The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
As far back as I can remember, I was a headstrong and independent child. I wanted to do things my own way and make my own decisions. While some may consider these somewhat positive traits in an adult, they’re not so much in a child, nor are they positive traits in a Christian. Old habits die hard. But God, in His sovereign providence, uses both our positive and negative personality traits in His plan for our lives. He uses bits and pieces of our past, including and especially our problems, in our walk of faith toward Him and with Him. Here is one such time in my life:
In February of 1988, We were almost 8 years into our marriage, with 2 young children, living in my hometown, on the south side of Indianapolis. Life was far from perfect but it was pretty good; I was happy, enjoying living near family (my mom was only a couple of miles from me), I had a great job working for a small airline and I enjoyed attending my childhood church.
Then out of the blue, my husband decided we should move to Florida. His parents had moved there a few years before and we had enjoyed visiting there, but like the saying goes, “It’s a nice place to visit but I don’t want to live there.” I repeat, I didn’t want to live there! Indianapolis was my hometown and I didn’t want to move away. I didn’t want to leave my mom. I didn’t want to leave the life I had grown familiar with. I didn’t want to leave my church. But, long story short, he left the first week in February, 1988, without me and the kids. He moved in with his parents and found a new job right away. I wasn’t upset but I wasn’t too happy about it either. I basically was just hoping he’d change his mind and come back home soon.
Over next few months we both continued hold on to our individual opinions about where we should live. The thought of divorce crept in my mind but I still loved my husband and he still loved me. We were just having a disagreement on where we should live. I didn’t like him not agreeing with me and I wanted him to just come back home. We really were at an impasse.
So I got my bible and I searched for answers. I read in Malachi that God hates divorce. I read in Ephesians that wives should submit to their husbands as to the Lord. And I read in Genesis that God called Abraham, in an act of obedience, to leave his homeland and to move to an unknown and faraway land. Now I read these things but at the same time I was having a conflict with my old nature of being headstrong and independent. I considered life as a single mom, a life of independence, where I called all the shots, but then, I prayed earnestly for clear directions from God about what to do.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
Then it finally became clear to me – my husband wasn’t asking me to jump off a cliff, or asking me to break a law, or asking me to do something against God, he was just asking me to move to Florida to be with him. God gave me a sense of peace about moving and I began to see the situation as an act of obedience towards both my husband and God. This was a big step for me because I think I’d been holding on to my independence ever since childhood, and even into my marriage. I believe God increased my faith right then and there as I realized I needed to be more obedient to Him and to my husband.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:21
Abraham had great faith in God and was obedient to Him. God told Abraham he was going on a journey that would require him to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household. Obedience meant he had to say goodbye to relationships and the things near and dear to him. Separation from the familiar played a part in his development of his strong faith in God. Sometimes God asks us to let go of something we hold dear before He let’s us take a hold of something new. It’s all a part of living by faith; trusting In Him even when we don’t see how all the pieces fit together, and believing that He’ll work everything out.
So with a leap of faith, a step of obedience, and a hopeful heart, I moved to Florida with our two young daughters the 1st day of June in 1988 to be with my husband. In the coming months God blessed me in ways I never imagined and my faith in Him grew in a most unexpected way – which I hope to be the subject of one of my future blogs. 😊