Monday, December 8, 2008


Last week I was given the gift of taking a two day break from work and life to slip away to the mountains of North Carolina for a guided silent retreat led by one of my dear friends Buddy Odom. Since leaving Young Life staff, I have not had the luxury of a boss and committee encouraging me to create space like this for God to speak into my heart. It was a wonderful 30 hours or so of wrestling with God and his question posed to me from John 13:12 (MSG). After washing the disciple’s feet, he asks, ”Do you understand what I have done to you…”? For a good 8 hours I struggled with that question. For a while I reflected on the “tenderness of God” from Isaiah 43. I thought of how God has shown His tender heart towards our family over the past year (read that passage of scripture if you want some great hope!). But about 9pm, as I was sitting at the top of a hill overlooking the little town we were in, it hit me. I said out loud (which is legal on a silent retreat as long as you are not talking to someone) “NO! I don’t understand, but I trust you!” I repeated this over and over again as I walked back down the hill, laughing like a little boy. It was the first time in a long while that I felt a total freedom. Freedom from the stress and burden and gravity of moving our family across the globe into a strange land just because we are stirred by this mysterious God we serve. It was a beautiful time that is hard to put into black words on a white page.

Well, if you have hung with me this long, you will hear the latest. This morning I prayed that God would let us know today (I almost never do this!) what our next step would be. (We have really been praying that God would deny our Visas if He does not want us to go.) When I walked in the door tonight from work, Katie told me that Amelia from the Spanish Consulate called and that my Visa has been approved!!!!! We are still waiting for Katie and the girl’s, but they should follow soon.

There are so many things and emotions swirling through our heads, but here are our prayer requests for now:
• We are all—in the words of Alice, our 8 year old: “Scared to death and excited all rolled up into one. Like the turkey wrap I had for lunch at school today!”
• Still need $10,000 annual to be released by Young Life
• Katie and the girls visas still need to be approved—just a matter of time
• Wisdom on when to pull our kids out of school and actually move—technically, we have 90 days to get to Spain once the visas are approved
• SO MANY details to be worked through as far as the logistics of the move

We are so thankful for your journeying with us through this long process! It is so near now!

Isaiah 43
When You're Between a Rock and a Hard Place
1 -4 But now, God's Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel: "Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me!
That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
"So don't be afraid: I'm with you.