When I was 14, we visited the west, and I asked my dad (in 114 degrees, where everything has prickles) 'why would ANYONE ever [choose to] live in Arizona?' I likened the buildings to prisons, where everyone is trapped and guarded in their cells, by the merciless sun, blasting down on the rocks, where the windowless kindergartens with their insulated walls look like prisons. Where all is barren and blazing, and the green things there are prickly and must try so hard to survive, where my beloved deciduous trees do not grow.
And the very idea of leaving Pennsylvania, leaving all my friends, my aging frail grandmas, Sarah!, Leah, my most favorite church ever LWC (where they love me and treat me like family), Mrs. Runkle, my extended family, my favorite Christian Pediatrician and Christian Pre-natal Christian doctors. Drexel, my top choice of school for Josh, with happy (seeming) grad students and research Josh thinks is cool, and a stipend we could live independently off of.....To turn them down to go to ASU, to live IN THE DESERT 2,000 miles from any of my friends, twice as far from my family as I am now, small enough stipend we will have to live with my husbands parents.
Drexel literally was my 1st choice out of 5. ASU was my 5th choice out of 5 (I threw a hissy fit when Josh applied). Its crazy. Its insane. And yet. Yet. Now I'm doing it. Why? Because I asked You for a sign. And You gave it. Did you? I think you did. And I'm going on this promise. Why?
Because I longed to go to Drexel, but deep in my heart, did not have peace. And I prayed for signs. And this is what happened.
Sign 1: Long ago, my dream (when pregnant with Isaiah). In it, I dreamt we were living in Arizona, and it was ofcourse, hot and desert-y. There was a an old woman there, slightly reminiscent of Grandma Sheldon, but even older, in her 90s, and so incredibly beautiful. She was a church friend (in my dream) and there was something so important about her, and I wanted to be her friend, to know her, to hear what she had to say. And there was a campsite place with a water hole and chalky rocks...and my siblings (I know Elijah) were there, camping? And it was desert. But the desert blossoming, there were flowers...(it was still desert) but most of all, the air was bright and heavy with this deep light, that was like solid joy, gold light, heavy with the presence, with the glory of God...
Sign 2: When I opened my Bible last night, praying for a sign, I read Peter's mother in law being healed.
Sign 3: Last night, praying for a sign, opened my journal, back from when cousin Peter was lost, had written
"Nothing is Impossible with God (Katherine)
Blessed be Your Name--though I walk through the wilderness, desert place
(walk through the desert w/ Peter-- like Orual, never let him go)"
Sign 4: Woke up this morning, the first thing my eyes read as I was getting out of bed, I pulled up the sheets, and sitting right next to me was this
(Its from when we had to get a new phone because I sent Josh's through the wash, it was floating around the house because Isaiah played with it. It must have ended up in our bed.)
My eyes just landed on the 'Go' and the first thing I thought was, Go to AZ. I didn't know what to think, it was cheesy like the 'ave Maria' joke. I got up and went out.
Then when Josh woke up a couple hours later, and it was the first thing he saw, and he thought the same, Go to AZ.
Sign 5: This morning I logged into my email, an inspirational email from a church lady (who sends about one a day) titled "Faith vs. Reason" Which in addition to its content (Drexel is the logical choice, AZ is crazy and defies logic and every marriage counselling book on the planet, and my own heart...), had the "Nothing is impossible with God" reference from my journal.
YOU are the apple of God's eye. Keep on shining for the Master.
Love and prayers, Ma D
1 Corinthians 1:18-29
Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Another way of saying that is “knowing that God will honor His Word.”
Reason can be the enemy of faith, because it attempts to “trump” trust in God by encouraging us to rely on human intellect. This kind of logical thinking places confidence in man, but since we are not all-knowing or all-powerful, it leads to insecurity and worry.
All the while, God waits patiently for man to acknowledge his need of a Savior and then respond in faith. Reason says, “I can do it.” Faith says, “With God, all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). Reason says, “Hurry and get yours before it’s gone.” Faith responds, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Reason wrings its hands and says, “There has to be a better way!” Faith looks at Jesus and hears Him whisper, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
God’s Word states that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. It makes no sense whatsoever to them because Satan has blinded their eyes to the truth. But to us who are being saved, the Gospel is the very power of God (1 Cor. 1:18).
In 1 Corinthians 1:19, God says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Those who are of the world may seem to have the upper hand now, but a time will come when they will wither like grass. Only those belonging to Christ possess eternity. We need to lovingly share this truth with others.
Sign 6: Josh got up in the morning, and went to read his Bible, opening it up at the bookmark. One page away from his bookmark was 1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Josh brought it to me, interpreting the 'fiery trial' was Pheonix (where I say people are prisoners of the sun, then there's the fire-bird imagery too, and it sure will be harder for me then Philadelphia). But what I heard in that verse, was an echo of my dream, of when the glory of God was descending, so bright it filled the air like living light... the glory of the Lord being revealed. Then I finally showed Josh my journal entry. He noted the Peter reference. And I showed him the inspiration email I got that morning. Josh said he thought it was preponderance of evidence.
What is my 7th sign? Mom felt this morning, that God was sending us to AZ, even though she really hopes we'll stay in Philly. At church yesterday, on the powerpoint, there was
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
SO I am going into the desert. Away from all my support networks, away from all my friends, much further away from my family, away from my friends, away from Sarah and Leah, away from having my own kitchen and my own little place, away from green things and leaves and forests of deciduous trees and blackberries.
I am going into the desert. Why? Because, God is promising us, something to do with the dry land blossoming something to do with His glory descending through this. And so. We will go. God, come.
Its one of the hardest things I've ever done.
I'm not doing this for Josh. I'm not doing this for any one else but You. So come through with this God. Come.