Since my last post, we have moved to Ft. Defiance (AZ) on the Navajo reservation. I received amazing support from my beloved friends through the summer to prepare our household (and my emotions) for this act of faith. God was so good over the summer, and I praise Him for it.
Now in our new environment, God has been so good. The kids’ school, Rehoboth Christian, is amazing! Although they have an hour and a half bus ride each way, they are learning and growing and have amazing attitudes at home. This is such a blessing to me!
Jon has begun his new work with Tsehootsooi Medical Clinic. They are extremely supportive of him pursuing Prescribing Psychology and intend to help him get it completed quickly.
The area is beautiful beyond description. I mean, it’s so beautiful that my children talk about how gorgeous of a bus ride they have. We can absorb so much of God’s creation in a day trip! It is amazing, and I praise God for moving us here.
As for me, I am lonely. Really lonely. The sort of loneliness that leaves an extrovert like me exhausted. I have met very few (exactly one, who has an interview for a full-time position this week) stay-at-home moms in the hospital housing. Being so remote means we are far from library or other services that I’ve used in the past to make friends. The McDonald’s play place has a 30-minute play policy. And local churches don’t have their service times posted on-line!
So yesterday I loaded up my children (while Jon had class) and headed to a church in Gallup that posted its services on a well-developed website. The pastor was friendly, the people introduced themselves, the structure was familiar, the children’s ministry was good, and the women are beginning a study by Pricilla Shirer in a couple weeks. This was all so familiar I started strategizing how I could plug in. Then the voice of God (again in church, …what is He doing that for?) said,
Do you want to manufacture something or see what I will do?
God’s been continually reminding me of the need to rely on Him instead of good and careful strategy. I’ve been reading through Isaiah (seriously, this time is stressful- can’t I just read a gospel or something) and noticed how God’s people looked to Egypt to protect them.
“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.” (Isaiah 30:1-3)
“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.” (31:1)
The nation had a good strategy. Totally not what God wanted. Just like God doesn’t want me to fix my problem of loneliness.
Thankfully, though, He does have a different solution.
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him! (Isaiah 30:18)
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (v 21)
While everything inside me might want to carefully think of plans that will help me make amazing, supportive, life-long friends like I have in Terre Haute, Kansas, Cayuga, and Silver City, God asks from me repentance, rest, quietness, and trust. Not my strongest skill-set. And yet He promises gracious blessing and clear direction.
So rather than working to escape my feelings of loneliness, I chose to mindfully rest and trust. I don’t know exactly what this will look like. And I doubt it means that I sit in my house like a hermit. Rather, I’ll do what He puts in me to do and trust in His compassion and salvation. I don’t need to struggle and connive to fill what is lacking for me, because He has a strategy ordained. I don’t know what He’s going to do with me here. I certainly don’t know when He’s going to do it. I choose to rest and trust, even as it is uncomfortable.