I cried tonight. I got an email from our kid’s school teacher. She was thanking us for our gift and sharing that when she saw Eli and his best buddy getting their picture taken today, it hit her. The kids won’t be there next year and she was really going to miss them and our family.
We are leaving the school that we’ve loved, our community. We are leaving the teachers, staff and families we’ve grown to love. We are in the process of preparing to sell the house we’ve loved.
And all of it’s ending right before me at the same time.
Back in December we felt the Lord tugging on our hearts to ask him where the kids would attend school the following year. As I picked out used uniforms from the tables in the lobby, excited to save money in the fall, I heard his voice,
“Ask me. Ask me where they’re going to school next year.”
Me… [hands figuratively over ears], “LALALAALALALA” ignoring him the first time. He prompted my heart again.
“Ask me where they’re going to school next year.”
“Ummmm, of course they are going HERE Lord, we LOVE it HERE. Let’s be done talking about this.”
Then twice again I heard him prompt me. And twice again I tried to ignore him.
Then on crisp January morning, Davin and I stepped onto a little field.
All of the sudden in the middle of the field, I felt sparkles, a pre-known-history and something electrifying all at the same time. I’ve only felt a pre-known-history one other time in my life, and that was when Davin and I started dating. Within a few weeks, I felt it. We hadn’t been together but days, but future me had known and loved him all her life, and present me felt it and knew it. I just couldn’t see it, because as humans, we are bound by time. But it’s like God let my sprit in on a little glimpse of the past as though I was an old lady looking back on my life yet standing in the shoes of a twenty-something me. I’m not sure of any other way to explain it. And it was just the same while we were standing alone in this little field.
I looked at Davin and whispered,
“I think this could be IT. The place. I think this is where we are going to live.”
In my heart I thought, I think this is where we have lived, for many, many years.
We have looked at plenty of property over the years and had been looking at even more recently. Davin has always wanted our family to grow up in the country, on some land. It took me about eight years to ever warm to the idea of not having a suburb street to drive down at night and park my car in the garage with the streetlight warming us through the night. I grew up in the suburbs, it’s all I’ve ever known or wanted.
The country has always seemed so remote and distant. But not this place.
Not this field.
So, we took it to prayer.
The field isn’t even up for sale. A guy owns it. Our friends know him and he’s agreed to talk to us before he sells it to anyone else. That was back in January.
We’ve been patiently waiting on him for over six months to contact us. And he hasn’t. Yet.
We’ve prayed. We’ve written him a letter. We’ve prayed. We’ve stopped by and tired to get him to speak to us. We’ve prayed again.
All without a response from him. He won’t even take the time to speak to us.
But he’s not in charge. God is. And IF we truly belong there, then it will happen in God’s beautiful, triumphant, glorious and hallelujah timing.
Because he’s God, and nothing else, and he always gets the glory, because he is worthy of it all. So we wait, mostly patiently, becuase God knows what is best and, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9.
In February, we finally decided to stop ignoring the Lords prompting and take to prayer where the kids should go to school the following year. We felt like God said to trust him and try to put the kids in public school, specifically the one near the field, even though we did’t live there. Which meant we had to decide NOT to re-enroll our kids in the school we love. We called our district for a transfer approval in the beginning of March, here is how the conversation went:
District: Do you have any evidence that you are moving? Maybe a realtor, paperwork, contract?”
Me: No, we have none of that.
District: Well, then we can’t approve your request.
The school our kids attend is so popular, we both have to race to our computers at 8pm on the set date and rush to fill out the forms for each of our kids. Then there is a waitlist.
It’s an amazing school.
8pm came on a cloudy, Monday night.
I had been in my closet, laying on the floor for the past hour. Praying/whining/in anguish/thinking over what we felt God had put on our hearts. We really felt like God said to pursue this field, put the kids in public school and be a light to our surrounding community. To step out in faith that our kids would influence their un-churched friends and not the other way around. To trust them with teachers who might tell them things that aren’t actually true. Friends who don’t all know the Ten Commandments nor follow them. To leave the beautiful, perfect safety net of their Christian school.
IT was HARD. It felt like in the movie Indiana Jones when he takes the step of faith.
I am not kidding.
