The past months have completely rocked my world. March doesn’t seem like so long ago, but yet back in March, I had no idea what God had waiting for me in June. I thought June was going to be all swimming pools and women’s ministry. You know, the stuff I look forward to every summer and the life I had lived the past few years. But April arrived and with that month, God uprooted everything.
Maybe a year ago, God did give me a bit of a nudge that change was coming. I could see this restlessness in my husband’s eyes that comes right before he does something big. The look was there before he wrote and recorded his latest album. It was there before he developed and launched Examen.me. It was there before he built a new website for the church. I know the look, and I thought this time the look meant my hubby might write a book, or start consulting, or create a new devotional site. I knew God created Brent to do something big. In my small thinking, I just thought that “big” thing was going to be a side project next to his worship leading gig.
The month of April started with the ONE Conference, this women’s conference I helped put together and speak at for women across the state of Iowa. Right before I left for the conference, there had been a random conversation between Brent and another pastor who was looking to hire a new lead pastor for their church plant. Looking for a lead pastor wasn’t really the focus of the conversation, but it was mentioned, and Brent came home, looked me in the eye, and said, “I think if I don’t at least ask another question, I may look back at this moment and regret it.” I flippantly said, “then ask the question. Go for it.”
A coffee was scheduled, more questions were asked, and Brent couldn’t shake this curiosity about this new job. I just watched that look in his eye grow and grow and grow.
As soon as the ONE Conference was over, I got home to hear both Brent and I needed to go meet with the men who were hiring for this position. I was still a little bit in denial at this point. We both worked for a church we loved, at jobs we loved, in a town we loved, and my parents lived 10 minutes away. I mean I waited 13 years to move this close to my parents. But sure, we can go meet. Let’s just keep asking more questions.
So in this, I guess it was an interview, I did everything you probably aren’t supposed to do. I said I loved where we were, I disagreed with the man hiring for the position, I was flippant and brutally honest. I woke up in the middle of the night that night going “are you kidding me Kari! You actually said, ‘I completely disagree with you on that point’ in an interview for your husband?!!!” I was sick to my stomach thinking I might have ruined what Brent was so obviously interested in pursuing.
But again, God moves how God wants things moved. I give myself to much credit sometimes because regardless of my blunders, the job was offered to Brent.
The Reality Check
I think before then, I just denied all the emotions. Nothing was final so I didn’t have to think about it. I didn’t have to deal with saying goodbye to all the women in my Thursday night Bible study. I didn’t have to deal with quitting a job I truly loved. I didn’t have to deal with leaving my best friends. I didn’t have to deal with the reality of buying and selling a home. As long as we hadn’t said yes yet, there was still an escape route, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the hard stuff.
But the Sunday he was offered the job, it was as if God grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and said, “start dealing with it Kari. This is the plan I have for you and your family.”
I actually cried on stage during the interview process with the church. ON STAGE. Real tears. Ugg. But that’s what it took for me to start dealing with reality and not just ignoring the inevitable.
Because the truth is I would trade everything I love in life to keep that look in my husband’s eyes. I look at him and know he was created for this role. His excitement level is out of control, and I will do everything in my power to support him and encourage him as he chases what God has for him.
And please don’t miss this… I REALLY do love this city, this church, the people here, and this new place. This is the place God has us, and I am extremely thankful to be here.
But I’ll be honest. I’m still wondering what God has for me. I quit my job, homeschooling, sold my house, and left my gym, but I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do. I feel a bit like I’m in limbo.
The Next Steps
There’s no easy way to end this post. There’s no big revelation or way to tie this uprooting up in a neat bow because life doesn’t work that way. What I do know is Paul makes a statement in I Cor 15:36 that says, “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies”. Pair this with Colossians 3:5 that states, “Put to death therefore what is earthly to you”, and you start to see a bigger picture than just me being uprooted from my comfortable life.
Sometimes dreams, jobs, and life situations you are loving are simply your “earthly things” that need to be put to death so God can breath real life and bring forth what is better.
Letting go of those earthly things is what makes you content with where God has you and allows the “peace of Christ” to truly rule in your heart. For me, what the Lord has revealed to be my “earthly things ” is to have a purpose other than simply praising God. I want to accomplish things, move things, grow things. I want adventure and fun and busyness. I want to work hard, and not necessarily as unto the Lord, but often as unto what my mind thinks is good.
Uprooting life pulls the very roots that were giving you an earthly life out of the ground and lays them out in the sun to die. With those dead, God can give you better roots that will give you true life.
Uprooting is painful, its emotional, its hard, yet its part of the journey of following God and becoming more like him. Uprooting just might be the best gift God has given me in a long time.