I’ve always been captured by Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, since I was a very young girl. If you can picture it, I had two books I really liked to read and sing that my mom had at home. One was a book of famous poetry and the other was a Baptist hymnal. We also had several books and records of nursery rhymes. I like to say that I knew nursery rhymes, while a lot of my friends I know now had grown up with Bible stories. I really didn’t. I knew nursery rhymes, poems and hymns.
It’s a funny concoction, if you think about it. But it was mine.
And oh I would read Blake’s Tiger, Tiger Burning bright, in the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry? And I would imagine The Tiger, stalking through the forest, in all of his wonder, growling to keep all the other animals in line.
But when I read Frost…two roads diverged in a yellow wood…I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference, I recognized in a deep place in my soul, even as a young child, that we have choices to make.
So I grew, and I sang those hymns, which would truly be more of a Bible to me than the Bible itself for those first 20 years of my life. They spoke of men and women in faith, who read God’s Word, honored the Lord Jesus, believed what He said and lived accordingly. They chose to believe the whole enchilada. They believed and experienced fullness of life. That life? It was not a road of ease, no. It was fraught with hardship. I had never personally experienced hardship at the time. But I watched it from afar. And I wondered what my road might look like.
Would my road be easy? Oh, I could make choices that would ease the path. And for many years, I did just that. I wasn’t the same person that I am now. I shaped my life around my comfort, my wants. I really was selfish and self-serving. I know and remember that person. For she is still there, begging me to choose the easier road of comfort.
But then Jesus came and did a work, an unexplainable work, in my life. He made me a sweet, caring, outwardly-focused, child of God. He did this! And I saw the other road that He offered and I took it. Sometimes, I would deviate from the path a bit. I would choose my own path. But many times I followed Him well. And I saw with my own eyes and experienced some WONDERS.
I also experienced hardship of my own. It was a deep wound of rejection–cutting off and forever lost.
Over time, He has healed that wound. It is still there. I could show you the scar of it. But, I came to the conclusion that taking a different road, when I had a choice of two, came with its own losses. I simply could not walk in two places. I had to choose.
My family chose with me. We would go to College Station, TX.
We took the road less traveled. We are still on it actually. I was talking with a friend on the phone the other day about walking out journeys with others. And it really does help when the other travelers are walking similar stories–you can encourage one another so much. And we have some fellow travelers scattered across the globe, with whom we stay in contact and encourage and support one another. In fact I got an email from one dear friend yesterday saying that they are all struggling, but never at the same time. It’s like they always have a strong one to encourage and press the others forward.
Our story has been so similar! We have all strongly believed at one time or another. And some of us, more than others, have struggled in some hard and dark places. Why? How? When? All those questions pouring out…pouring out to God…with a question, “Do you love me? If You do, then why???”
So we came to College Station with a firm knowing in our knower, as Priscilla Shirer says. And we spent six months without a job. Yesterday, Chris began his new job! It is wonderful. And we are so excited!!
But there is a bit of a rub. Basically Chris’ salary just went backwards by fifteen years. That was a hard in the middle of the glory. He has hopes for advancement over the next few years. But in the meantime, we joyfully accept this as God’s answer, His provision.
And let me tell you about His provision. You know how Elijah was fed by ravens in 1 Kings chapter 17? Well…God has done just that for us in this place. The past six months, we have been fed by ravens. We have often spent what we did not earn. And it wasn’t entitlement. It wasn’t enabling. It was provision! Anonymous people have given us hundreds of dollars. Did you just read that? Read it again. Just when we reached a closeness to the end of our supply, God would send more, through His people. And while I rejoiced at the gift and went face down in thanksgiving, I also groaned a bit inside, knowing that if God is sending this kind of amazing and abundant support, we are not there, yet. And OH, how I wanted to be there! Does that make sense?
So now we have reached the point of the job. And it is a very good job! Chris is super excited, and I know he will bring blessing and favor to this company. I know it!
God has also sent work to me, in the form of a social media job and a few websites. So I am back to work. But the thing is? I really do love it. I love helping our family. Also it is from home, so I can focus on being a homemaker, mother and wife, as well. It is very good!
Our next step on the path is choosing a home to live. We have run out of any kind of down payment for a home. And even if we did have a down payment, our ability to buy is severely less. So it looks like we will be searching for a new rental by mid-February. I have had people ask if we could stay where we are. I guess we could. But the kids really are crowded in this 1540 sq ft place. We only have about 1/4 of our stuff here (with the rest in Colorado, as we rely on the kindness of my cousins). And I’d like to have a little more space to bring the rest of our stuff from Colorado and store it in the home without having to pay for a storage unit. Just details…and the Lord holds them all. He is still our supply. He knows what we need.
My final point is precisely that…when you decide to follow God and see Him work the way we have seen Him work, why would we ever want to go back? Even if it looks different, I would not trade God’s supply for anything I could grasp on my own.
I dare you to try it and see for yourself. These are the days to decide…
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15 NIV
Walking with God on His path is better than anything else. It truly is.