Go by Robin Densmore Fuson
Do questions about your direction swirl around your
head? Do you have direction but are afraid? Does your gut wrench?
Every day of our
lives we face the unknown. To some degree, each day is filled with uncertainty.
Answers to questions may arise that directly influence our life from that
moment on. Life gets interrupted and sometimes derailed.
In the Bible, Abram
(later called Abraham) received a call from the Lord to “go to a land that I
will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Without hesitation, he unwaveringly left his
family, house, and friends. As soon as he moved forward, his life changed.
Sarai (Sarah) went
with her husband. Can you imagine? One afternoon you’re sitting on the front
porch drinking tea with your best friend, and the next day you’re wrapping your
favorite vase and placing it gently into a box.
say how they felt. Did Sarai voice her opinion? Did she rapidly pack up her
life, kiss her parents good-by, and scramble up on the camel for the great
adventure? The journey was long and exhausting. Did she hope they would turn
back? Had fear wrapped its ugly talons around her mind and emotions? Or, did
her heart delight in the obedience?
Sound familiar? A
similar thing happened to me. My son and his wife started a new church in
Tennessee called NewPath Community. He desired us to come and be major players
in the building up of the congregation and the systems needed, for a thriving
church. At that time, my husband and I lived in a small town, in Colorado,
nestled in a high valley surrounded by rugged bluffs and mesas. I prayed the
Lord would tell my husband what He wanted us to do. Also, I asked the Lord not to
tell me what He wanted, only impart His will on my husband’s heart. When the
hard trials come, and they always do, I didn’t want my husband to look at me
and ask, “Are you sure He told us to do this?” I wanted this command, to stay
or go, to come from the Lord directly to my husband’s heart.
After months of
praying, my husband discerned the call to “go” and help my son in this new
church ministry. He texted me from work saying, “I pulled the trigger.” Meaning,
he gave his notice to retire.
Believe it or not,
I didn’t want to go. I had a wonderfully fulfilled life with friends, writing
buddies, choirs I sang and performed in, and a great Bible study group where I
enjoyed an amazing opportunity to share God’s word, not to mention the beauty of
creation surrounding me.
All this, I’d
down my face, I agonized over this move. I pleaded with the Lord. Yes, my son
and his lovely family awaited us. My husband and I have children and grandchildren
scattered all over the country. To hug one portion of them regularly would be
incredible, but in my mind and emotions, the scale tipped to the Colorado side
of things. My comfort zone would be shattered. All my adult life I’d lived in
Colorado. I had deep roots planted in relationships that didn’t grow up fast,
but took years of cultivating and watering with love and time. My parents and my
sister, along with most of her family, lived in Colorado.
I would be lonely.
As an extrovert that recharges around my peeps, this would be a very dry
Obey? Yes. With my
mind a little numb, my hands packed boxes. Plans were made. Tears fell. My
husband retired from a steady thirty-six year income.
Announcing to my
special friends, co-teachers, director of the choirs, and family we were
leaving Colorado was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. I kept
tissues near as tears were a constant issue.
At night, anguishing
sobs racked my body. Why Lord?
Right then, I had
a choice to make. Do I physically go through the motions or do I change my
heart and mind to obey? Both. But how?
pleading turned to prayers of—help me see this through Your eyes. Help me
change my heart to conform to Your heart. Help me see the bigger picture.
Please give me the strength to get through this transition.
In the early days
of our adventure, I prayed those prayers through, every single day. Now, four
months later, I still ask the Lord for help, but my focus is a bit brighter and
clearer. Not as bleak.
Do I still mourn
the loss? You bet! Tears still come. A picture I unpack reminds me of my loss.
Emails from my friends bring joy mingled with regret that this is a new normal
way to communicate. My buddies are still meeting on Thursdays to study together
and afterward meet for lunch, while I sit alone in an uncertain environment. My
world is filled with strangers, new sights, smells, and sounds. The weather is
radically different. Bugs love to sneak upon me and nibble, unfelt, until the
swelling and itch drive me crazy.
frustration are near the surface at any given moment. What can I do? Wallow in
my loss? Pack up and give up? Those thoughts creep in at times.
Instead, I turn my
tear-filled eyes to Him. I ask Him to show me the good out of the struggles. I
remind myself as I surrender, yet again, that obedience brings the ultimate
blessing. Some days I see the hand of the Lord and some of the “why’s” are
answered. The hurt didn’t leave—it softened. I will never know all the reasons
why He chose us to “go.” The yearning for the past will fade a little at a
time. New friendships will eventually start to flourish. Time. Time will help.
Different can turn into familiar, if I allow it. The struggle will bring
deeper, more meaningful things into my life. I just need to be patient.
At any moment, we might
experience an upheaval of change in our lives. A huge one or a small one that
can feel enormous at the time. Any one of us, at any given instant, might experience
smaller but still impactful events or make decisions that can change the course
of our lives. Some days contain only one—turning right instead of left. A smile
given to someone who needs encouragement. A soft answer to an angry spouse,
child, or client. The day may start fine, but in the midst of it all, it
unravels. On any ordinary day our lives may be filled with these upheavals.
How will we
respond? My mother used to say, “Don’t react, respond.”
Take it to the
Lord. He can handle your crying, anger, frustration, and dark thoughts. Lean in.
Give Him the burden. He desires to carry everything.
The Lord never
said we couldn’t question or get angry. The question is what we do after raving
at Him—how do we go from there? How do we respond? This is the difficult part.
Sometimes this battle can rage for weeks, months, even years. The choice is
ours as individuals. The emotions and mindset of anger can be turned around
when we release its hold on us, by taking one small step in His direction.
In all the turmoil
of our move to Tennessee, God never left my side. His arm waited to hold me. I
only needed to tilt a bit, and I could rest my head on His shoulder, and feel
His loving arms. Then the hot angry tears turned into cleansing tears. Joy
waited around the corner. His Word rested on the table for me to open and glean
refreshment, where the Psalms are a balm of ointment on a tender heart. Also, a
simple twist of the dial on the radio to joyful praise music lifts my soul.
When the Lord
says, “Go,” what will your response be? Have you prepared your heart for an
unexpected prompting, leading, move, or other life changing event? We can never
be totally ready but we can shore up the sides of our faith. Stay in the Word.
Pray with a willing heart and attitude. Be flexible and open. Practice faith on
a daily basis by giving Him every little detail and moment to Him, to deal with
Extroverts need to
find friends. I joined a Bible study group outside our new church. Introverts
need time alone. Find what works for you to help you get through the
This and other
verses in the Bible helped me as I obeyed and inclined my thinking to His.
Trust the Lord with
all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
*Written in 2018.
We followed the Lord again when we took up residence in Florida. That is story
for another time.