It has been such a long while since I've written anything here. I never thought I would encounter the day when three weeks . . . then a month and a half . . . then two months . . . and now almost three months would pass without new words from me in this space. The journey to here has been twisty-turvy and surprising.
I guess I should begin by saying that I had every intention of finishing my series on learning to rest. Even from the time I began the series, I knew there were at least seven or eight installments that could be written at that point about this process for me, not to mention however many more pieces that would fall into place as I continued to walk this path.
The first few months of this year were filled with so many opportunities to lean deeper into the rest I was asking God to teach me to receive. Writing those first four installments that got me up to the point of my January residency in Philadelphia was only the beginning. I was really enjoying the process of chronicling the fullness of all this journey for you here.
But then things happened. Really surprising things.
The first thing that happened is that Kirk got a job. That happened right after I wrote my last post in mid-March. It happened very quickly and quite unexpectedly. One moment we were driving to the beach on a sunny Friday afternoon, enjoying the beauty of the day together, and the next moment he was on a phone call with a friend who wanted to meet for lunch on Monday to talk about working together in a relatively new department at Full Sail. Less than a week later, he was in salary negotiations for the new position. A little over a week after that, he showed up for his first day on the job.
This completely shell-shocked me, but in the best of ways. Really, it shell-shocked both of us. It was kind of like waking up in the middle of a very busy street, all kinds of new and bustling activity happening around you, then scratching your head in a wholly stupefied daze and saying to the person beside you, "How exactly did we end up here?" It happened just that fast and just that unexpectedly.
But it was a complete blessing. For one thing, Kirk was (and continues to be) in love with the opportunity. It gives him the chance to listen to people's stories and hear their dreams and ask them compelling questions while continuing to build the educational institution that has been a part of his personal and professional life for so long. The work is good, the people are like family, and the place feels so much like home.
For another thing, the whole situation humbled me like you wouldn't believe. You may remember that my first and second posts in the series on learning to rest described how utterly self-dependent I had realized myself to be about the future. I had for some reason imposed a heck of a lot of internal pressure on myself to unlock the mysterious puzzle about where God was ultimately taking us in this very unconventional life we lead together. I was crunching my mind on overtime to crack that particular code, and a lot of this season of learning to rest was about releasing the need to do that anymore. It was about coming to believe that God indeed is our heavenly Father, which means that he sees us, knows our needs, and will provide for each and every one of them.
That's pretty much what Kirk's new job had to teach me, and it totally rocked my world. You see, I had absolutely nothing to do with that opportunity coming along or dropping into his lap. I didn't touch it. All I did, if I did anything, was listen to Kirk process through the decision and ask him good questions about it along the way.
Yet here it was. Something he was thrilled to be given the chance to do. What's more, it was providing for exactly all of our needs at that exact moment in time.
And I had absolutely nothing to do with it. That's the part I couldn't quite shake. God wasn't dependent on my doing all the right things or figuring out all the right answers in order to bring the next good thing into our lives. He did what he wanted to do, and he brought Kirk into that mix, and he let me just sit back and watch. With my jaw hanging down to the ground.
I'm pretty sure it stoked God to do this for us: to bring us around the next bend in our journey, finally, after wondering for so long together what it would be and when it would happen. I'm also pretty sure it gave God no shortage of endless delight to watch my wholly dumbfounded reaction as I made the very obvious connections that were there to be made to my very personal journey into greater and greater rest.
So that's the first thing that happened after I wrote my last post. It kind of distracted me for a while from writing anything here. I was pretty full on the inside just holding the weight of all God was communicating to me through that experience.
That he sees us. That he knows our needs. That he will provide for each and every one of them. That he's a whole heck of a lot more creative than I ever could be. That when he wants something to happen, he sets it in motion and it just flows.
Message received. Thank you, Jesus. I believe you now.
The next thing that happened was yet another marvel, and it was this: I started living completely in the present. For several weeks in a row, I found myself content to be concerned only with what was right in front of me to do. When I reached the end of a task, I was happy to simply ask myself, "What is the next right thing for me to do now?"
These were simple tasks. Things like washing the dishes in the sink. Pulling a load of laundry out of the dryer and folding the clothes in the bedroom. Paying the bills. Running to the post office. Calling the credit card company. Shopping for groceries at Costco and Publix. Working on an assignment for school.
Many of these tasks (especially grocery shopping!) were things I used to hate doing and would put off doing as long as possible. They were things Kirk would often do for the both of us, if I'm to be completely honest. Except now he was working 50 to 60 hours a week to get up to speed on his new job. Clearly, he wouldn't be paying the bills or shopping for us when he got home from those long days. It was up to me to do it now.
And I found myself really enjoying it. I loved the simplicity of all these specific tasks. I loved the feeling of contributing to our household and making Kirk's life that much easier. I loved moving from one thing to another in the quietness of our little home.
What's interesting to me about this is how little I thought of blogging. Every rare once in a while, I would remember I have a blog. I would remember it like I was peering, or straining, through a foggy mist to see that blog in the back reaches of my memory. And I would remember that I'd been in the middle of writing a series that seemed to culminate in the life I now found myself living: a life of peace, of simple joy, of resting contentedly and wholeheartedly in the present, without worry and without fear.
The thought of completing the series felt like forcing myself to go backward, to stuff myself back into shoes that were too small after a giant growth spurt. I had left off the series with events that had happened in January. And here it was: April. So much had occurred in the space of that time, even before Kirk got wind of the new job, to teach me lessons about learning to rest. Connecting the dots with all the stories that had happened between January and April to prepare me to receive the rest I had finally found felt overwhelming and somewhat stifling. It would force me to focus on the past instead of living completely in the present, which is what I most wanted to enjoy doing after the long road it took to get me here.
So that's what kept me from this space for quite so long. There's more to this story and more to where I'm heading from here, but I'm going to share those thoughts in a separate post. For now, know that I have indeed found the rest I was so longing and praying to find. Though it makes me sad to think of all the stories making up that journey that will never get told in this space after all, I'm contenting myself to hold all those untold stories close to my heart, known by me and Jesus, believing that the not-telling of them does not make them any less real or a part of who I am today.