Our journey to California wasn’t fun. Worry settled on my friend and me before we even got to the airport. It shouldn’t have been there. We both knew that but couldn’t shake it. I worried about my kids. She worried about our training. Trying to talk ourselves out of it didn’t work. Half-heartedly proclaimed truth didn’t help.
Time dragged on and on. There were two flights that brought us, finally, to Sacramento. We’d prepaid for a car rental only to discover a glitch. That can’t be fixed until the rental company’s head office opens today. So we had to pay double the first amount to get a different car with a different rental company. Traveling on a tight budget this soured us further.
Exhausted we began a 2.5hr drive north. It was 11pm in Sacramento, 2am our time. My friend drove as long as she could, radio and air conditioning blaring. Then it was my turn. The directions the kindhearted guy at the rental company gave us were incorrect. We ended up in the middle of nowhere instead of the apartment we were staying at.
It was 2am when we finally arrived at our final destination – 5am our time. We’d
left our homes at noon the day before. 17hrs of travel without factoring in the time change. We greeted our host and collapsed in the beds she’d prepared for us.
Later that morning we got up – still tired, still discouraged, still wondering why we bothered to make this trek. We went to Sunday service at the church where we’ll be doing our prayer training this week.
My home church is amazing. There’s nowhere else I want to be. Every week I encounter God in a real way. The church out here carries the same DNA. I knew going in I’d meet with God. But I didn’t anticipate the depth of that encounter. At home, each kid is assigned a number. If there are any problems with them in children’s church, the number appears on the media screen. Being a mom, my eyes only close for a moment or two as I worship. It’s rare, but my kids’ numbers have shown up on the screen. I didn’t realize how much watching for the unlikely event of that number appearing distracts me during worship. Then, when service is done, I rush downstairs to pick up my kids. There’s no time for me to linger for prayer. My kids become distraught when they’re nearly last to be picked up from their class. There’s a lingering fear that I might just disappear from their life like some many other people have.
Yesterday, at church, there were no numbers to watch for and no children to be picked up. For the first time since becoming a mom 6yrs ago, I was able to fully focus on what God wanted to accomplish in me. There were no distractions, no assignments competing for my attention. I love my kids. I love being a mom. The Lord meets with me in the limitations of my God-given assignment. But there’s something so exhilarating in getting beyond distractions to encounter Him fully.
The Lord has presented Himself as a husband in my life. Becoming parents, our relationship has transformed. To be precise, my availability has transformed. There are legitimate demands on my time. God knows that. He doesn’t fault me for it. But now that He’s gotten me away from all of that, He was able to speak to me without distractions or interruptions.
For that conversation I had to fight through extreme fatigue, worry, frustration, and so many other emotions that came along with me on my journey or as a result of my journey. I’m so thankful that the Lord pushed past all of that in search of my heart.
When next we meet I’ll let you know what that God encounter looked like. Thanks for checking in for this leg of the journey.