Monday, March 11, 2013

Seasonal Change

I have found in my life that sometimes things move along for months or even decades with little change. At other times, things change very quickly, even things that I didn't think would ever change. 

Being Alaskans is something that I thought would be a constant in our lives. The Swedish national song says, in part, "I will live and die in the North". As recently as last summer, as I listened to that, I thought that applied to us: that we would live our lives in Alaska. 
Flags of nations fly along the Bethel Church main campus entrance
road in Redding, CA.  The building at right is the prayer chapel.

And I thought as we left Anchorage last summer for a school year in California we were going on a sabbatical.  When we took off from Alaska in mid-August 2012, I left with the idea that we would almost certainly be back in a year -- two at the most. I called it a sabbatical, and believed that is what was happening. But it has become something different.

But I think it finally hit me with certainty that the end of a very long season in our lives is coming to an end as I read again the word of the Lord to Abram in Genesis 12: Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." Linda and I have lived in Alaska for nearly all of our adult lives. We were barely out of our teens when we came north 41 years ago. That we might ever live somewhere else was a foreign concept for most of that time....I was sure that we would live and die in the Far North.  (See also the post Thoughts on Leaving Alaska)

But today we find God's word to Abram applying to us. It is time for us to go "to the land that I will show you." We will be moving to Redding in Northern California at the end of summer 2013. When Abram left his country and his family, he must have left behind the place he fit. It was his geographic territory, but it also must certainly have been the place of his security, comfort and influence. It was the place of molding his identity. That is what Alaska has been for us. We don't have any of that in Redding, but we are already seeing the beginning of God's supernatural provision for us here. 

I think we had some glimmer that change was coming even a year ago when we came to Bethel for a conference. But it has taken our hearts a long, long time to be emotionally able to leave Alaska, to leave amazing friends, and to leave a warm church family and leadership team that we have been so happily a part of.  

Linda is thriving here physically and spiritually. She is engaged and happy. Her balance is better, she has sometimes walked several steps without electric stimulation, and she has begun to lift her left leg a little. None of this worked a year ago. And, the climate is quite a bit easier on her....although it gets REALLY hot here in the summers.

I am thriving here too. I never knew I could prophesy, but I am doing so now. I am more of a spiritual father than ever before. These are just a few glimpses into what is going on in us. Our hearts are full of the ongoing revival at Bethel and the rich texture that entails, and there is more ahead.

We don't know how long this season will last. Perhaps it will be five years, or ten. Maybe the tent pegs we pound into this soil will not be pulled up by us. God is good, and He will guide our steps. 

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