I See God on the Road

17 Apr

In 1999, I traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend my Grandma’s birthday. I didn’t know it would be for my Grandfather’s funeral. I didn’t know that in my grief, my cousin would hand me a cassette tape of a band called Caedmon’s Call. This tape would contain a song by Derek Webb, entitled, “Faith My Eyes.” I didn’t know, as I played it on repeat from my black boombox in my room in a rural town in New Hampshire, that that song would become my life anthem, one I would play over and over….

And I don’t want to know

Cause life is better off a mystery

I didn’t know that three years later my best friend would convince me to leave our tiny town and go on an adventure for Jesus. That two week mission’s trip would take me not only to Jamaica, but back to Texas where the entire trajectory of my life would change.

I had no idea I would sit in a huge room in East Texas and know without a shadow of a doubt God was calling me to something deeper, something bigger. Something completely out of the ordinary. 

I had no clue that in 2005 I would find myself falling asleep on a bus, staring at the road’s white line glowing in the darkness, filled with a deeper joy and excitement that I had ever experienced. It was completely unexpected, but once it happened it made sense. I remembered as a child, daydreaming constantly about traveling to new places. I adored waking up to towering snow-capped mountains and delicious salty beaches. Experiencing new things, staying in new places. Watching Jesus free me from deep-rooted fear as I met people from all walks of life all over this diverse and beautiful country. 

I had no idea that this shy, insecure girl from nowhere New England would see America back and forth, up and down many times. That we would break down on the side of the road in the desert and I’d be secretly thrilled, because I’d never seen stars so magnificent. I wasn’t prepared with how deeply I would fall in love with the road. How I’d love sleeping in a new place every night. How I’d see Jesus in the people I met, all the conversations, the signs and connections. 

So keep on coming, these lines on the road. 

I could have never imagined that this life would lead me to places I’d only dreamed of, all over the world. That I would find myself in 2008 once again falling asleep on a bus but this time in Western China. That I would hear the Holy Spirit nearly audibly speak seven words that changed everything:

“I want to give you the world.”

For some reason, I would spend the next decade attempting to “settle down”… and failing miserably.

I didn’t know that a year after China I would meet the love of my life who, of course, grew up on a bus. That our love of the road would bring us together, and four years later on our wedding day we would pose kissing in front of a pile of suitcases and a sign post of all those places that were important to us in the past, and ones we thought would be significant in the future. 

Keep me responsible, 

Be it a light or heavy load

Then, life didn’t feel so free. Disappointments. Dreams died. Suddenly, we felt stuck. 

I tried to bury the ache in me. I tried to convince myself I was just antsy, never satisfied, that I needed to put down roots. We started over again in Minnesota and still the ache persisted. Three kids now, full blown adulting and all the bills, the anxiety, the plans out the window. 

I had no clue that in 2020, the world as we knew it would turn upside down and shaken like a snowglobe. 

I didn’t realize yet that was the best possible thing that could happen. 

Keep me guessing, these blessings in disguise. 

The questions came, slowly at first, then piling on top of each other like Minnesota snowflakes, changing the landscape of my heart. 

“What if I am not just ‘antsy’? What if this is how God created us to be? What if wandering, exploring, adventure, pioneering, is in our DNA? What if we are fighting against it by trying to have a ‘normal’ life? What if the reason God made us like this was so we could GO, spread the Gospel, see His Kingdom come? What if…. We could actually do it? With three kids? Without a solid plan? Are we insane…?”

The Voice grew louder and louder, as the world fell into more and more chaos. 

My plan hasn’t changed. I want to give you the world.”

I’ll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes. 

I look back on the past 20-something years of life, and I see His hand. I see how He put these desires in my heart, allowing me to be at a place where I surrender them, only to bring them back again. 

I see God on the road. Jesus, beckoning us forward, to move, to get up, to leave our comfort behind. To move like the wind. Follow the Spirit. Live an adventure. Live fully alive. 

“There is a road
always beckoning.

When you see
the two sides
of it
closing together
at that far horizon
and deep in
the foundations
of your own
at exactly
the same
that’s how
you know
it’s the road
to follow.

That’s how
you know
it’s where
to go.

That’s how
you know
you have
to go.

how you know.

Just beyond
where you
need to be.”

-David Whyte- Just Beyond Yourself

2 Responses to “I See God on the Road”

  1. Wendy April 18, 2021 at 10:54 am #

    Faithful God. 👏

  2. JoKay Bednar April 19, 2021 at 11:36 am #

    Your heart/God’s heart – how beautifully shared. Prayers for you as you follow His calling to the world – He is faithful.

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