I landed in Fort Lauderdale, FL with my family twice. The first time the summer before my Junior year of high school. That October, dad moved to TX. I stayed to finish out the semester and joined them at mid-term. The second time we moved here was the summer before my Senior year. Again, dad was moving mid year only this time I said, not me. Arrangements were made for me to stay with a family from church. I had a job and a convertible. I’m not sure the year of this rag-top (and I do mean RAG) but it was a Corvair. Any of you around my age may remember this was the car Ralph Nader had recalled. It got me around just fine even though the top leaked like crazy when it rained, which it does a lot of in S. Florida summers.
Here I was in Florida with the rest of my family in other states. Dad in Texas again (who knew for how long) and mom in Yakima, Washington.
In just a couple of years I married and Henry and I put our roots in this community deeper. We had two children in quick succession, Henry was self-employed and worked hard to allow me to be home with the children. We both were faithful to church activities and found a wonderful peer group at church. These folks became life long friends. We were raising our children together. Life was very good.
In the spring of 1993 Henry told me he felt God calling him to full-time service. How that translates to reality is: we will sell our home, most of our furniture, our car, offer ourselves up to where God will place us to serve him as ministers in the Salvation Army.
To be fair, I need to tell you he first told me he felt God’s calling when I was pregnant with our second child. Our daughter was about 14 months old and our second due in 5 months. I looked across the table and told him I didn’t think I could do that at this time. I didn’t want our children in day care hours on end while we were at the mercy of someone else’s schedule through two years of seminary. Selfish? I don’t think so.
Henry talked to his mom who said she agreed with me. I have always had wonderful in-laws 🙂
As our children got older a few people began to joke with Henry about going into the ministry. I guess he would have been voted “most like to…” I began to ask him if I was holding him back. He always said no. Until the spring of ’93. It was time.
I wrote more about our calling in an earlier post you can read here.
When I was the stay at home mom I did a lot of volunteer work, taxied the kids to activities and I made a lot of cross-stitch projects as a hobby. I came across this design shortly before we moved. It is in every office I’ve had or will have because I need to look at the words as a grateful remind.
I look back but only with gratitude for the blessings God has given. Friendships, spiritual leaders, solid foundation for our children, the experience of home ownership and living in the “real world”. But I don’t look back with regret. As the signs in the picture point, that life is No Longer An Option.
All of us have areas we need to post a ‘DON’T LOOK BACK’ sign over. Have you posted your sign or do you keep taking back those things that need to be in the past? He’s calling us in a new way to follow. He’s calling you to follow too. Won’t you let him lead and stop looking back?