We're a curiosity, my family and me. No one really understands our life and what on earth we are doing with it. Are we staying? Why'd we leave? What happened? Questions tossed at us over and over. There is no simple answer here.
Moving to Alaska was the hardest, most challenging and most rewarding thing both my husband and I have ever done. We sat in our comfortable living room, looked at one another felt a stirring so deep in our hearts and said "Why not Alaska. Why not us?" So we prayed and sought and gave up all we owned, packed up our boys and headed to the great unknown. Armed with faith and a calling we both knew was our purpose we drove into Alaska on a snowy march morning, overwhelmed by its vast beauty and towering mountains.
The land ebbed and flowed. It was rugged and in its ruggedness we were left broken. Each of us, aching and longing for familiar and family. Each of us realizing how much God was stretching, shaping and molding us. In that stretching we found hope, we found cause and we gained a perspective we hadn't encountered before. We were drawing closer to God. He was showing us a new thing, a new familiar, a new life. The Bible says in Isaiah 43:19, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. “It represented our life up in the last frontier. Every day we took as a gift. Every day was new. Every sunset, every mountain peak, every salmon. We stood in Alaska's vastness, on her sandy shores, against giants, and we found our point. We found our purpose.
On our journey, we were so amped. So ready to tackle our life and embrace our new beginning. But sometimes, obstacles have a way of overwhelming you. Mountains seem to grow overnight, circumstances get the better of you and you're tested with what used to be. In that test we failed. We started looked around us, after months of growth and bliss, and took our eyes off of Jesus and the plan He set before us. We grew fearful of what if scenarios, or how do we do this scenarios. All while the peace we needed was found in Christ. We exchanged our freedom from our old life, and sold ourselves back into the rut and routine. Something we were so ready to give up. With an offer and multiple, justified reasons, we abandoned our Alaska life, our walk of faith and drove back into complacency.
So here we are. At the beginning again. Facing the same fight all over again. Here we are, with the calling in our hearts so deep. It's a grief. A ripped out heart, what have we done, heartache we feel. We were wrong. It's humbling to admit that. It's hard to look at your children's faces and know deep down, you've errored. You've gone the wrong way, taken the wrong path. Oh what have we done replays constantly in our minds. “All of the best laid plans of mice and men so often go astray."
We went astray. We had our orders, we followed them through until we failed. We took our circumstances into our own hands and fled. It's so hard to come to terms with disobedience. But that's what we feel we have done. Disobeyed. Oh how I am ever so thankful for God's mercy and grace. Something we feel He is making clear is that our mission is not over. We have our good days and our very bad days. Days where we long and we miss. Days where we are so homesick nothing but tears can flow. Days where the Lord comforts and teaches that even our mistakes will work out for good. And maybe that's why we came back, so God could show us that all is loss in comparison to Him. We must look at it that way, gain that perspective, consider the cost in the pursuit of Him. He is our hope and His ways are not our ways, even when we try to make them our own.
Please don't get me wrong, Idaho is wonderful. It’s comfortable and familiar. We have loved ones, friends and family, and community here. Community is something we craved in Alaska. We were met with a very rugged, tough people. Being here, thinking back on all the Lord was doing, all He has been showing us through scripture and memory is that we were supposed to be with those challenging people, because they challenged us. They were growing us. And oh how we miss them. It's wonderful to be 5 minutes away from a coffee date. But deep in our hearts, we know there is more for us. A radical leap. A step. We must walk in faith. We must obey the calling within our hearts. Within our children's hearts. A calling, a stirring to go forth.
So what does that mean? It means Alaska is our place. It's where we belong and where we are headed. We're just waiting. Waiting upon the Lord to line up the timing and the way. Be it in a few months or a year we aren't sure but we are going to be ready and waiting. And then we will go. Psalm 27:14, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."
"I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse." Philip Yancey