Upon hearing that I was marrying Rob Wootton, inevitably the first or second question was “Wait, are you moving to Norfolk or is he coming here?” My reply has mostly been, I have no idea. And then folks would launch into all the reasons why I need to stay in Williamsburg but then end with, but we’ll understand if you have to move there.
There’s that saying “The only constant is change” and it’s true. When I least expected to be faced with decisions like moving, (didn’t I JUST say I hate moving and don’t want to any more this summer?) taking care of children, (I suddenly have children to consider) and looking for a job, (isn’t there some chart that says don’t do all these things at once) I found myself somewhere in the timeframe of July-ish considering how the rest of 2012 would play out. We had made the commitment – the “All In” statement as I call it – to do whatever it took to move forward, to be together, to work out what needs to be worked out, and to follow the path that seemed so clearly the one that God was pushing/ shoving us toward. We knew, we both knew without a doubt, this was the direction we were headed.
But there’s always more than one way to get somewhere. There’s traffic. There’s a boat. There are detours, construction, accidents, all impeding progress and generally making you take the long way around. Sometimes the longest most convoluted way possible.
Other times it’s like someone set out bread crumbs for us to follow and we are so unsure of following them, but we know that’s the way. And you make your plans and you do the most responsible things you can think of doing or as you have been advised by wise, well-meaning friends. But at the end of the day, when you are sitting at a table with all your plans and labors at rest for the moment, you know the Lord must build the house.
A book called Who Moved My Cheese came out in 1998. I read it for a class in Organizational Management. I’ve been thinking about rereading it again because at the time, I feel like change was the easiest thing for me. I love change. I love new things, new adventures, new people, new tasks. It’s in my skill set to welcome challenge and experimentation.
Now that I’m 39 and been on my own for a long time, and been through all kinds of changes in my life, I am no less ecstatic about newness and possibilities, but at the same time, I’m more cautious than I ever was before. Not that this is saying much, mind you. But reality sets in faster than it used to and my idealistic tendencies have been counterweighted with the what ifs and possible disasters that could befall me.
Some would consider that maturity and wisdom. Some always look before they leap, and I always do respect that. But there also takes great faith and strength of character to say I’m leaping out in faith and whatever may come, we will make this work. You cannot know all the possible outcomes of any given decision, how it will affect others, you, relationships, future paths. You can think through it all, measure and balance, consult others and gather data, make all your calculations. It’s true wisdom that does all these things and then says what am I willing to do? What am I willing to accept and live with? What is the worst case scenario and can it be redeemed?
And the answer to that last one gives me hope. Gives us hope. Our missteps are guided still. Our past plays into our now. We walk on and we see the path clearer with every passing day. And we still know unless the LORD builds the house, we labor in vain. So we make our plans and we give them to God and He sets our feet on the Rock where we are sure of where we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.