I moved a lot in my childhood. In fact, I don’t think we ever lived in one home longer than 3 years. Because of that, I learned some pretty sweet survival skills like getting the most out of your garage sale (You know, if you iron ALL the clothes you’ll get a nickel more for each piece…it adds up!) and how to avoid collectibles. I refuse to have nick-knacks in my home to this day.
At 19, I started a keep-moving trend of my own—making it bigger and better by adding cross-country mileage. I packed my little car with all it could hold and moved from the Midwest to California and back whenever my mood changed or the selection of cute guys grew slim.
Moving back and forth like that was crazy, and that’s what I loved about it. It made no sense to anyone (except my best friend Tracy who was doing it too), and it was wonderfully whimsical. I can still feel the phantom thrill of the “Let’s go for it!” to this day.
But I haven’t felt that thrill in many, many years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had other thrills (Yes, honey…date nights are amazing!). But I’m talking about the make-a-completely-crazy-move thrill. You know what I mean? The kind of thrill you’d get if the husband came home from work and said, “Babe, pack up the kids. We’re heading to Alaska to open a whale sighting business.” Oh, yes! I’m in, and let’s go.
Well…that hasn’t happened. In fact, I’ve lived in the same area for nearly 25 years. I’ve even attended the same church for 20. Not because I just wanted to finally settle down after all that crazy moving. No. This hasn’t been my choice at all. In fact, if it had been up to me, I would have run away more times than I can count.
I would have run away this week.
But it hasn’t been up to me. It’s been up to God. And He’s had me lovingly trapped under His humongous thumb for years—watching as I writhe and contort while He peels off self-deceptive blinders from my eyes and gently cauterizes childhood wounds.
Staying in one place has been the most amazingly painful thing for a gal like me. I can’t tell you the number of Sundays I left church in tears-hardly able to breathe- vowing I would never return. “Honey, I can’t take it anymore. Can you believe what she said to me? Let’s move!” Or “Honey, no one said “hi” to me today. I just sat there waiting and waiting to see who would approach me, and no one did. I’m out.”
Silly or not, every time my heart was hurt I wanted to run. I ached to run. But I needed to stay.
I needed it so much that God chose to put my husband on the elder board to lock me down. I mean, how would it look if the elder’s wife took off for Cali without him? And to make sure I was really staying put, God made my husband the children’s pastor of our church. I can’t tell you what a perfect ministry this is for my man. I am thrilled for him, and it’s been more than obvious this is his place. And it’s become perfectly obvious to me it’s going to be my place, too. I’m gonna be staying put.
And sometimes that really, really bums me out. It bums me out because even though the blessings of being here would fill pages and pages (seriously, if you’re looking for an incredible church, come to mine!), there’s still an adventure seeker in me. And there’s still a runner in me—a gal whose first inclination is to run when things get uncomfortable, or painful. Oh, how much easier it would be to just pack up and move—to avoid what I’m feeling and set my sights on house hunting.
It would have been easier to run this week. This week has been painful for me. When you take a silly misunderstanding, add a pinch too much alone time, and throw in a good measure of hormonal hell, you get one desperate woman who's ready to jump on just about any train to just about anywhere but here.
Here is where I am.
And after hours of time on my knees/face/knees and many, many tears…I’m seeing something more clearly than I’ve ever seen it before: The adventure is actually…here. It always has been.
It has not been at all easy to see with my physical eyes because what they see is endless loads of laundry and the same four walls.
But when God helps me look with the eyes of my heart, I see that I’ve been on one of the most amazing adventures of all. An adventure that has included mountain climbing, desert survival, cliff diving, sword fighting, dodging villains, and free falling into the arms of a Savior.
I’ve had (and still have) a lot of healing and growing up to do. I’ve seriously been a complicated mess of mixed up priorities and contaminated dreams. And through it all God has loved me enough to hold me down.
God has loved me enough to sit on my hands while I cried out, “Unfair!” He’s loved me enough to endure my fits of anger and confusion when I’ve begged, “Why don’t people get me?”
Because I’m the one who needed to “get” me.
I’ve learned that there’s been quite a bit of yuchy in me…lot’s to be forgiven for and lots to give up. And I’ve seen that some healing just can’t happen on the run. Some lessons can’t be learned with a to-go cup. And that’s why He’s held me down so tight.
So, where’s the adventure?
It’s right here in my soul. And it’s right there in you. It always will be. It’s the adventure of Freedom…of Life…of Hope…of Vision…of Healing. And it’s eternal! The thrill won’t ever end.
What about that ache I still have to do something CRAZY? Well, it’s still there, and maybe I’ll get my chance to go whale-watching, and maybe someday my sweet husband will come in and say, “Babe, pack your bags, we’re going to the islands.”
But even if it doesn’t’ happen that way, I’ve got the crazy of surrender. I’ve got the crazy of clinging tightly to the robe of my Jesus and never letting go.
Take me where You will, Master. The crazier the better!
Maybe you’ve got the same ache for adventure or the same urge to run when things hurt a bit too much—or maybe you’re feeling a bit trapped where you are today. If so, I urge you to take a look on the inside—to peer around with the eyes of your heart. Maybe what you’ll see is that the cube you sit in from 9-5 is actually a carriage, and you’re being taken somewhere more beautiful than you could possibly dream by a God who loves you more than you can imagine.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10