It’s been about six months since we packed up the truck with just an inkling of what we were doing…with only a general idea of where we were going. I left my couch. I left my living room chair. I left the kids’ squeaky bunk beds and my washer and dryer. They wouldn’t fit in the truck, and anything superfluous simply had to stay behind.
A few evenings before, we’d dragged the red wagon down to the lake and gathered bundles of mint and mullen. We rolled in clover one last time, and we chomped on the earthy red flowers as we sat and gazed over the water. It was low..lower than I’d ever seen it. Fish scales littered the shore and tried their best to turn me away. But it wasn’t working; I wasn’t buying. I adore summer mountain evenings. The air is clean and light and just cool enough to redden one’s nose. It’s quiet, and we sat lulled by the symphony of fish jumping and bees buzzing and birds prattling from shore to shore. I squinted my eyelids tightly to wall a flood of tears behind them, and I breathed in with all of my might.
“I’m sorry, Father,” I whispered, “if I let Your creation move me more than You do.” Then we waved at the lake with stalwart faces and promised it we’d be back someday. For now, we’d have to leave it. We were headed to Missouri.
I know most of y’all probably think that this move had something to do with my husband. It didn’t. He hopes to follow the kids out here someday soon, and he gave his 100% blessing to the move. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
When God is ready for His people to move, He has a funny way of sullying their opinion of the place where they currently are. You’d think making bricks would be bad enough, but I believe it was God who increased the Israelites’ workload just to sour their taste for Egypt. Over the past year (2013) I had lost relationships. My once strong system of support had all but turned and walked away (because I’d decided to walk-out the Torah). I’d denied Jesus (in embracing Yeshua); at least, that’s what some people said. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
The only possession I had in the world was my broken-down (but well-loved), single-wide trailer. The previous winter had been bitterly cold, and we weren’t really looking forward to another one — nor were my parents in their only slightly better trailer next door. Coincidentally, or not at all so, they had simultaneously begun a walk in Torah before a single conversation between us. Neither family wanted to move without the other or stay and face another mountain winter (and my health has been poor, making single-parenting increasingly difficult)…so we decided to just become one and to move together.
We chose Missouri for several reasons, not the least of which was a fellowship of believers in the unlikely city of St. Charles (just outside of St. Louis). Passion for Truth Ministries, and more specifically Jim Staley, is the church that Google warned you about. Those warnings put me at ease (cause the same things were being said about me). After almost a full year of personal study in which I listened to dozens of preachers and spent much more time in the Word than I ever had before, furiously digging for truth, I found that no other visible ministry fit my life (the one I believe He has called me to) like the one embraced by Passion for Truth.
To remind y’all of what that is, here is the breakdown:
- I’m a Christian (there is no need to scorn a label that Paul and Peter did not seem to scorn); but more importantly, I am grafted into the commonwealth of Israel.
- I am saved by belief in a Jewish, Torah-abiding, Messiah who asks me to walk as He did.
- Yeshua’s blood paid for the curse (what I had coming for breaking God’s law). It didn’t nullify God’s eternal instructions.
- The fact that I cannot be perfect is not a reason not to try (i.e. I can’t feed the whole world, so there is no need to feed one child?? Hogwash!).
- God absolutely cares about obedience, and I live to make Him smile.
In the end, it wasn’t really location or doctrine or friends (or the lack thereof)…God just said go, so we sold the trailers and ordered a truck. And off we went.
We spent eight days in a Super8 while we, sometimes frantically, searched for a house. Deep breath. I’ll break the suspense: We did find one! Honestly, I let Mom and Dad handle most of that part. The kids and I were poolside. We love hotels, no matter the reason. On our first morning there, Sophie (a.k.a. Tiny Dancer) leaned over her complimentary cinnamon roll and OJ and asked through a quirky grin, “Mom, are we homeless?” “Ummm…yep,” I grinned back. Then she laughed-out-loud for five minutes. Apparently she still trusts me enough to think homelessness is funny. I take this as a very good sign.
The truck was unloaded…and then reloaded and unloaded again (all thanks to Dad). None of us had any income yet, and it’s never wise to play the “God said to move” card with landlords. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we wondered over leaving. Had it really been the safe thing to do? And like the Israelites in the wilderness, we gathered (and continue to gather) manna at just the right time. Unless I’m much, much weaker than they were, I think my ancestors in the wilderness were at least somewhat surprised every morning, and maybe a little worried every night. Even when you should know it’s coming, because God has never failed you before, it’s hard to trust provision that has nothing to do with you.
But then, that’s the story of my life.