It does seem that God operates out of left field with us.
The curveball. The surprise. The bend in the road we didn’t expect. The plot twist we didn’t see coming. The baby we carried but couldn’t deliver. The job we planned for but someone else got offered. The house that dropped in our laps.
My mom says that sometimes it’s the line drives out of left field that shout loudest of divine intervention. I’m coming to agree with her.
As many of you know, we recently bought tickets for our family to go back to SE Asia for the summer (8 weeks) in an effort to cut down on Matt’s traveling during the year. Mid-may was (well, is) the flight. July 19th the return. Things would rock along here in our Colorado office until we got back.
Then, to our surprise, our landlord at The Exodus Road office didn’t renew our lease, letting us know we’d need to move the U.S. headquarters where we’d been working with a staff of six by June 1. Curveball One.
We began making plans to move our family and the office down to Colorado Springs (about 20 minutes away from the small town we live in now), feeling that it would be a better place for overall thriving. We started the conversations with the kids. We listed our house. We made goodwill runs. We packed up the fondue pot.
Then, the real curveball out of left field. Matt got an offer for a position with key leaders in SE Asia to continue building collaboration among those in the anti-trafficking community –which, if you have followed along with The Exodus Road, you know is a heartbeat close to ours. The position, working with partners he’s already invested heavily in over the last several years, would be based out of Asia. It would require another international move, but it would allow him to still lead The Exodus Road from the field, which he’s desperately missed. It would also place The Exodus Road in a much stronger position for funding from several different sources.
Tricky part is that because of the plans and tickets we’d already made for our then-summer-only trip, our departure date to Asia needed to stay firm, regardless of when we’d be returning. That flight is in, oh, 23 days.
Apparently, balls from left field can also be moving pretty fast.
We’ve spent the last three weeks processing this thing to death. The kids, the transition, the benefits, the risks. We’ve prayed the hell out of it, too– for protection against fear and confusion and thinking-too-small-of-God. We’ve gone round in circles and landed in wildly different places; we’ve had a million dinner-time conversations with our kids. We’ve weighed the pros and cons and “coincidences.”
And, as it looks right now, after nearly two years in the mountains of Colorado, our family will soon be taking another crack at living overseas. (<– See what I did there?)
(Possibly) Dependent on our kids getting into the Christian school we’ve applied for (pray for that, would you?), we’ll be heading back to SE Asia this summer for a time (one year? two? more?). We’ve had the privilege of building The Exodus Road from the States, building structure, funding, and momentum; now we get to go back to develop further the program from the field, deepening relationships with partners and writing better stories.
It’s thrilling and faith-stretching. It’s overwhelming and, I won’t lie, doubt-filled. It’s also . . . insanely busy. In fact, as it stands right now, we have 3 1/2 weeks to:
secure new office space, move and then set up the office, sell or rent our house, sell both cars, move our stuff into storage, hire a new Operations Manager for Exodus Road (know someone interested?), host two fundraising events already on the calendar, pack for an international move, find a rental house over in Asia to secure, leave our family and friends well (though we’ll be back at Christmas to visit), and care for our kids (and our own) tender hearts in the process.
I’ll be honest I’ve been fighting a panic attack or two.
But life doesn’t always go like you plan it. Curveballs come. The path takes a new direction. Opportunities arise. A move down a mountain becomes a move around the world.
And the longer I walk with God (and maybe just the older I get, too), I’m learning that fleshing-out His design for your life might not be as much in having the plan figured out as it is responding well to those balls that come flying at you, completely out of left field.
Pray for our family, if you think of us. Specifically, pray that if it’s God’s best, the kids would get into the school we’ve applied for. Also pray for the million-and-two details that need to happen in the next 23(!!!) days.
Moving forward, for security purposes, I’ll need to make some changes in how I engage in social media. I’ll consistently be saying SE Asia, instead of a particular city/country, and my personal facebook page and blog will begin looking a bit differently, too. Thanks for your understanding in these details.