What’s Next?

For the first 7 and 1/2 years of our marriage, Brandon and I were consistently waiting on the next thing.

It wasn’t because we were discontent. No, we were in grad school and trying to start a family. And with every degree that one of us earned we discussed our next step. And with every decision made about infertility measures or adoption pursuits, we learned to wait for the next thing.

So, while we were fully invested in the people in our midst (and in our church family where I served as Children’s Minister), we were also consistently applying for and pursuing multiple opportunities.

And we were waiting. At our best, it was expectant waiting. On hard days, it maybe sounded like frustration. And at our worst, discontentment ruled the day.

But, overall we didn’t mind so much. We loved where we were and we loved dreaming about what was to come.

Then “it” finally happened. In January of 2013, we felt like a change was imminent for our family. And, in what can only be described as a “God thing,” we felt a very clear leading to move to Conway, Arkansas. We say it was a God-thing because I suggested in. And it was fairly unlikely that I would have suggested a move to Arkansas on my own. (Nothing against the state, but it wasn’t terribly familiar to me).

And, having grown up in the state, Brandon had never felt a deep desire to return. Don’t get me wrong, he loves his home state and missed it. But he had never imagined himself moving back.

Simply put, Arkansas had never been a part of the plan.

So we began to prepare for a big move. That July, we packed up our belongings and drove 12 hours to our new home. I, with the toddler (who screamed the whole way) and Brandon, in the moving truck with the cat.

Within a few months Brandon had gotten a new & incredible job, we bought our first house, we bought a car, we reconnected with old friends and are making new ones. I taught my first college course and picked up some writing jobs. Brandon planted a garden. And now we’ve been here almost a year. And in that time, so many of our dreams have come to fruition.

But you know what? It’s hard to shake that whole, “What’s next?” feeling.

So we are learning to live in this new place fully invested. Honestly, we don’t know what the next 5, 10 or 20 years will hold. But we do know that God has called us here for this season. And part of living fully where we have been planted is letting the “What’s next?” question remained unanswered for a little while.

And, that’s hard. But also good.

Speaking for myself, it’s not totally natural. But I’m learning. Slowly, but surely, I’m learning.

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3 responses

  1. Been there, done that, my dear. At 63 I am still trying to shake the “What’s next?” syndrome. But, just perhaps, God allows this way of thinking so when we are at the end of our days on earth, we will still have a “What’s next?” set of expectations of life beyond.

  2. Was the move closer to your in-laws? We are considering the same thing, and I always feel guilty about wanting to have my 11 month old son raised near family because of some Scripture: Matthew 8:20 and 19:29

    • We did move closer to in-laws. It’s been a blessing to have family closer to help us care for our sons. But we also had a wonderful friend community that came around us where we were before.

      I don’t think those scriptures are in any way saying it’s bad for us to want to be close to family. I think they are instead calling us to place Christ above all else. Sometimes being closer to family can actually aid us as we devote our lives to him.

      All that to say, these passages should in no way make you feel guilty about a desire to move closer to family. Sometimes those very honest desires help us identify where God may be calling us next!

      Thanks for the comment!

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