How Our Journey to London Began

rb31day22

I realized that I’ve jumped right into this 31 Days to London series mid-way through my story. While our call to England began almost twenty years ago, this leg with all of its mystery and practicalities started in Dallas last February. A conversation after lunch that changed everything. I’m sharing our “Abraham” story at The High Calling today for this week’s series on Find New Life. I would love for you join me here in the comments. And take some time to meander a bit, there are some of the best writers telling stories there.

rb31daysengland

When the News Isn’t What You Hope

rbday3121

Drawing a line next to my lashes while looking into the magnifying mirror in the bathroom, I move my mouth letting words out slowly and carefully so as not to inhibit preciseness. “You know,” I say to H, only moving the muscles at the bottom of my face, “we’re bouncing back much faster this time.”

“I know, you’re right,” H says after spitting toothpaste into the sink.

We got some disappointing news on the day that marks the halfway point in this 31 Day series. On October  15th I found out that I will not be ending this series in London but on the shores of the Atlantic in my hometown. I didn’t want to tell you until I wrestled with God about it.

Peace doesn’t come with more opinions.

Through the news coverage about Ebola, I’ve watched the ramifications when people respond too quickly. The way one person of influence can make a wrong decision and create a whole hurricane of fear, people hanging onto trees when the wind isn’t blowing yet.

Sometimes bad news doesn’t need shoulders to lean on or status updates but to settle quietly in your soul for a spell so you can hear the still small voice whispering direction.

Our emotions lead us astray, wandering down a dark path of imagination. We’re all storytellers. But some of us just aren’t attentive enough to know the difference between fiction and non-fiction when we’re  busy coming up with best case scenarios for our problems.

rb31day21-1

Today, we picked out colors from Pinterest boards for the walls of our new house in London. H asked me if I wanted to go collect paint chips but I told him I couldn’t. It all seems like too much somehow.  Like I’ll pick the perfect grey, allow my heart to swoon over the way the furniture looks up against it only to find it translates to some horrible shade of green  on the painter’s brush I’ll have to live with.

With every delay in the fulfillment of hope comes a new sturdiness to my faith after I’ve done the hard work of surrender. He is wiping away cobwebs of thinking I couldn’t see for looking at the rooms of my life through the same window.

And with that, a lack of tolerance for what is meaningless and trivial. An absence of vulnerability from others when it is appropriate is the death of every good intention.

I know, this could prove to be difficult in England. The British have a hard time expressing emotion if you didn’t already know that. Watch Downton Abbey.

We are now looking at the New Year for departure ( I know, I gave my Christmas tree and decorations to Habitat for Humanity) and it comes down to this. I have no other choice but to trust Jesus. I have surrendered my possessions, reputation, preferred future and all the pennies in my bank account.

I’ll keep drawing lines next to my lashes, looking at transformation staring back and wonder what my children see now when they look at me. On the inside I feel like a different human being.

Ira Glass says, “Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” I’ll let you be the judge of that.

rb31daysengland

I won’t be sharing my posts on social networking channels daily because who wants to see that much of me, really? If you want to follow our adventure to London subscribe to the blog in the side bar and posts will slide quietly into you inbox. Start from the beginning of the series here.

 

When God Offends You With Waiting

rb31day20

Next to the floor to ceiling windows banking a row of seats, I stand in line waiting for communion, quietly hugging people as they walk past, wafers and wine fresh on palettes. Our missing a couple of Sundays obviously doesn’t matter, the smiling countenance on faces and loving embrace reveals they are caught up on the latest.

Can I tell you how much it means to me when someone says they wait up for my blog posts to slide into their inbox? How much it means to know people are praying for us even when we don’t ask?

I used to think our move to London was the fulfillment of a long held dream of living in a city bustling with cultural diversity that speaks my language, a hallowed returning to where my ancestral roots began. Of fulfilling a compulsive yearning for the company of lifelong friends with whom I share a sense of belonging. To cultivate new friendships where there resides an unexplainable affinity.

Mostly, my heart clings to the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit among cohorts doing work for the Kingdom in London. Infused with the Message of hope, I daily dream of being a small flickering flame for those trapped in darkness, dying without knowing it.

But it is presumptuous of me to believe I know how that should look. It is presumptuous to insist on a time table for following Jesus.

I used to think I knew until God offended me by saying wait.

And wait some more.

And then more waiting.

What I initially assumed as cruel silence from an ambivalent father when God kept pushing our move back, I now recognize as a dimly lit room of sanctification.

Because God cares more about our holiness than a well-planned road map for happiness.

I’m looking in the mirror now and asking, “Who are you?”

And that, my friends, is a miraculous gift. Unless you ask at midnight and you’re tired, then it’s just annoying.

After church, we stand in another line going out. As H shakes the hands of friends and fathers who ask the same question, he repeats “It’s not a matter of if we are moving to London but when.”

Apparently, this blog is a public relations tool for me and not H.

The Son is rising slowly as we wait, illuminating undiscovered places in my faith.

Peace isn’t a place; it’s the Person of Jesus.

More than claiming a country and its people as an expression of calling, I claim the God of wonders whose ways are beyond my comprehension and better than I imagine. 

In every true prayer there are two hearts in exercise. The one is your heart, with its little, dark, human thoughts of what you need and God can do. The other is God’s great heart, with its infinite, its divine purposes of blessing. What think you? ~Andrew Murray

I consent not to know what, when and how God will choose to orchestrate my future but I expect it to be altogether godly and miraculous when the details finally come together.

Not only does He want you to know he loves you, He wants to prove it with supernatural grace. An outcome worth waiting for, wouldn’t you agree?

rb31daysengland

I won’t be sharing my posts on social networking channels daily because who wants to see that much of me, really? If you want to follow our adventure to London subscribe to the blog in the side bar and posts will slide quietly into you inbox. Start from the beginning of the series here.