Clay got a promotion at work. Or church. Well, for work. At church. Where he works.
I am so happy for him and excited to see where God leads him in this new position as well as where He leads us as a couple to do great work for His Kingdom. But… Oh man, isn’t there always a “but”?
Clay’s new position is head of global partnerships (in addition to his previous roles with men’s ministry and Foundry, our young adults group) which means… He’s going to be going on some global missions!
Again, I am overjoyed. Because I can see on his face and through his voice and in his eyes how much he absolutely loves global missions. His passion for this new role shines through with such a bright and shining light.
And nothing brings me more joy than to see him filled with joy. But… (Goodness, there it is again.) But nothing makes me more sad than to be without him.
There. I said it. Gosh, I was never that needy girl. Always so independent. Didn’t need a man for validation, for comfort, for identity. But now? Well, now I have found the one whom my soul loves, and my soul longs to be near him and never apart.
So, let’s just say it’s all been a bit bittersweet. I will be able to go on probably one mission trip a year with him, but he will go on at least one if not two others without me. I know I will worry for his safety. And I am certain my heart will ache in his absence.
But… and this is a good but. But I know God loves Clay more than I do. And I know He has a great plan for Clay’s life – for our life – that is so much bigger than any we could imagine for ourselves. And that if we let Him, He will completely wreck our lives to help bring more of His Kingdom to this earth.
After all, isn’t that what life is all about? Spreading the Good News of Jesus? Stepping outside our comfort zone to love on others who are different from ourselves? Giving of our time and resources to help those in need? Of course I have my own passions and endeavors here in LA, and I am excited to pursue those. But I am also excited to see God stretch me.
It’s tempting to stay here in cozy Santa Monica with the beach breeze on my roofdeck and hot coffee in my palms each morning. It’s tempting to hold onto my life so tightly that I can control each little detail. And it’s even more tempting to hold onto this man that is so dear to me and this great love we have that overwhelms my soul with the greatest joy I’ve ever known…
But there is a great big world out there with a lot of need. And this man I love wants to take part in bringing restoration, hope, and healing to this earth. To bring Jesus to this world.
I can’t wait to step into the role of being his number one support, always loving, always encouraging, (and probably sometimes finding myself with hot tears rolling down my cheeks as he steps onto a plane without me.) But no matter how hard it is to let go of our control, we serve a great and loving God who we can trust. So trust I will.
I will love this man, my soon-to-be husband, with open hands. For he is not mine to control but mine to love with open hands that he can be free to be used by God. And I know he will always return to me. And I will be waiting. (Or I will go with him and be at his side. To partner with him as we partner with our global partners to partner with God in something so much greater than ourselves.)
At church on Sunday, our pastor reminded us that the word “remember” outnumbers the word “trust” 5 to 1. So I remember God’s faithfulness in my life thus far, and I wil trust Him with my future, with my husband, and with our love.
“When a woman has a Kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but she has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don’t think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the Kingdom of Heaven. When you hold relationships with open hands, then people come in and out of your life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated. And then when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small.” – Angela Thomas
“What do you need that you don’t have? What have you lost you can’t get back? What if I promised it’ll be alright? It’ll be alright.” – Lennon and Maisy Stella, We Got a Love