The boxes. The packing. The UNpacking.
The boxes. My goodness the boxes.
Wait. You mean you don't sit next to your beau unpacking with a huge smile on your face whilst in your chinos and white t-shirt?
Sorry. I got carried away.
On Monday we get to move. Again.
On Monday we'll be moving into our 7th host home. Seven hosts in seven months of furlough. If anyone would have told me this before we planned this furlough I would have thrown the nearest thing within my reach at their head.
In September when it was 'crunch time' to find our next host home and we were coming up dry, I may have lost my... well, you know. I may have lost it. At least twice. I told Bill, amidst our totes and suitcases with tears in my face - "This just can't be God's best for us!" With a bit more than a hint of righteous indignation in my voice. Possibly.
Because it wasn't just about the packing and unpacking, it was about searching for the next place to call 'home'. I had this dream of finding a super cheap (or, gasp, maybe even free!) house/apartment or walk-out basement for our family to spend the duration of our furlough. After all we'd been through I just wanted to be alone, to have peace and quiet.
But God had other plans.
I searched for apartments, for rental homes, for places on AirBnB and even couch surfer - to no avail. Everything was way to expensive. I even (briefly) considered cramming our family into an RV for the remaining 5 months. Nothing worked.
And only now, as we near the end of our stay, we find ourselves in a place completely alone for two weeks. Sitting on the edge of a lake in a nature preserve a 45 minute drive from our nearest friends. It's been a glorious time. A time of peace, reflection, and family time as we celebrated the holidays.
But then came another predicament: our final host home suddenly became unavailable, with only a week to find a new place.
This time I didn't freak out. I didn't even for one minute panic, loose my head, or worry. Because I have total trust and faith that God will put us in the right place. And, what do you know, only a couple days later we had two offers to choose from, and just a day later, a third option.
And the 'funny-but-not-so-funny' thing is - six out of the seven host homes have been full of people - one of them; a family of six! How's that for our desire to be alone? Haha, but God knew. He knew that alone wasn't the best place for us at that time. He knew we'd pull back and be our introverted selves, when what we really needed was community. And the other amazing thing? Two of the hosts were people we had never even met before, not even online! Talk about God providing in unlikely ways.
He also knew what opportunities were going to come for ministry in 2017. He knew that we'd need to be adaptable, moveable, and unshakable in our trust in him to always provide for us - even in the most basic of ways - like a roof over our heads! He knew we'd need a community to rally around us in support as we take these new, scary steps of faith. And I know, that if we'd found a rental and been all alone for our entire furlough - none of this would have happened.
As I've reflected on our time here on furlough, this is one truth that is standing out loud and clear: this furlough has been less about us resting, and more about him preparing us for what's to come. We've grown so much through all these moves and become even more dependent on Him to provide. And though we wouldn't have chosen this for ourselves - we're so thrilled and excited and filled with expectancy for what's to come!
As for that... well, I can't reveal too many details as of yet. But stay tuned for some pretty exciting things happening with the Batterson Tribe in 2017! Make sure you sign up for our newsletter (over on the right side-bar) to be the first to hear the news!