we sat across from each other at a decades-old wooden picnic table, the physical barrier a symbol of the heart-barrier between us. it was hot; i hate being hot and i hate sweating, more. i hate being angry with my love more than all that and the three combined were painful. but he’d called us to get away for an afternoon, to work through some ugly, to be out in the Son and away from our children so we could share freely, and what we had to share wasn’t pretty. we were tired, and we were angry, and we were disappointed in each other as we spent countless hours working hard at a business that brought joy and affirmation to one, and more often frustration to the other of us. instead of learning to work together, it seemed the “business” of the business was wearing at bonds that should’ve been unbreakable.
we had owned our own business for near a decade, and it was successful. we were provided for, and although there’s rarely been “extra,” there’s always been enough (sometimes with surprise help, and sometimes with a job we didn’t expect), to provide for our “small” family of seven.
the work had brought joy, too, for us and for our clients, and we went at it with a sense of calling, of love for people and art. but the work was beginning to eat up our lives and our time, and i found myself resentful when the hearts of my not-so-little-ones clamored for time. (and i think, by the way, that “quality, over quantity” is a farce. but more on that later.) as a mama who’d taught my children from home for their whole lives, i’d handed over the mama-reigns to my husband and a cooperative learning environment, and my heart wasn’t in it any more. and while he did a fine job, when i realized it was the turn things were taking, it broke my heart. and if i may be direct, i was remembering i wasn’t meant to lead the charge to our financial “success.”
and while that man loves people and can calm the fluttery nerves of any bride, can talk any grumpy church planner down from her panic-point, and can melt the tantrum of any photo-phobic toddler, in the process, he was also losing his earlier loves. he found himself serving as God built him to, but serving in a way that wasn’t utilizing his true gifts. he’s an analyst, and a servant-heart, and he’s an amazing right-hand-man. he’s a leader people will follow, because he does it with a quiet firmness that gains respect because he’s in the trenches, too. and if i may say it
gently bluntly, he wasn’t meant to be my right-hand-man.
so i appealed to him that day, to release me from my own dream, to call me back to my first love, to him, to our children, to our home. to release himself to run after Calling and clarity. and he appealed to me to be hopeful, to be joyful, to be patient, and to trust the One who led us both. and i told him i’d lay my “good” on the altar of what was “best,” and that i would follow him anywhere, as he followed my Papa.
and so we quietly began the transition from a place of panicked-running-at-breakneck-speed, to a place where we again sensed God’s calling on our lives, through peace and prioritizing. it’s been quiet, because there’s some fear in change, and in stepping outside the comfort-box. but underneath the calm, there are swells of something beautiful growing. and as our children see us stomp on the fear and step forward in faith, i already see, with awe, the sprouts of their faith growing, too.
as for me, i don’t know what i’ll be asked to lay down, but i’m all-in. and so we journey, and though we feel closer to the next season, we hold it with open hands. we focus on the Voice that calls, and we are ready to run wild in fields of grace.
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