A story has quietly been unfolding in our lives...
A story so astonishingly beautiful,
So full of Peace,
Written so quickly and yet with ties back to the very first point of our meeting...
A story that appeared suddenly in our hearts,
and yet as it started to sprout it was already an old friend...
a sense of "Oh yeah, there you are."
A story drawing in our whole family,
a deep "yes" even from our children,
showing us sides of our hearts that we have not before seen.
It is a story that is still so tender in our hearts,
we have shared it with very few,
quietly asking for prayer, for direction.
The conversation began way back on our last night in China...
A rainy night where we pledge to live our life by saying,
As we settled in at home with Zeke and began to get our heads above water,
We took a family trip to Bend, OR to thank the big kids for the way they kept pouring love and understanding out to their little brother...
doing orphan ministry with their own hearts and arms right smack in the middle of their lives and home.
As we headed out,
Doug said to me, "Why don't we use this drive to talk and pray? Thanking God for all He has done and asking Him to guide our lives."
and so we did.
As we drove he asked,
"What has the Lord been putting on your heart lately?"
Immediately I remembered a series of dreams that I had had over the course of a few weeks.
Incredibly vivid dreams from when I was a backpacking guide at a Young Life Camp in Colorado.
I woke from each dream with so much longing...
and I heard the Lord whisper, "I will restore this in you. I'm waking you up."
so I would pray,
not sure how to reconcile the tired but full heart of a mother of four,
with my experiences so many summers before.
But I have learned...
when I cannot always see what the Lord will unfold,
I am to surrender and pray.
So I would awake and pray.
On the drive I told Doug about these dreams.
"Strange, I have been thinking lately about our first date and the conversation we had."
On our very first date we had stayed up late talking about God, our lives, rock climbing and someday possibly working at a camp together...
He mentioned Washington Family Ranch.
A Young Life Camp that he goes to every year for a men's retreat...
A camp where every year, for 8 years...
he has called me from a pay phone to tell me,
"I feel like we are somehow supposed to raise our family here."
There has always been a question mark in our life surrounding Washington Family Ranch.
Doug's sense was always that it had to do with specifically raising our kids at that camp in the middle of nowhere in central Oregon.
So, as we talked Doug said,
"What if we did?"
"What if God is opening a door somehow for us to be there?"
Honestly, it seemed impossible.
Next he said,
"What if we called them? It is only 2 hours from Bend. Maybe we could just go out there and pray and see what happens!"
Have I mentioned how much I love my husband and his surrender to following God?
As we drove through the patchy cell service of central Oregon,
We talked some more.
"I wonder what kind of jobs are out there? I wonder how many people live there full time? Do they even have school for kids out there?"
So many unknowns and reasons not to knock on the door...
and yet we kept circling back to,
"What if we did?"
What if these dreams and the things stirring in our hearts were not just by chance?
What if we were supposed to knock?
so I googled 'Washington Family Ranch Employment' anyways...
Only one thing came up...
A listing on craigslist for a position with Mark 2 Ministries,
a position that would help adults with developmental disabilities as they lived and served at camp.
It was a program neither of us had ever heard of.
"You should email them anyhow..."
So I did, just pouring out what we thought God might be doing...asking for more information.
So as we piled into the hotel and got ready to go to the pool Doug said,
"Why don't I just call?"
and call he did,
telling the woman on the phone our story,
asking if we could just come and pray...
right then in the middle of January.
Come on out!
Our conversation that evening was, "Should we? This is crazy...should we? Why wouldn't we?"
So that next morning, on very little sleep,
we piled into the car and headed to Washington Family Ranch,
effectively doubling our driving time to get home :)
....to be continued very soon
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?