This is not the plan I had for myself. I thought by now (no, you don’t get to know how old “by now” really is) I would have a wonderful house and my kids would be scholar athletes and I would have a sweet car and we would be a real live version of the Cleavers. Being a natural planner and list-maker, I have been checking things off left and right for years.
Yet here I am, smack-dab in the middle of Oxford, MS, while my kids and the hubs are chilling out 3.5 hours away. That was NOT in any Leave It To Beaver episode that I remember, and it sure wasn’t on my list. I won’t lie. It’s lonely out here.
And I want to move back to Egypt.
Those of you who have read my blog or my devotional book know that I looooove Exodus. Love it. I think it’s my favorite book of the Bible. Deliverance, following God all or nothing, the Red Sea… it’s all there. This journey, more than any other time in my life has had me feeling a lot like the Israelites, and I have to wonder how long it took them before they wanted to head back. A day? A week?
When I go back home on the weekends, I see so many things I love – friends, places to go, fabulous schools. All of my friends are a mere phone call away. Do I need to escape for a quick coffee and dessert with a friend? Done. Need a mom at the dance studio to watch AB for 10 minutes because I’m not back from wrestling or karate with N yet? Done. Need to borrow a 31 product, or go to the post office 2 minutes after they close and they let me in because they know me by name? Done and Done. But this place is new and I don’t have those things and it’s not all sunshine and unicorns, so I’m not so sure this Oxfordian promised land is for me. I want to go back to Egypt. Because Egypt is comfortable and I know the people there.
In my prayers this week, I heard one thing loud and clear.
- The Bible never speaks any more about anyone who went back to Egypt. There’s no mention of anyone who couldn’t take it anymore and went back the way they came. It only speaks of those who pressed on, despite the hardships. Despite the fear. Despite the friends they left behind. Despite the opportunities to take the easy route. Do I want to leave a legacy for my children? Yes, I do. One that says if nothing else, we know our mother loved God and followed Him, even if it seemed crazy at the time. Her trust in Him surpassed everything else.
- Running back was not good for them. God’s plan for blessing involved them leaving to go to this new place. There was no blessing for them in Egypt. As much as I want to run back to Egypt, I know my blessing is here.
- Had they known ahead of time that there would be 40 years of wandering, do you still think they would have gone? Probably not. When we follow Jesus, we just have to understand that it might start out rocky at first. We just keep going, knowing He’s leading us here.
- The last thing I heard? God never forced the people to go. He opened the door, split the sea, and all lights shone the way, but God never made them take each step. The choice to follow was then and is now a choice.
So as much as I love Egypt, (and man, do I love Egypt), I’m planning to bloom where I’m planted here in Oxford. Because if this isn’t Jerusalem, it’s at least part of the wilderness path to get there and I’m perfectly okay with that.
I’m sure I’ll keep you posted,