We didn’t enroll them and we didn’t know where they were going to attend school. The minutes passed, 8:03… 8:04… I kept checking my watch from the floor. Our kids would have definitely lost their spots by now… the feeling sunk in that we were trusting this thing that we thought God was speaking to us. Davin was much more confident. He was not on the floor of our closet. He came in and pulled me off the ground and said it was like Abraham trusting God when he was about to sacrifice his son, and God provided the ram. We had to take a step of faith, and that God would bless that.
The very next day after we chose NOT to re-enroll the kids, we got a call from the school district that the little field is in. The cheerful woman on the phone was happy to tell me that our district HAD approved our request, and that we only needed to bring in the completed paperwork to finish it. Our kids were enrolled in the public school near the little field.
It was less than 24 hours of wondering where our kids would go to school and we got that call.
It was pretty amazing. Especially the timing of it all. That was back in March. We’ve heard nothing regarding the field since then. We’ve looked at other properties. Some that cost less and have more land and trees and are in better locations. But none of them have felt right.
Now we are preparing our beautiful home to sell. We are packing boxes and giving things away because we are planning on selling and hoping to move into a rental as close as we can get to the field.
The flesh part of me feels like this could literally be the dumbest thing we’ve ever done.
But my sprit answers with “or it could end up being the awesomest.”
Either way, when God calls us to do something we feel like he calling us to do, we have to do it. Otherwise life is just boring. I don’t like boring. I’d rather go on the crazy, blindfold journey with Jesus, than walk the boring suburb sidewalk. It’s not that he would ever leave me, I’d just be on the sidewalk, kinda bored and he’d be like, “Well, I had this cool adventure planned, and lots of it was a surprise, but you didn’t want to trust me, and that’s alright, so here we are, staring at rollie pollies, but those are cool too, I sure love you. Do you want to roll one up again and watch it unfold?”
And I’d be like, “NO! I did this when I was seven, and it was fun back then, but I’m a grown up now and I’m ready for a real BIG adventure!! I want to go 4-wheeling in the dirt and get muddy and see the water splash around. I want to run from the alligator and hide under the leaves of the tree with you until the rain passes. It’s okay if I scrape my knee or get dirty, we’ll be together and I want to go with you wherever you’d take me.”
We could stay in our safe and beautiful home. With no risk. We could keep the kids safe and protected from some of the world in Christian school, less risk.
But we feel him calling us on an adventure. At least we THINK we do, but there is a great risk.
And he didn’t give us the map. Just asked us if we wanted to come.
He is calling us to dream. To try and buy the field we are so drawn to, and then try to build a house we’d love our family to grow up in. To have a garden, a small orchard of fruit trees and maybe even a few dogs to run around the place.
It all sounds so great in my imagination. And when I’m in prayer or talking with Davin, it doesn’t sound crazy, not at all.
But when I see that we’re selling our gorgeous house that already has a garden, fruit trees, swimming pool and an upstairs patio… well. When I think about leaving the school we love and not seeing the teachers, staff family and friends everyday… well. When I consider that the guy that owns the field won’t even give us the time of day… well. When I think about spending a rainy Christmas in a small rental in who-knows-where… well.
It all makes me want to cry. To mourn the loss of the school we’ve loved. To think our kids won’t see those friends, the teachers, staff and families. I won’t see the beautiful, bright and cheerful school secretary who’s made me cry more than once from her sweet acts of kindness and Christ’s love well… it just makes me sad, and I just want to cry.
Because it’s hard.
It’s hard to leave the stuff I love.
It’s hard to give up so much of what I love on the hope that God has something else in mind even though so much of it is unclear.
So here I sit. Finally processing all that’s gone on over the past six months, making decisions based on faith. And I feel reminiscent of the past. All the past we’ve had in this house. Two of my babies came home from the hospital here. This house was their first beginning. I had three kids two and under here, day-in, day-out. I remember crying, laughing and feeling exhausted. Now the twins have lost teeth and look like young kids, not toddlers. The baby is about to turn one. Life just keeps going on and on, and my grounding points are being pulled up from under me.
To wrap it up:
- We have pulled the kids out of an amazing Christian school, and enrolled them into a public school.
- We are preparing to sell the house we love, get rid of things we love and pack up and move into a much smaller rental for an unknown amount of time.
- We have yet to hear ANYTHING from the guy that owns the field.
It felt good to cry. To sit and look at all the memories we’ve had in this house. To mourn the loss of all the lovely I am leaving and saying goodbye to.
On the hope of a new adventure.