So the highway of life has been full of unfamiliar exits. I've always
hated to drive in places I was unfamiliar with. As long as I can stay
on the freeway, I'm good. But if I have to get off, I need
step-by-step, thorough directions. That's just not the way real life is
Exit #1--We knew for months that God was calling us out
of our current church, which we had grown to love for ten years. We
continued to pray and stay put for a while, just to make sure God
really wanted us to leave there and have a new start at a church plant.
were very comfortable at our old church. There was nothing wrong with
it. And we were surrounded by friends there. Why would God want to
remove us from our comfort zone? But we knew He did, so we headed to a
place where we recognized only a handful of faces, and watched God work.
#2a & 2b--We fell in love with our new house over a year ago and
promptly tried to forget about it. It didn't make sense to move with
three small children, when our current house was wonderful. But
instead, God just kept working out details in totally unexpected ways,
and we moved forward.
Our beloved home sold in just over a month
in a completely saturated market, and we praised the Lord for working
out yet another detail. But then we moved our family into "the holding
place," a tiny townhome near the new house, where we stayed for almost
I felt like my entire life was on hold during that
time. It was winter, and I hate the cold. There was nowhere to send the
kids to play, so I was always tripping over them and their toys. Not
enough outdoor time for them. Not enough sunshine for me. No room to
make guests comfortable, so we had very few. Two thirds of our
belongings were packed away. It was just a place to stay and not a
home, and I had grown to love homey-ness!
It reminded me of one
of my favorite children's books, "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Dr.
Seuss. We were "headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The
Waiting Place..." While I love the life lessons in that book, it turns
out that the waiting place--while it stinks--is not entirely useless.
God can do so much heart-work when we're in the waiting place, provided
Exit #3--Lastly, we lost a good friend to Heaven. God
has done more in my heart through Kristi's life and death than almost
anything else, ever. I will never forget singing Because He Lives (by
William & Gloria Gaither) at her Memorial service with a thousand
other people and knowing the truth of those words. Because He
lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because
I know He holds the future; And life is worth the living, just because
He lives. You can read more about Kristi's life here.
all these unfamiliar exits, the only thing I've known to do was to seek
God, over and over again. Seek Him in my excitement. Seek Him in my
pain. Seek Him with my questions. He is so good to meet me with
something I need each day--comfort, understanding, or peace.
be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to
endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your
faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies
gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when
your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much
praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to
the whole world.
You love him even though
you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him;
and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for
trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1: 6-9, NLT
About Angela Parlin:
Angela is a full-time Mama to three little people, Wife to hubby of 10
years, daughter, sister, friend, and follower of Jesus.