“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
God has a plan and purpose for our lives. It may not be our plan, but His plans are always for our benefit and His glory. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the Lord in Isaiah 55:8. Recently, I got upset when a monkey wrench was thrown into our smoothly running life and I found myself asking “Why God?” But no matter how the events take place, God will always use them to work em for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
The beginning of May marked the longest stint we have lived in the same location. It’s exhausting and crazy to consider that we have moved over 10 times during our thirty years together. In 2002 we sold our dream home to finance Jon’s company. What we anticipated being two years of renting extended into a seven-year period of no home ownership. From August 2008 – May 2009 we move three times, in less than a year! So it was with excitement and gratitude that we celebrated the five years at our current residence. My life was orderly and planned out for 2014-2015.
On Memorial Day (May 26th), Jon received a call from his new manager as the company was going through some changes that affected his team. Just when we finally had our feet under us a curveball was thrown. This new manager thought highly of Jon’s innovative spirit and wanted him to open an office in San Francisco and for us to move there. Back in 2009, 2011 and 2012 we had said no to moving to Portland because of various health issues I struggled with and we had experienced too many changes such as our eldest daughters flying the coop, loss of a parent, recent moves, etc. So while I was excited about this job opportunity for Jon and his career, God’s timing confused me and sent me on a questioning spree. Why God would you allow us to finally feel settled?
It had taken years of pouring into the lives of others and finally we were seeing the fruit; marriages were growing, couples were getting help, and moms were connecting. I was able to use my gifts of hospitality and encouragement as I ministered to women in our home. Jon and I are leading a couples’ group plus continuing to do premarital counseling in our home. We have incredible mentors pouring into Cayley’s life and the fruit is evident. All of this is what we envisioned when we purchased our home in this part of town. Why now God, as after three years of searching and finally saying yes to a church home and community? Why now God, as I had Cayley’s 8th grade school year planned out and she has such sweet friends? I asked these questions more in disbelief than seeking an answer. I’ve heard it said “If you ever want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Well He must be laughing.
While lying in bed on my birthday (May 30), I began pondering the prospect of moving to San Francisco. I sensed God gently say, “Cherie, Austin is not your home, and, for that matter, neither is San Francisco. Your home is in Heaven, with Me.” This truth is seen in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 and Philippians 3:20. At that moment I surrendered and chose to trust God. I have since been overwhelmed with peace by living in the present. I am deeply grateful for the past five years we’ve had to make memories, be hospitable, and enjoy one place. I am also open to the adventure God has for us.
When faced with major decisions RELEASE control and let God be God.
- Recall God’s past faithfulness. We keep track of major milestones that only God could have accomplished. Lamentations 3:21-23
- Examine God’s Word as it is the lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalms 119:105)
- List pros and cons. Jon began investigating, evaluating and gathering practical and spiritual information. He made a spreadsheet so when HR came to him with their first offer he was quickly able to give feedback with facts he had gathered.
- Enlist wise counsel. Jon spoke to several men he admired and who were further along in the journey. He took advantage of their counsel and mistakes. All agreed that while this opportunity would be disruptive for our family it would excel his career to position him for what he would want to do in the future. Proverbs 12:15; 11:14; 13:10; 19:20.
- Agreement and unification on our part was necessary. We had to examine how this decision would affect Jon’s career, our marriage, our children and our spiritual walk. We both felt peace saying yes but there were BIG hurdles that the company would need to meet to make this move possible proving God’s hand was in it.
- Seek Him – Spending time in prayer and in His Word will help keep you grounded and prepared for any situation. Matthew 7:7-11
- Exercise faith, make the decision (Hebrew 11:6).While we made a decision to trust God and relocate, there are still a myriad of details to be surfaced that will require continued faith.
As I write this we are in limbo not knowing if we are moving or staying but we trust God has what is best for us.
How will you respond when things don’t go the way that you would like or your plans fall apart? Are you able to go with the flow and flex or are you completely thrown off when the plans that you laid out take a wrong turn?
Where do you consider home?