Put the kettle on, cosy up, click here if you missed the last bit and lets get on with the story shall we?
In our last Olivers Go Northwest post, I laid out how the opportunity to move to Edmonds, Washington felt both exciting and terrifying. How Richard got offered his dream job at his company during the same week and how this amazing situation we found ourselves in exposed quite a large area of disconnection and distrust in our marriage.
It was brutal y’all. Seriously. But one thing Richard and I have been good at is honesty and authenticity. We like to do life with people and we like to invite others into our messy, crazy, loving family life because we think that is what life and church and God is all about. So we shared. We shared our fears and thoughts and process with our friends and our small group and in return we received wisdom and prophetic encouragements and support. It was really awesome and in that season there were no words about direction, which thing we should choose, what the right decision was. Not from others and not from the Father. What was being said was, this is about the journey, not the destination. God is going to do things in you during this decision making process that will define you and change you forever. And all the Father was saying to us was, “You can choose. What do you want to do?”
Now at first sight, that sounds awesome right? We get to choose! Fabulous! Right?! Yea not so much for us. How many of y’all know its easier to follow rules than to risk on your dreams? How many know its easier to just follow a well laid out path than to forge ahead into new territory? It wasn’t who we were made to be, these people who just wanted to get it right and have someone choose for us, but its what we had allowed ourselves to become. So we prayed and talked and fought and shared some more and kept asking for direction from God and still He said, “You can choose, what do you want?” I remember saying to God one day how scared I was of making the wrong decision because I would ruin my life or His plans if I got it wrong and I immediately felt Him remind me of the times we are going to the park with our kids. The destination is the park but we often give our kids the option of whether to go left down one street and up another or whether they want to go up the other road and left to the park. Whichever route they choose doesn’t matter one bit because the destination is the same and the point was always about adventuring as a family. I was floored in that moment as I realised that there is something about the nature of God that cannot and will not be seen if we robotically follow orders we have been assigned to perform. This life is a relational journey, not a step by step robotic journey and in this relational journey the Father literally puts Himself at risk by giving us freedom to choose and a promise that we can ask anything (John 14:14). And He puts Himself at risk like this because His dream, God’s dream, is that we would be so filled with a joy that is not contained, restricted or confined (John 16:24, Hebrews 12:2).
As Richard and I processed that word together we realised how much freedom we actually live in with God. As the fear of making a mistake fell away we realised that we were safe, we were being taken care of, we were being guided by a good Father who sent His son to die so that He could have His kids back fully engaged, alive, dreaming and adventuring with Him. We couldn’t “get it wrong” really because in this specific season for us, there wasn’t a request to be obeyed but an invitation to dream. There is something about our dreams and our desires as His kids that, when pursued and realised, are supposed to unveil Him and manifest Him and so our job right now was to dream, to figure out what we desired and longed for and wanted and to make a directional choice out of that place. As Bill Johnson says, “Because God is so good, we are required to dream big,” so Richard and I’s prayers and chats shifted from, “what do you think we should do?” to “what do you want to do?” We started to dream together and it was POWERFUL. The broken trust and disconnection began to heal as we risked vulnerability with each other. As we handed each other our hearts desires and dreams and fears, we began to be knit back together. It was so cool. It was in this place that we realised that although we are so incredibly different, our hearts long for the same things. It was from this place that we realised we wanted to start writing together and it was from this place that we both looked at each other and said, “We really want to do this!!!!!”
Isn’t this a fun story?! Check back next week to hear the last bit! And also don’t forget to click the Olivers Go Northwest link on the sidebar to help our crowdfund practically get us there!
Happy Sunday y’all, we love sharing life with you!