Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Our next chapter

I have always known my husband loves the sunshine.  I can see the look of disappointment in his eyes each year when the long, warm summer days are coming to an end.  As the blue skies turn to gray, he can't seem to help but think and dream about moving somewhere warmer.  Being in the Air Force Reserves and flying out of McChord, it seemed like our life was pretty settled here.  Not to mention that for the past ten years, my heart was completely hardened when it came to moving.  I absolutely couldn't move away from my friends and family.  Ever.  Period.  Plus, I am not a girl who likes change.  If I could just stay in my comfort zone, with the same church, the same school for my kids, the same friends, and the same routine for the rest of my life... (enter sigh of relief) I would be totally happy.  (Don't get me wrong, I would actually love to live in a warmer climate... I would just want to bring all of my family and friends with me. ;)  God has been changing my heart over the past few months though, in a way that I never had thought possible.  A year ago, I would've told you that we were going to spend the rest of our lives here.  So I'll back up a little bit...

I think it all started when the economy went downhill and Adam's airline was forced to furlough pilots.  Thankfully, Adam was not one who had to be furloughed, but he lost enough seniority that he was moved to a base in Los Angeles.  Since we knew this was temporary and he would still have at least twelve days off a month, I stayed up here with the boys while Adam commuted.  He got a taste of what it was like to live there... and long story short, he really loved it.  He loved riding his motorcycle to work everyday.  He loved exploring all of the beaches and seeing groups gathered in worship.  He loved being so close to endless recreation and fun things to do.  He couldn't fully enjoy it though because we weren't there.  We rejoiced the day he was back in Seattle, so excited to have more time together as a family again.  It worked out that he was transferred back up here just weeks before bringing Ella home, so the timing was perfect.  He was so excited to be back with his family, but not so excited to be back in the rain.  Then last July, Adam had completed twenty years in the Air Force and made the decision to retire.  Given that there are different bases he can work from for Alaska, we were no longer tied here.  Moving somewhere else became more of a possibility.

It says in the Bible to seek counsel if you need wisdom and advice about something in your marriage, so I decided to talk to a woman at my church who I consider to be extremely Godly and wise.  If I'm being honest, I completely thought she would say that family and friends were important enough to stand my ground.  But she didn't.  She carefully told me that my loyalty needs to be with my husband... not my friends, not even my family.  God says in Ephesians 5:22 to submit to your husband, as to the Lord.  She went on to say that submitting to your husband is showing obedience to God and He will bless you in that.  She also told me that she didn't think this move even had to do with weather, that God might be giving Adam this desire for a reason.  Maybe God has something for us in California that we aren't aware of yet.  

Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill had a marriage series recently that Adam and I had listened to.  I went back to one of the messages, where he and his wife were answering questions about marriage and giving advice.  Pastor Driscoll's wife, Grace, was saying that most of the time in your marriage, you should be able to talk through situations and come to a decision together.  Ultimately, if you disagree and it's a decision that needs to be made, the wife needs to submit to what her husband's decision is... and God will honor that.

Then a few weeks ago, our pastor was talking about change.  That change isn't always bad.  That sometimes things have to change.  That God can use change.  That sometimes I have to surrender my plans and trust in Him.  Mary experienced change when the angel told her she would be carrying the son of God, the savior of the world.  Her response was, "I am the Lord's servant.  May it be to me as you have said."  My prayer is that I could have a heart like Mary.  That I could surrender my plans and desire to control things, and trust in God.  Psalm 37:23 says, "The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand."  I find huge comfort in the fact that Adam is truly seeking God for wisdom.  As the leader of our family, I know he doesn't take that lightly.  He prays that if he is being selfish that God will take this desire away.  Yet his desire continues to grow.  We are praying and trusting that if this isn't God's will, it simply just "won't work out".  Yet everything has gone more smoothly that I ever could have imagined. 

As different of a situation as our adoption was, I feel like it prepared me for this new challenge in my life.  I never had to depend so much on God as I did throughout our adoption.  I never felt His arms wrapped around us, telling us to depend on Him the way I did then.  Until now.  I can feel God telling me to trust Him, along with an underlying peace that it will all be okay.  We are praying constantly about it together.  I have to say, standing by and supporting my husband... it just feels right.  It draws us together instead of tearing us apart, because we are on the same team.  I can tell it means a lot to him that I am trusting and following him. Sure there are days when I get really scared, days when I am really emotional about it.  Somehow, I can always find a new perspective.  I remember that God will take care of me.  I remember how scared I was to make the decision to leave teaching, but how blessed I've been to stay at home.  I remember that I have an amazing family that I get to do life with.  I remember that my closest friends will always be part of my life.  I remember how thankful I am that my husband has been such an awesome leader, awesome provider, and my biggest advocate.  I know he would stay here if I really wanted and needed him to, but there are a few things I know.  I know the weather is never going to change.  I know the rain will always bring his spirits down.  I know that he would always wonder "what if".  I know I would feel responsible for crushing his dream instead of being his helper.  

As easy as it can be for me to think about myself, God has been teaching me about selflessness.  Maybe I was feeling like staying here was what I needed, but maybe moving is what he needs.  Maybe it's what I need too, I just don't realize it yet.  After all, God never promised me a safe and comfortable life.  Maybe I'm supposed to get out of my comfort zone.  Maybe I have been relying on other things when I need to be relying on God.  Maybe we will make a bigger impact for His kingdom somewhere else.  Maybe, a few years down the road, we will understand why God has us in Southern California and everything will all make sense. 

Your support and prayers would mean the world.  That I will continue to have peace about moving.  That God will continue to guide us and open doors if we are taking the right path.  For strength to make it through the tearful goodbyes.  That we are able to make this new place our home.  That our kids will make friends.  That we will make friends.  Above all, that our lives would glorify God and we could live radically for Him, no matter where we live.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That is big news!! When are you guys leaving?

Sally...4 boys + 1 princess.. said...

Kerri, wow that is a big change. Prayers for your family as you seek God desire. You are lucky to have a mentor to help you see what God is telling your husband.

Heather Mattos said...

Kerri, I was in your same situation when Seth decided to joim the marines. I grew up here and dreamed of living here and raising my kids here. I was so nervous when we moved to Virginis. I felt it in my heart to follow seth and support him which is why I left teaching. Honestly, it was the most rewarding experience. I learned so much being away and more about myself. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You're right about your friends and fsmily always being there. I wish you the best on your new adventure. You will love California. I'm jealous.

Lovin' on my Boys said...

Kate ~ Most likely the end of June.
Sally ~ I really appreciate your comment... thanks so much for your prayers!
Heather ~ Thank you for the encouragement! It definitely helps to hear from someone who has been there and can say that it was a rewarding experience. I can definitely be super dependent on family and friends, so I'm sure I will learn a lot as well! :)

Anonymous said...

I needed to read and hear this. It is so true, so genuine...I love your heart

Kristin P.

Lovin' on my Boys said...

Thank you Kristin! :)