In my last blog (click here), I shared that my husband’s unexpected job loss put him squarely on the path to a personal crisis. While I saw the job loss as an opportunity to do something new, he wasn’t ready to let his career go. When another position came up, he jumped at the chance to redeem himself; but I was concerned about his decision to rush back into the work force in an area in which I knew he might struggle, as it was outside his area of gifting and interest.
The longer my husband worked at his new job, the more miserable he felt. The more miserable he felt, the more immobilized he became to pursue those things that gave him life. As he spiralled down into depression, my hope to get our life back on track—let alone start a new adventure—began to falter.
I felt powerless to help. Even if I could help, I realized that this was a battle he needed to fight—and conquer—on his own.
Meanwhile, I continued to dream about, and prepare for, a move to the east coast. I started looking at real estate throughout the Maritimes and fell in love with a property in Pictou, Nova Scotia.
It was a gorgeous century home that had the perfect balance of old-world character and modern upgrades. Moreover, it had absolutely beautiful, manicured, retreat-worthy grounds that included a delightful fishpond/fountain. The original carriage house was also preserved, and included an upper loft that could easily be converted into a suite for visitors. This would be an amazing property to start our new lives and ministry together!
I showed the property to my husband and he agreed that it was perfect…just not for right now.
His dismissal did not discourage me from dreaming about our future.
It was around this time that the Lord impressed upon me two biblical stories that confirmed what I felt in my heart.
The first story appears in Genesis 12. Abraham was called by God to leave his people and journey to another land. He gave Abraham three promises: land to claim for his people; many descendants (blood and spiritual); and an everlasting blessing to him and all his descendants.
I felt like God was speaking directly to me through this story; that this was a promise for our own ministry. It was through this story that the Lord gave me my word for 2020: PROMISE.
Every year for the last half dozen years, starting around each fall, I pray that the Lord will give me a verse and a word or phrase for the following year. My word and verse for 2020 have turned out to be particularly powerful and relevant.
After reading Abraham’s story, I was led to the Book of Joshua. Here I found the verse that has become my rock for 2020:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
God was very direct in instructing Abraham to claim the land He had set aside for him and his descendants. He didn’t say, “when it suits you and you’re ready, check out the land and see what you think.” God was not expecting hesitation or second-guessing, as Joshua so clearly reiterates in Joshua 1:11:
“…take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.”
This is a command, not a request.
I felt strongly that the Lord was telling us to go forth and “take the land.”
And therein lay the great divide. While I felt more convinced than ever that God was calling us to ministry on the east coast, my husband was not hearing the same thing. In fact, he wasn’t hearing anything at all. His depression was erecting a barrier to that intimate relationship with the Lord he once enjoyed.
So what should one do when the Lord is compelling—no, commanding—you to do something, but one’s life and spiritual partner isn’t hearing the same thing?
You pray. And you wait.
And try not to let the frustration that is simmering just below the surface bubble up.
Click here to read the next instalment in this new blog series.
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