The email blinks on my laptop screen that our tickets are finalized… 25 hours of flying time halfway around the world … with a toddler! What are we thinking??! Tyler is running around getting Little Man’s passport finalized. A torrential rain has descended and the torrent is beating on the roof. As I listen to the water gush and splatter outside I quiet my heart and I think, Our big move from our homeland is suddenly very real.
This week we received clearance to finalize our plans to move. Our visas are final. Our seats have been reserved on a real big plane that will fly 15 hours through the hot august night sky to Asia.
I envision the families who traveled by ship and took two months across the world’s seas before they docked at their new home. I wonder if the lengthy transit time allowed for better preparation of the heart? I wonder if it made the decision to move that much more final? As we look at two final months before our transition overseas I feel like I’m on that boat. I’ve left home in my heart, but I’m not yet there, stepping off into the next season and into new territory. I’m technically still home in the Midwest. But most of me feels like I’m on one of those trans-Atlantic ships.
For the past few days I’ve felt such unrest. Besides the endless to-do list I slowly tick off each day, what is the point of the coming weeks of waiting? What am I supposed to do with myself? My mind has been fighting nightmares and fearful thoughts as I lay down to sleep. Last night I asked Tyler to pray with me before bed.
We sat in the dark and listened to worship.
Tyler said, I hear God saying, “If you can’t see me, look up”.
I told him, “I see a picture of me with my goggles and swim gear on, standing on the diving board. I’ve stepped off the patio up onto the platform. I’m looking down at the deep water ahead of me, but it’s not time to dive in yet. It’s like I’m stuck up on the diving board in between. What’s the point of the diving board? What am I supposed to do up there?”
Tyler sat quiet. “Look up.”
When I was 8 years old we had a pool in the backyard. My sister and I would spend hours diving for objects in the deep end. We would stand on the diving board a few feet above the sparkling surface, surveying the deep. We’d find the glowing stick we were going to dive in after, make a mental map, and plunge into the deep.
I sat in the dark and imagined myself standing, waiting on the diving platform. “Look up”.
When I looked up, the perspective I had was different than when I was on the patio at ground level, and it was different than the view I would have once I was in the water.
From the platform I could see the sky—the bigness and the able-ness of my God. From the platform I could look down and see the whole of the deep. The places where the sun shone through, where it was murky and shadowy, and where the dive sticks awaited me along the bottom.
Everyone says, “You won’t know till you get there.”
But maybe there are certain things God wants to show us here? Before we get there? Hopes and dreams. Plans and strategies. Or maybe He just wants us to see HIM clearly in this moment before we take that giant dive.
A leap into the blue, the murky, the unknown. The can’t-see-two-feet-in-front-of-my-face kind of swimming, where I just keep moving and watching and learning as I go. The place where it helps to have caught the big picture from overhead, and to be able to really remember it.
I will stand in this in-between place on the platform before the big leap.
I will look up and look around. I will listen for God’s heart and God’s words.
And I will mark it on these pages and mark it on my heart.
So that when I’m swimming down deep I can remember—really remember—what God showed me from the diving board.