Embracing the Unknowns

The waiting place is not new to our family. While it seems to have taken on a new meaning for our whole world, it’s also deeply personal and different for each of us.

Just the other day, I posted the photo above of our newly blooming lilacs, along with this description on Instagram:

“In the waiting, the same God who’s never late, is working all things out. He’s working all things out.” The Waiting Place has become familiar for our family. It’s not new. It’s never comfortable…but always results in a good that’s maybe not what we had in mind, but best for us. While we wait, we celebrate God’s goodness. This little plant is proof of it to me. My favorite flowers are lilacs. 4 seasons ago I planted this tiny little stick and crossed my fingers, hoping for the best. Today it bloomed for the first time. I’m grateful for this simple reminder that God is faithful. He cares for us and shows it every day.”

John and I have been married 11.5 years. We have 5 kids. We’ve lived in three states, 5 houses. We’ve carried a number of jobs, from our own businesses to working for others. Change is normal in our family, in fact, it seems like nothing ever stays the same. The roots I crave don’t seem to be what God has in store for us at all, not in this world at least.

But, one thing has remained constant: God has been there through it all, directing our steps (even when we fight them), and leading us into waters that we probably would have avoided if left to our own devices. Thus: waiting.

Right now, it feels like an exaggerated place of waiting. For those who’ve been following along, John felt led to accept a position in DC, which led to ten weeks of living apart from one another. When the school year ended, we were to join him in the home we have rented in DC.

Only, you know, coronavirus.

Since then, we’ve been asked what the plan is 100’s of times. The difference for us is that during this waiting place, our answer is a true, transparent “we have no idea.”

In the past, there’s always been a plan. While the timing may have been different, we’ve known where we’d be going, and what it would look like when we get there. This time? We’ve got nothing.

Are we going to be moving full time to DC? Maybe?

Will John’s work go back to the office full time? Maybe someday?

Where will our kids be going to school in the fall? Who knows?

What financial impact will this leave? I guess we will find out at some point!?

Normally, this would be terrifying. Remember: I’m a planner. Only, somehow, during all of this, God has comforted us in ways that we haven’t had time to slow down and realize before.

You see, as we prayed over this move, and felt as though the position for John was absolutely the right thing, we never felt as though God was releasing us from our home here in Pennsylvania. We stepped out without really knowing what it might look like. In hindsight? This has been a huge blessing: we can shelter in place where our kids are familiar and our families are near. It’s not what we would have imagined just 5 months ago, but, it has provided a sense of stability that helps keep us on solid ground.

Our relationships with others have gone to new levels as we’ve had time to simply be; no forging ahead, no need to move away from relationships that were still building here. We now have time to go deeper, without picturing the end that we thought was inevitable with an upcoming move.

The Instagram post about the lilacs? For a reminder of God’s faithfulness, I’ve been able to step outside, sit on the porch and – quite literally – breathe in this simple truth. God knows what’s coming, even when we don’t. Throughout it all, he can and will provide, even if our desires and plans must adjust.

In fact, even though the world feels shaky, and the future feels unknown, and our “roots” seem to be flailing, we’ve realized that they are firmly placed in our heavenly father, and that, has been a blessing like none other. We don’t know what’s ahead and for the first time, that’s okay.

God is good. Period. God is faithful. Period. Let’s take comfort in this amid the chaos even when the ground feels like it’s falling beneath our feet. He’s been there, he IS there, and he knows what the future holds.

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