In January of this past year, I completed the marathon of 24 years of homeschooling. And yes, that is every bit as big a deal as it sounds, and I’ll add that all my homeschooled kiddos are surviving the Real World and, as far as I can tell, they’re overcoming all the things I did wrong.
Two weeks ago today, our number three out of four was married. (It was a very happy day.) Our number four is starting Bible school.
This means we’re officially empty nesters. So . . . what to do? What to do?
In April of this year, the first “issues” book I collaborated on was published, about an issue that wasn’t even on my radar a few years ago. I’m now coordinating a conference, when I feel as if I don’t have an administrative bone in my body. And I’m putting the finishing touches on a collaborative project about domestic abuse in the church, full of stories that have attired me in sackcloth and ashes, many of them from people that I know and love.
These days, I’m often knocked breathless by evil. I’ve sat in dark places in silence. I’ve learned terms like “secondary trauma.”
And I’m continuing to see the faithfulness of God.
When I joined Facebook in 2009, Facebook had a place to write a one-line “signature” fact. My signature fact said, “The Christian life is the greatest adventure.” I really had no idea at the time I wrote that what kind of adventure I would be embarking on. But even now I see that there is more adventure ahead.
Lately, the Lord Jesus, who has been manifesting Himself to me in recent years in ways that match with what He promised in John 14:21, has seemed to be grabbing me by the hand and saying, “Come on! Let’s run!” And He’s taking me places that I didn’t know existed, that I hadn’t wanted to go, and that, frankly, I’m afraid of. But He’s running with me, and holding me, so how can I help but be delighted?
When I would visit schools with my missionary books for their Author Events, I’d go to classrooms and answer questions from the students. One question I received was, “If someone were to write a biography about you, what would you want them to say?”
I was taken aback by this question and said, “I don’t want anyone writing a biography about me! My life is way too boring to write about!” I saw the student’s face fall, and I realized I had embarrassed him, implying that he had asked a dumb question.
That made me think about my answer more, so that I could give a wise and kind answer next time. I pondered the fact that the message of a biography is the message of a life. What message do I want my life to give?
I want to be found faithful.
Whatever God calls me to do, whatever hard road He calls me to walk, I want to walk it in faith that He is walking before me, walking with me. I want to live a full-color, three-dimensional life full of truth and joy and the armor of God and the glory of Christ (even as I face off with evil in the darkness) right up until the very end. I want to continue to hold out the cool water for thirsty souls to drink (even though I may be splashing some of that cool water in the faces of complacent Christians). I want to walk in love and compassion. I want to stand with one soul against evil, sit with one soul in the silence, and be used of God in the life of one soul to show Jesus Christ.
Is He up to the task? As I look back over 58 years of His faithfulness, and look ahead to the few years remaining, I know without a doubt that He is. As long as He holds my hand, whatever the dark valley through which He may lead, I know that the great adventure of the Christian life lived in the Spirit of God lies ahead.