me.
This is freaking ridiculous. I’ve been standing in this boat for 3 months now and not getting anywhere. And if I don’t jump now, I’ll be needing to make a trip to the pharmacy for more drugs and the grocery store for more carbs. I tried to take up drinking last summer - just ask my friends - I just couldn’t hold my liquor.
And the sound track of my life plays… Nichole Nordeman's Song, BRAVE.
So long status quo, I think I just let go
You make me wanna be brave ...
I say Your name, just Your name
And I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...
So here I go. I’m going in. And if I belly flop and scream and beg you to pull me back in the boat, DON’T. Just cheer me on. Don't you DARE tell me from inside your safe comfy spot in the boat that, “It’s going to be okay. It’ll all work out.” Unless you are out there on the water with me, then you MIGHT have permission. But right now, I dare you to join me. Let’s hold hands and be brave together. And be excited for what June 21 will bring.