I am not sure where to start this post. I have written and erased. I have read Joshua 3, thought about the parting of the Red Sea, thought about the parting of the Jordan River, wondered about misapplying scripture to my life.
Yet here I am, at the bank of my own private Jordan River.
In mid-December I needed to let my work know my intentions for the next year in regards to my job. For the past sixteen plus years this was a non-decision, I wasn’t going anywhere. I waited until 9:00 p.m. on the night of the deadline and then hit send on my letter of resignation.
I emailed my family and a few close friends. The deed is done, that which had been private is moving to the public. Please pray for sleep.
Even now, my eyes tear up typing this.
I wrote to others when it was closer to the time for the news to step further into the public light, “I have been here so long, I feel a bit like I am resigning from myself.” Oh this paradoxical God we serve. Stay until the cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night move. It’s moving causing me to move away from me to stay with me.
I have desired for years to go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. And every year excuses abound to why it was not convenient. Not the right this year, maybe next year. This, this will be the year and going has become symbolic of the type of woman I want to be, one of cour_age and not merely convenience.
I started putting out feelers and (frankly) to my surprise no one wanted to go with me. Have you met me? I’m fun. As in, a lot of fun to travel with. I decided that I’d rather go alone than not go at all. Do you see how this trip took on more symbolism than I ever intended?! So, I prepared for my first ever vacation alone.
And then got an email from a former student from my Chengdu days. One I haven’t seen in eons. Last year she was in the States and had the opportunity to spend several days in Denver with my family. She has been in my childhood bedroom, she has gone to the movie with my nieces, she has hung out with my parents and their friends. She is a sister in ways that broach cultures. Do you get how unbelievable this is? Do you see that I could never, never, never have orchestrated what came next?
Would I have any interest in going to Cambodia? She even said that we haven’t seen each other in about as many years as my oldest niece has been alive. “Niece” is one of the nine love languages! I nearly fell over.
And just like that I was offered a fish from a loving God. Amy, though you are stepping into the Jordan River and it won’t part until you step and you don’t know where you are going and you think that a “wise” person makes a plan before they step, you are NOT stepping alone. For I am with you. Cour_age.
Today, I fly to Cambodia. I am both light and heavy because after four days I will fly to Thailand and participate in two weeks of meetings with my beloved company. We don’t get to be together but once a year. It will be a time packed with reunions and teaching and hanging out and laughing and crying and more goodbyes than I want. The Thai Iced Tea will flow!
The number one question in the last two weeks has been: what’s next?
I get that. I’m fine with being asked. But I am finding that people don’t quite know what to do with my answer: I don’t know. I have ideas and some things I’m working on and hope work out. All I know clearly is that this season is over and I have been so richly blessed by the people I have met the last 20 years! I’ll be in my current job until the end of June.
But this I know for sure, I am not leaving God, China, America, the Broncos, the Jayhawks, and love of reading, an interest in zumba, or my call to help people live in the messy middle.
Coming to this decision has been one of the hardest of my life. But knowing that I am not alone helps. Thank you. Hang on for the ride, folks, the spring will be ____________! (Depends on the moment how I finish that sentence.)
Today I step into my own River Jordan. Will you pray for me? Will you pray for all of the encounters I will have in the next few weeks? I’m not sure in Cambodia how easy it will be to access the internet, but when I can, I’ll post pictures of Chunmei and me frolicking amongst ancient ruins.
If you know the name of the group I work with, that’s lovely, but please don’t reference it on this blog. Thank you for your understanding.