Faith

When Promotion Came

February 16, 2016

The gracious reality of trying seasons is that they don’t, in fact, last forever. So we knew eventually a fresh wind would come our way and send us in a new direction. And thankfully, it did.

The beautiful irony of last year is that while Mark started off without a job, he ended with a promotion. A promotion that both excites and terrifies us. A promotion that requires a total upheaval of life. A promotion that, one month from now, means our little clan is pulling up our stakes in Georgia and planting them smack-dab in the middle of Orlando.

We’re moving by the subtle whisper of God who is calling us to a new adventure totally outside familiar territory. While I find myself fairly freaked out by the whole change and wondering what in the world we are doing, my friends keep cheering me on. They remind me that this is a great adventure we’re living as our little family. I’m so thankful for their excitement. And I believe them. Adventure is exhilarating.

But I also know that adventure is filled with lonely days, new rhythms, and dependency in the midst of utter unfamiliarity. Adventure is a gift. But it is work. It is undeniably glorious and painfully stretching – the coupled reality of all of God’s journeys.

God is a sending God. Sometimes that comforts me, knowing that faith does not have stagnancy interwoven through it. But risk and unknowns are certain to be companions, and that can be unnerving. To build and establish what will last beyond our lifetime almost always means heading somewhere foreign to do what we have no idea about at the time of sending.

Given our current situation, I’ve been thinking a lot about moments of promotion, upgrade, and acceleration in life. What I’ve realized most is that those times are never what we imagine them to be.

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Heading into this new adventure, I’m aware of a couple things:

First, whether in seasons of drought or rainfall we are required to steward what is before us. Mark and I were responsible for our how we responded to what came our way last year. Did we use God’s promises to stabilize us in the middle of the shakiness or keep them shelved? Did we allow circumstances to swirl us into chaos or listen to the small whisper that quiets us into trust. How we handle uncertainties determines a lot of what we’ll be entrusted with ahead.

Also, promotion doesn’t really fix anything. For us, yes, Mark has a job. But that job means added challenges like planting ourselves in a foreign place. If those moments of promotion are considered the promised land, the falsity is that there all loose ends get tied and all messes get cleaned. There is no land where there are no loose ends and no messes. Over and over I must remind myself to break out of this destination mentality that says that ahead, over there, I will find my nice plot of land where I can thrive, be at peace, and remain uninterrupted.

Because the peace, growth, and character we long to gain are always built where there is tension. That tension reminds us that we are living a greater story than ourselves.

Ultimately, I would say that this move scares me more than others because I have absolutely no idea what is on the other side. With past decisions, I had an inkling of how life would change, through community, travel, or ministry opportunities. But this move leaves me fairly speechless. I don’t know what to say about it because I don’t at all know what it holds. I have no clue what life looks on the other side of this jump.

But then there’s that whisper, the one who met me a decade ago, the one whose quiet voice pierces me with his love. That voice says to go, not knowing a thing about this journey, and trust in his favor over our family in this season. That voice reminds me that it’s all a journey without a destination point.

His whisper says again to me that the keys to enjoying life are thankfulness and partaking in today’s offering.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Kim February 16, 2016 at 8:20 am

    This is beautiful. Thank you for how you share hope, and your journey. Love you.

  • Reply Sarah Flynn February 16, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Love you!

  • Reply Stacey WEnsil February 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Caroline,

    I miss you and your sweet words of wisdom! Praying for you guys as you prepare for the move!

    Love! 🙂

    • Reply Caroline February 18, 2016 at 6:39 am

      I miss you too Stacey!! I love keeping up to date on what’s going on with you in Cambodia!

  • Reply Paula Gerthe February 16, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Ahhh! You hit me between the eyes! Again. Thank you for sharing your heart with us 🙂

    • Reply Caroline February 18, 2016 at 6:39 am

      Love you so much!! 🙂

  • Reply Matthew Snyder February 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

    We are two of your biggest fans. We believe so deeply in the things planted within you and your clan! You have our support in every way… so just let us know when we need to hop in the car and come hang out in FL 🙂

    • Reply Caroline February 18, 2016 at 6:40 am

      Thanks so much Matt. 🙂 A post-grad party next May is definitely in order, if not before. We’re going to miss you and Merr so much. It’s the sucky part of transition, saying goodbye to people who are family.

  • Reply Noe Rivera February 16, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I just landed (still landing) from my jump. I moved and started a whole new life with more uncertainties than any other jump I’ve made. A month in, today I was reminded by a gracious Father, “Remenber, it’s about the journey, not only the destination. Today, how you treat people, how you love, how you live in the today not only looking at tomorrow.” Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts! Carpe diem!

    • Reply Caroline February 18, 2016 at 6:42 am

      It is so good hearing from you Noe! And I love what you are hearing – it’s so true. Living today, loving today, adding value and blessing into today.

  • Reply Hope M. February 16, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    So, so good!

    • Reply Caroline February 18, 2016 at 6:42 am

      I MISS YOU!!!!

  • Reply Renee Padgett Meredith February 17, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Thank you so much for this! I am currently finishing up my last week of work in Colorado with our compasses set to Orlando as well. We have no idea what to expect and all the plans have yet to unfold. This read comes at a perfect time when we are sharpening our trust!

  • Reply Stacy Povian March 15, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Such good words, Caroline. Thanks for sharing!! Excited for you guys and praying every bit of peace and hope and life over you.

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