1 Peter 3:5b-6:
"They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."
My family and I are in the process of planning to move-- and fear is real when you start talking about selling and buying houses and moving. If you know me, moving would come as a shock to you. For almost five years we have invested into a neighborhood, into a school, into friends. We settled, I said I was never packing a box again, never would have a need for a moving truck, never need for more bubble wrap or tape--I was done moving. Dhati and I have been married for 13 years, and have moved 7 times--this will be our 8th. We have 6 kids. You can imagine the logistical nightmare that moving with 8 brings.
Five years ago, Dhati came home and told me that he felt like the Lord was changing his heart and that we may be being called to move our family to an urban city-- out of the small college town of Denton, away from Texas, where I was born and raised. I had told him two weeks before this that I appreciated his leadership and 'I would follow him anywhere, even Budapest, and I didn't even know exactly where that was." In 2008, we moved.
This Thanksgiving, Dhati came home and I saw that look in his eyes. He was coming home from a Old Fourth Ward council meeting (the Old Fourth Ward is the area our church is now permanently in since we bought a building). He said, "Angie, it may not be Budapest, but..." Where we are hoping to move is only 20 minutes away, but it is a new spot, with new schools, new friends, new neighbors.
When I say we have invested here, I mean I know almost all of the teachers at our public school, we have great relationships with our neighbors, great friends, the kids have made friends, we have the trust of their parents-- we are that house in our neighborhood. I know where to go for good food (Ethiopian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian). I know where to buy my groceries and where to get my oil changed. I know my grocers' names. I know our librarian. We have made some significant investments here. And now, we start over again.
I made a promise on our wedding day to follow my husband where he leads us and my prayer has been that the Lord would help me do that with a sincere heart and as a helper, not a hindrance, "...like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."
This doesn't come without a voice and it doesn't come without sadness and even frustration. When Dhati threw out the possibility of moving, I had a ton of questions. Was this just because you got excited about a meeting? What about the people here? What about schools? What happens with our missional community? What about Trinity going to middle school next year? Can we afford the city? Do they make houses big enough for 10 people? Can people still live with us? Why did we just build a tree house?! Do you think we can sell this house? Is this best for the church? Is this best for the kids? Is this best for you and me?
Then something daring came out of my mouth, something that wasn't from my flesh: "If you think this is what we are supposed to do, the Lord will orchestrate it all and He will show his faithfulness through the whole transition. Dhati, you just need to lead, we will follow you-- you just lead us and we're there."
We told our kids about the potential of moving, and tears flowed! Dhati asked their thoughts and 5 out of the 6 said they didn't like the idea and were not excited about the possibility. Nathaniel said he didn't care. Much like when we were in Denton, we had a great situation. We have a great house, in a great area, at a great school, with amazing neighbors, on a cul de sac where we have safety, comfort and familiarity; we know much of our neighborhood by name. The kids are known as the respectful, responsible, and mature at school, and they know who are loyal friends and who are not.
A friend of mine told me, "Angie, your kids watch you. If you are on board with this move and if you choose to follow your husband with grace, they will follow suit. You don't have to worry about them."
We told them on Friday--I explained to them that I have fears as well. I don't want to have to move, I don't want to be the new people again. Then, I reminded them what the Lord did with the last move, how faithful he was-- that a church got birthed out of it. That God allowed our family to make this a home. I explained Dhati's burden. By Saturday afternoon, two of the kids came back to me and said, "If this is what Daddy thinks is best, we are on board." Then later that week, another came back and said, "If we can please just finish this year at school, I will be fine with moving." A couple days later, another was on board and then finally 2 weeks into thinking about this, the Lord transformed another heart and she came to me and said, "I am in."
So here we are... prepping the house for a realtor to come. Why? Because this is what it looks like to 'obey' your husband. I want to set him up to lead in the best way possible. I know I have the ability to allow him to lead with freedom and I have the ability to hinder that with my complaining and attitude. I also have the opportunity to model what healthy submission looks like to my children. And most importantly, I give way for the Lord to show up in big ways and to glorify Himself--and for the faith of myself and my family to grow by watching Him at work.