I had just got home from a weekend trip to Indiana to surprise my family. Travis and I were sitting at the stools in our kitchen, eating our supper and talking about my trip. And that’s when he told me.
“I got an email,” he said. That one email completely threw me for a loop. It was unexpected and unwanted. And it changed everything.
That email said my husband’s name was put in for a position in South Korea. As a soldier in the Army, my husband can be sent basically anywhere in the world and he has to go. Even if that means leaving his wife behind to wait for his return. This news wasn’t official. It was to be approved in 4-5 business days.
The night my husband gave me the news was full of tears (on my end), lots of discussion, prayer, and research. And we waited.
We waited for days. Much longer than 4-5 business days. We waited to hear if it was official. We went from being 90% sure it would go through, down to 60% and back up to 95% within two weeks. There were times when I was so mad that we got that email. So mad for a heads up that might not be real, that left me in a state of unknown.
But other times I was so thankful for that heads up. It gave us a chance to really talk it out with each other. It gave me time to mourn the future I had planned for our next year. To prepare my heart for saying goodbye to our beautiful apartment. To take every moment we had and make the most of it in case our time together would be cut short. It gave us time to process this huge change.
During that waiting period, there were times when the fear seemed to suffocate me. There was so much uncertainty, so much unknown about Korea. And uncertainty and unknown are two of my least favorite things.
But here’s the thing. As much as this was a surprise and shock to me, it was not unexpected to God. He knew about it all along. He knew I would be finding out about that email as we ate supper Monday night. And He knew how much it would scare me.
And that God who created the sea creatures and shaped each and every tree, He sent me sunshine in the midst of my fear. He desired to comfort me and remind me to trust Him.
The very next day after finding out about the email, my morning devotional said this:
Be willing to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief. Your longing to live close to Me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe.
Let me lead you step by step through this day. If your primary focus is on Me, you can walk along perilous paths without being afraid. Eventually, you will learn to relax and enjoy the adventure of our journey together. As long as you stay close to Me, My sovereign Presence protects you wherever you go. — Jesus Calling
God knew. His timing is perfect. He sent me that love note on the exact day I needed it. But that wasn’t all. No, God knew I needed more. He knows how much I need things in bold print, how I need him to really pound His Word into me.
Every morning after reading my devotional book, I grab my Bible and read the next chapter in whatever book I’m reading. On this day, I was supposed to read the first chapter of the book of Joshua (one of my all-time favorite books of the Bible). Read what I’ve underlined below.
And then at the end of the chapter…
You see, my husband is leaving me to go to Korea for one year. We found out it is official almost two weeks after that email. I should be able to visit. And often hopefully. And I was scared, even to visit such a foreign place. But God reminded me — He is with us wherever we go.