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I remember when the dust had settled and we’d been in Austin for about eight months, Rocky called me and said that a head hunter from Dallas had called, out of the blue, and told him about a position that he could be considered for back in DFW.
I immediately went into a tailspin because 1. I’d completely given up on the idea of going back to DFW the minute we left. After years of holding on to the dream of going back to Colorado, I knew better than to let that kind of thing hinder me again, and 2. I couldn’t figure out why in the heck the Lord would bring us to Austin for such a short time and drag me through hell and back only to take us right back to where we came from. It made no sense at all.
Rocky never followed up on that offer, much to my immediate relief.
Remember this post from last month? The Lord very specifically told me to toss worship #offthebeam and focus solely on my writing and speaking career. The worship part is still a struggle for me, by the way. I still grieve that and I’m still working on the way my brain reacts to the topic of leading worship and singing. Anyway, as I was working through that, one of the things that I said to the Lord was, “This is all well and good, I’m so glad you are giving me permission to totally pursue this writing dream, but I really don’t have a lot of time and energy to write right now. I have to work at a certain pace and that doesn’t leave me a lot of space for much else. What do I do about that? And what about Rocky? He doesn’t love selling walk in coolers to schools. That doesn’t excite him. He has a fantastic job with a great company, but . . . when will he get to do something he loves?” I just left those questions at Jesus feet and went on about my business.
It was maybe two or three days later that Rocky called from a work trip and told me that one of his good friends was potentially offering him a job that he would be stupid to refuse. When he laid out the details for me, I was floored. The two big questions that I’d asked earlier that week would be answered if Rocky accepted the position. I’d be able to scale back on work and focus more on writing and he would get to do something that he was excited about.
As we prayed, discussed, listened, and waited, one thing became very clear: If he took this job, we would have to move back to DFW.
You guys, when Rocky told me that news, my heart sank and I started to bawl, for so many different reasons. We just bought this house, and we just poured a huge labor of love into the kids room as well as our own bedroom. We planned to be here long term and we honestly never expected to go back to DFW. Plus, we’ve just barely recovered from the original move to Austin.
Rocky saw my tears and said, “Baby, whenever anyone asks you how you’re liking Austin your response is always the same: a very half-hearted, “it’s growing on us.””
It’s true. That is my response, it’s been a big fat lie. I have no feelings about Austin whatsoever. I know this is blasphemous and grounds for shunning, but, Austin is just not my heart city. I have a handful of people here that I love dearly, whom I will miss greatly, but I feel very un-tethered here. Austin and I have just not connected.
I went away to my retreat in Wisconsin to lead worship for the last time, pretty sure that we were going to say yes to the job because we would be fools to turn it down, but I was still uncertain and very unhappy about the idea of packing up and moving again. Is anyone counting our moves? Well, I am. Here’s how it pans out: 2016 will be our 13th year of marriage. If we make this move, it will be our 13th. And we’ve been in a few places for up to two years . . . so figure THAT out. My brain hurts. Back to the point.
Through a very simple exercise that one of the speakers had us go through, the Lord showed me exactly what I needed in order to come to terms with the decision ahead of us. I told Him that the thought of moving was exhausting and really scary to me. He responded by saying, “Let Me move you.” And from there I pictured myself as a marionette, and the Lord as the puppeteer. It wasn’t so much that He was controlling me, but when He moved, I moved. I knew what this was about.
I texted Rocky and said, “The answer is yes.”
This left me with one more obstacle to tackle: Why Austin? Why in the world did God bring us here and take us through what we went through if only to take us back to where we started?
My answer came in the form of a verse that became an inadvertent focus for that weekend retreat.
Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? Song of Solomon 8:5
One of our other speakers taught on the wilderness and the original meaning behind the word and Hebrew letters, and what those symbols communicate about the wilderness – a place of blessing and security, and a place to commune with our Beloved, part of the promised land . . . There was so much to unpack, It blew my mind.
As I lay in bed after arriving home, I finally asked the Lord the question: Why Austin? He responded immediately with that verse above.
The Father took our family into the wilderness, and we had to go through some really hard and painful things in order to learn to truly lean and depend on Him. He brought us here, knowing what we would face, knowing what we would have to overcome, knowing that I would fail and need to be carried out of the ruins of my former self. He knew also, though, that we would survive, and we would be stronger because of it. He knew that my boys would learn about His character and His provision, and He knew that my husband would learn how to lead in a new way, and that all of us would be able to walk out of this place leaning on our beloved. I was concerned about people looking at or time in Austin as a failure, but in fact, we eventually began to thrive here, and the reason why this job is being offered at all is because of what Rocky has done here with his former company. There was hardship at the beginning, but we will move on from this place standing taller and more sure of ourselves and our God. We are changed for the better.
I am not battle-weary and requiring the Lord’s strength to carry me out of this place. No, the image in my head is like a graceful saunter out of a field of wildflowers. His arm is around me and I am at peace, tucked into His side, leaning on my Beloved.