Sunday 26 August 2007
I was at church without T this morning (without T – nothing unusual there, what’s unusual these days is if he’s well enough to cope with coming!) Anyway, after church I spent time talking with the pastor – he’s really good at listening and genuinely interested and caring in you and what you have to say; he has time for you and that’s really nice. I told him about our plans for travelling around Australia, what makes me come alive, what’s been ‘killing’ me and that with T suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, what sort of help would be useful to us.
It was a real relief to tell our pastor about our plans and not have him ‘judge’ us and tell us we’re being foolish or unwise – it’s interesting, a lot of people who we tell about our plans have the, ‘Oh, are you sure that’s wise?’ type response. Only a handful have had the, ‘Oh, wow! That sounds fantastic! Go for it!’ In fact, one of the things our pastor said that really encouraged me was, ‘Follow your heart and be yourself.’ It is what we’ve started doing since reading ‘Captivating’ and the ‘Wild Heart’ books and realising that the life we’d been living was not the life we were meant to be living and it was slowly killing our hearts.
For the last couple of years I have been desperate to move from our current residence – we live in a nice rented house, but…I don’t want to be there any more and neither does T, for numerous reasons. And living in a house where we don’t want to be is driving us all stir crazy, not to mention it’s at times depressing and soul destroying and the cause of too much stress.
Originally we thought getting out of this house just meant somehow coming together with the finance to buy a bigger house on a decent sized block (ie, no smaller than a quarter acre!) somewhere around the area where we are – nowhere near our family, but what the hey, we haven’t lived close to our family for 15+ years! But, we’d still be close to the church, where we were totally committed and very happy at.
Then the idea of moving down to the Mornington Peninsula where our family live was thrown at us, with the question asked, “if our church no longer existed, would we still live in this area or would we want to live closer to our families?” It really started us thinking, I mean really thinking. And we realised that yes, if we did not have our committment to our church and weren’t so involved in its life we wouldn’t stay in the area and would move closer to our families. We prayed heaps about it; we even did a PMI (Positive, Minus, Indifferent – T’s idea of course!) on moving down there. Of course, this all hinged on us no longer being so involved and committed to our church, which we had been for ten years. After a lot of prayer, soul searching, pondering, thinking and listening to God, we realised that we were ready to leave, ready to move on.
Due to a myriad of stuff we haven’t actually managed to leave yet! We’re still here and still going stir crazy in this house, and yes, we are still at our church, although things are much, much different. T and I are no longer in leadership, which suits us fine as our walk and the church’s walk no longer fit together in quite the same way. And T has chronic fatigue syndrome (unless he’s diagnosed with something else) which has led to a total revamp of how we view and do life. The last year (August 2006 til now) has been what you’d call a very steep learning curve. So much stuff has happened and much of it has been tumultuous and not what you’d call pleasant. However, we have been learning soooo much. God has not left us or forsaken us, rather he has used this time to teach us a multitude of lessons, many of which we are still in the throes of learning and grappling with and it has been very, very hard in so many ways. Hard, but good. Although I would much prefer not to be going through the things we’ve been going through, I wouldn’t change it. Otherwise we’d still be just chugging along, vaguely aware that all is not quite right or as it should be and nothing would have changed – we wouldn’t have changed. We are most definitely not the same people, the same family we were a year ago!
And afterall our research for moving down to the Mornington Peninsula, God has directed us down a completely different path. And right now it is a path that, well, seems totally insane. Right now, humanly speaking, it is impossible. But then, with God, all things are possible and that’s what we keep reminding ourselves about. That, and reading another John Eldredge book ‘Waking The Dead’ have been really speaking to us right now. But there’s been a whole lot more stuff. A whole lot more.
Anyway, God has called us out from the comfortable suburban life. He has called us out to travel around our country, to travel around Australia to find our hearts and draw closer to him. What he has not done is give us a destination or told us what we are to do, apart from leave. Like Abraham we’ve been called to leave our home and journey into the unknown and follow where God is leading us. (You can follow our journey at The Great Adventure).
There are some days where it is only the knowing that we are leaving and leaving soon (although not as soon as I would like – if we could, we’d already been gone!) that stops me from melting down – if I have to continue living this life, which for me is a ‘suburban nightmare’ I would go insane and slide into depression. When I have considered the possibility of not going and having to continue on in this life as it is currently I am overwhelmed with emotion, and it is not of the positive variety either! There’s got to be more to life than what it currently is!!
We’ve tried the suburban life, we even bought into it for a while, and all the while, it has been slowly killing our hearts and souls. We were deceived by the job, the house, the money, the convenience etc, which when it comes down to it, for us, is just a lie because it is not what our hearts were created for. This kind of life is not the life that we were created to live. And because we did not follow our hearts we were suffocating. ‘Without vision (God’s divine guidance), the people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18) ‘hope defered makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life’ (Proverbs 13:12 NLT) – we are wondering if perhaps the fact that we have been doing this to our hearts, is why T has got so ill with chronic fatigue syndrome. And as I said earlier, without this illness, would we have stopped to evaluate our life and realise we were living a lie?
So now, now we are being totally crazy and beginning to follow our hearts and chase after our amazing God and come truly alive so that we will live the life we have been created to live and be the people God has created us to be. Who knows what adventures will happen as we follow our hearts!