We have lived in Arizona for a little over 2 years, moving here from Texas. We arrived here thinking that we were where we would live out the rest of our days, hoping that those days would certainly turn into many years. It has been a time of growth, both spiritually and emotionally. We have fallen in love with the beautiful sunrises and sunsets and the people who have befriended us in this short time.
While we were here, it became evident that we had moved here thinking that we would just stay here since one of our daughter’s and her family were here and could help us as we grew older. It was with this mindset that both of us realized that we weren’t ready to “get old” yet. We missed the adventure that we were use to living. We have been so fortunate to be able to travel quite a bit with Randy’s job the past 20 years and have seen so many different places that we began to dream again, once again, about hitting the open road.
When we truly sat down one day to talk this out, we realized that we weren’t ready to just sit here and live with a certain routine. We have never had the opportunity to live by our daughter which lives in Florida. We had always dreamed about staying in Italy for a while and live like a local. Being our age, we have been very blessed with great health and decided to live our dream. We put our house on the market and it sold in 6 days. A sweet friend has given us use of her condo in Florida for a couple of months and we are thrilled to be able to begin planning our trip to Italy.
We began with these plans by asking the Lord to guide us and to either open or shut the door of this opportunity. We have gone ahead of Him before (doing our will, not His) and do not want to do that again. We don’t want to make our plans and ask Him to bless them, but to give Him our desires and then surrender our will to His. We aren’t saying that there might not be bends in the road, or maybe He will shut the door on us going to Italy. We don’t know but we do know that we can always trust Him for his faithfulness and goodness. He does know the desires of our hearts so He will either bless those or show us some other plan that is best. Either way, we are fine. Some of the lessons we feel that we were to learn during our time here are very simple in words, but so hard to actually live.
Be content with where you are and with what you have.
Leaving behind people and memories which have greatly impacted our lives have been hard to adjust to. I remember hearing a lady back in Dallas whose husband had been transferred many many times was once ask which place that she had lived was her favorite. Her response every time was this: “the place where we are now”. Those words have stayed with me and have played an important part of this season. We can always find negatives anywhere we go, but the challenge is to find as many positives and dwell on those. It has taken me a couple of years here to truly do just that. I’m not proud of that, but that is reality. We have found a group of people who we truly love and enjoy “doing life” with. We have found our new normal of not always being on the go and being so involved with activities that we barely had time to breathe. But in the process, we found that we do miss some of the life that we left behind. We do not know where we will settle after Italy, but our prayer is that God will let us finish strong and fulfill our purpose, wherever and whatever that may be.
Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way,but the Lord establishes his steps” We know that to be true.
When we signed the contract last week for this house, we still had so many concerns such as where will we go for the months of Nov and December? Will we have to move to an apartment for a couple of months? The Lord took care of that also. The new owners were thrilled to have us rent back from them until December 31st. That took a huge concern from us. We don’t pretend to know exactly what the next few months hold for us. We understand that things could arise that are not expected, or our plans to go to Italy might or might not come to fruition. As I read this devotion this morning by Elizabeth Elliot, it says so beautifully what I am trying to say.
FAITH IS HOLDING OUT YOUR HAND
“SOMETIMES WHEN I WAS A CHILD, MY MOTHER OR FATHER WOULD SAY, “SHUT YOUR EYES AND HOLD OUT YOUR HAND.” THAT WAS THE PROMISE OF SOME LOVELY SURPRISE. I TRUSTED THEM. SO I SHUT MY EYES AND IMMEDIATELY HELD OUT MY HAND. WHATEVER THEY WERE GOING TO GIVE ME I WAS READY TO TAKE. SO IT SHOULD BE IN OUR TRUST OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. FAITH IS THE WILLINGNESS TO RECEIVE WHATEVER HE WANTS TO GIVE, OR THE WILLINGNESS NOT TO HAVE WHAT HE DOES NOT WANT TO GIVE.
FROM THE GREATEST OF ALL GIFTS, SALVATION IN CHRIST, TO THE MATERIAL BLESSINGS OF ANY ORDINARY DAY (HOT WATER, A PAIR OF LEGS THAT WORK, A CUP OF COFFEE, A JOB TO DO AND STRENGTH TO DO IT), EVERY GOOD GIFT COMES DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHTS. EVERY ONE OF THEM IS TO BE RECEIVED GLADLY AND LIKE GIFTS PEOPLE GIVE US, WITH THANKS.
SOMETIMES WE WANT THINGS WE WERE NOT MEANT TO HAVE. BECAUSE HE LOVES US, THE FATHER SAYS NO. FAITH TRUSTS THAT “NO”. FAITH IS WILLING NOT TO HAVE WHAT GOD IS NOT WILLING TO GIVE. FURTHERMORE, FAITH DOES NOT INSIST UPON AN EXPLANATION. IT IS ENOUGH TO KNOW HIS PROMISE TO GIVE WHAT IS GOOD-HE KNOWS SO MUCH MORE ABOUT THAN WE DO.”
TAKEN FROM A LAMP FOR MY FEET…ELIZABETH ELLIOT
Hebrews 11:8 “it was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.”
Following God is always an adventure! sometimes not easy, but ultimately grows our faith and dependence on Him. Thanks be to God for His goodness and blessings.