Jesus was known for a lot of things.
But one of them was not predictability.
He usually said the thing least expected, chose the least worthy, and made his biggest moves when, according to the religious leaders, it seemed the most scandalous.
One thing I've learned over the years is that if you are walking with Jesus and putting Him first in your life, never, for a minute, can you think you may be exempt from being called into a wild, unexpected adventure. In fact, I think the unexpected ones are possibly His favorite types of callings. Just look at all the best Bible stories; the more outlandish the story, the more all signs point to Him and His glory.
How many times have you heard a believer say something like,
"Ya know, I never would have thought I'd become a pastor..."
"I never in all my life expected I'd be ministering to women who have gone through what I have..."
"Who would have guessed that we'd be pursuing adoption..."
Well you can add my latest sentiment to the list:
In a million years, I'd never have guessed we'd be moving to Montana.
But we are. Yep, you heard right. This born-and-raised California girl and my born-and-raised surfer guy are going on a grand adventure led by the Lord Himself. To Montana. Where we don't know a single person, there is no ocean, and there IS lots and lots and lots of snow. (My initial reaction was something like, 'Wait, but that's at the very top!" Meaning top of the U.S. Meaning really, really cold. Mind you, I start to freeze somewhere around 65 degrees.)
It is a long story. But the short version is that in obedience to God's crazy promptings, last fall, my husband took a leap of faith to resign from his job, unsure of what exactly would come next, but very sure that God was doing a new thing in our family.
As we prayed and prayed for clarity and direction, God closed every door but one. And after He left the Montana door wide open, He began to bring confirmations - one after another - that this is what He'd planned for us. Looking back, it was a miracle in and of itself that God was speaking the same things to both my husband and I about His will, blanketing us with peace and reassurance and grace enough to walk us through.
I suspect this is how He rolls, now, when He places on His children such radical callings: that He paves the road in peace. Not that the calling is easy to fulfill and the process is smooth. But it is peaceful, which does not mean the absence of conflict. Peace means being able to maintain the Lord's vision and trust Him - a peace of the soul - when the circumstances are not easy.
Romans 12:2 says:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
This verse doesn't say that God's will is easy. It says that it is good and acceptable and perfect. That's exactly how I feel about His calling us to Montana and the way in which He has prepared us for this time. It is fully acceptable because His character is always good, and He knows what we need. And we could not have discerned His will without distancing ourselves from wordly thinking and priorities - in other words, we had to lay aside our own agendas and trust that He knows best.
Incidentally, my husband and I visited Montana a couple of weeks ago, and I found out one thing we need is one of these. I don't even know what it's called. Some sort of ice removal tool. And we need a manual on how to use it. We know nothing about icy windshields! And apparently, there is a way to WALK on ice. Yeah, I don't know how to do that either.
So there's the big news! At my house right now, we are an electric mixture of nervous excitement, intermittent panic, blissful ignorance, and hopeful expectation of what the Lord will do with our four lives as we travel halfway across the country, come April.
The packing is a total nightmare. My least favorite part. Everything is disheveled, and I don't have time to blog or craft or sew or read to my kids or cook a decent meal or ANYTHING that I like to do. Notice I haven't blogged hardly at all lately.
But I do have peace in my heart, the kind that comes from knowing I am in the center of God's will. The kind that comes from feeling Him smile at me and whisper, "You have no idea what good things I have in store for you."
I'm hoping that what He has in store maybe includes one of these cute wagons.
I mean, why not? It's Montana. M-O-N-T-A-N-A. Wow. I'm still wrapping my mind around this adventure.
I can't wait to share with you the ways in which God shows up there. Because I bet we don't know the half of what He plans to do in and with our lives.
This next chapter in the story of my faith is already quite the page turner.