I meditate on all your works;
I muse on the work of your hands.
Now that we have settled in our home in Tennessee, I have noticed that I miss blogging. In different seasons of my life, journaling has been an invaluable experience and I suppose blogging is simply a more public version of doing just that. So, I'm going to sort out a new blog name and a link to it from here, for those that are interested enough to know snippets from my pea brain! As the busy-ness of Christmas preparations and celebration settle, everyone seems to reflect in preparation for turning the page on the 2010 calendar. In exploring thoughts about meditation and 'remembering the days of old', I came across the verse above and could not help reflecting back on the beginning of our RV journey across America.
God showed us a special verse while we were contemplating our new season as Craig's retirement approached two years ago. We had been praying about the opportunity of his retirement and what should we do within it. In our many discussions and prayers, the possibility of selling the house and travelling the country in an RV came to light. In some ways, we dared not think about it too much as it seemed unrealistic, too unorthodox and even frivolous. Yet, the idea did not fade and further research eliminated many of the arguments about the practicality of this venture. A strong feeling of anticipation took root in the both of us. Then, this verse appeared before us through two separate sources on the same day:
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
My mother sent Craig a retirement card with the verse and the same verse appeared in our daily devotion book that we share each morning. Coincidence? We believe not.
We took that as confirmation that God did want us to take this journey and equipped with that knowledge, we joyfully proceeded with preparations - learning all that we could about RV's, campground facilities, and pricing RVs while we placed the house on the market. Lo and behold, the house sold 3 1/2 months after Craig's retirement in a declining market with houses on our street that had not sold after being being advertised for significantly more months and, in some cases, years.
December of 2008 brought the closing on the house, a flurry of 'normal' Christmas events such as piano recitals and play performances, moving preparations and much more significantly, Craig's father became critically ill in a small town in Missouri over 18 1/2 hrs away by car, 8-10 hrs by plane and rental car. Strapped by the schedule of vacating the house and moving our belongings to storage in our selected home base 400 miles away, Craig made plans to travel to Missouri as soon as we could get the moving van unloaded. His dad's condition improved, so Craig then made plans to travel the day after Christmas to stay with his father and prepare him for transition to assisted living. He spoke with his father on Christmas morning and all was well. Then, a couple of hours later, his brother called with news that dad had suddenly passed away.
Within the week, Craig and I travelled north to attend the funeral. We drove the 1200 miles in the large pickup we'd acquired for our RV plans. The familiar but somber drive had mostly memories of anticipation of family visits from the years past and also the difficult travels to monitor his mother's declining health and passing several years before. Such a very bittersweet journey that was poignant with symbolism of endings and beginnings.
As we grieved the loss of this loved one, we celebrated the prospect of joining these and other loved ones for eternity through the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The promise of that future grand reunion provides such great comfort when mourning the loss of the earthly life of loved ones!
In this reflective moment, during a season in which we celebrate God coming to earth, as the newborn babe Emmanuel, I can't help but also be reminded of His purpose - to make the sacrifice for the sins of man and all men through His death on the cross a mere 33 years later. I'm so thankful for all the blessings in our lives, most importantly the people in our lives. I'm immeasurably more thankful for Jesus' departure from His heavenly realm to purposefully dwell amongst men and complete God's covenant to make a way for us to live forever with Him.
Watch for a link to the new blog.