A green 4:41 quietly penetrates the darkness beside the bed. The clock begins to sing, "...when I finally make it home..." after a nine minute long grace period.
The lyrics to Mercy Me's song skittered around my waking head as I showered by rote. Today is not a home-coming, but yet another leaving. Still, that eventual home-going is the reason for the leaving, and I smile at the poetry of that.
Mike is going to Guatemala for the work of God's kingdom. This time he will miss our kids' first day of school, their first after three years of homeschooling. We're getting used to his absence at momentous occasions like this, though. This year he's missed Easter and Father's Day, and on his next trip he'll miss my birthday.
These are not complaints as much as they are an accounting of our days and a rendering of the seismic shift I feel under my feet.
It began a few years ago with a Sunday school study about living a generous life. Mike and I felt a strong draw to give more of our lives away to God. But there weren't many resources in our lives we weren't already investing in ourselves, so this longing of our heart went unmet. The urgent cares of daily living piled on top, and it was soon buried alive.
Last year we took the Dave Ramsey course Financial Peace, which resurrected those unmet desires and challenged us anew: get out of debt, scale back what you spend on yourselves, and put God to the test.
We were already tithing, and Mike was already traveling to Guatemala three to four times each year for five years now. We weren't sure exactly what it was God was moving us toward or what it would look like.
We decided to make some sacrifices to accomplish the goals of debt retirement and stemming the selfish spending. What got cut was the time and money we were investing in homeschooling. We put our kids back in public school and I went searching for a full-time job. As committed as we were (and still are in so many ways) to homeschooling, we knew this was the next step in the direction God was leading us.
When I felt the earth moving beneath my feet, I so wanted a crutch to steady me. I was scared of all this change. Even now I feel ungrounded. David Platt's book, Radical, with divine timing, steadied me.
Mike is taking a small team of six to meet at least three others from another state. They will install a water filtration system to a primitive village in the rural mountains of northern Guatemala. They will also pour a concrete foundation to upgrade the dirt floor in the pastor's house.
And I smile at the poetry in that, too. God is stripping me of the unstable foundation of self and false security in the American dream, setting me adrift to take steps of faith that land on moving tectonic plates in His hands. He wants me to know only Him as my foundation. All this, while Mike goes to a third world region to pour a physically sure foundation for those who have only known Christ as the cornerstone under their dirt floor.
And somehow my heart knows we are stumbling in the right direction, and I am learning that He's the Rock that catches my unsteady footfalls. And I don't want to stumble anymore; I want to run sure. So we zip the suitcase that contains a week's worth of physical provisions and spiritual provision enough for a lifetime. He flies. And I run.
This post is a reflection on Freezeframing Life, a PhotoPlay challenge from Claire Burge at High Calling Blogs to capture life's landmark moments in still photography. You can see the reflections of others here.