He Goes Before You

street-962796_640This time next year I will likely be sitting in a different house, in a different city, in a different state.

Where? I have no idea.

My husband, Tim, is a doctor in the military, so we will go where he is needed—where we are sent. Sometime before the end of the year we’ll receive a list of job openings around the country (world?) and we’ll have the opportunity to weigh our options and rank which ones we like the best. Then we’ll wait a few more months. Sometime in the spring, we’ll be told where we’ll be sent.

The upside: the Army will send packers and movers to our house to do the wrapping and packing and heavy lifting. The downside: we don’t have much time to plan.

It’s a grand adventure to be sure. It’s also potentially disastrous for a worry-wartish planning type like me. Where will we live? Will we make friends? How will we find a church community?

It’s in the middle of my fretting that I suddenly stop and think back to how things were three years ago as my husband and I awaited news of where he’d be attending residency. I had the same fears, the same questions, the same desire to try and control everything and the crushing realizations that I have absolutely no control at all. How can I plan and prepare when I have no information to go on?

It’s then I begin to remember.

I remember the house hunting trip Tim I took to look at houses in Tacoma. I remember how we stopped by Discovery Community Church to see what it was all about. I remember the following Sunday when Barb remembered our names and introduced us to her son, Kyle and his wife, Lauren. I remember how we almost went back to the east coast discouraged and empty handed and then on the last day of our trip came upon our dream house, the home that already seemed to ring with our laughter. I remember how we bought the house not knowing we’d be living right across the street from Lauren and Kyle. I remember meeting other military wives and realizing we weren’t that different from each other after all. I remember attending our new small group made up of young newlyweds, not knowing that within a year half of us would be pregnant. I remember the long walks I began to take with new friends as we shared our stories, slowly letting our guard down, slowly building trust.

I remember that even when the path ahead of us seemed dark, God knew the way. He knew we would find this home where we would begin to build our family. He knew I would meet a prayer warrior of a sister in the house across the street. He knew we would find a church community and that we’d find friends who were walking into the unknown of similar seasons.

He knew, he led, and he provided.

And as I remember, my heart swells in the hope and in the promise that he will do so again.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. – Deuteronomy 31:8