Journey to Trust

If Christy ever thought all the uncertainties of life would vanish after her wedding day, she finds out plenty soon that isn’t reality. 

In the second installment of Christy & Todd: The Married Years, Christy finds herself facing challenges as big (or bigger!) than those she faced during her growing up and dating years. Not only do she and Todd still need permanent work, they need a permanent home. Christy longs for the security of home. Then, just before they are supposed to leave for two very important weddings, Christy’s mom faces major health problems. In a leap of faith, Christy and Todd act to keep long-ago promises…and Christy forgets something very important for her best friend Katie’s wedding!

So it is that Christy finds herself on a journey. A journey that takes her halfway around the world. 

Yes, she stops in the Canary Islands and eventually arrives at a Kenyan retreat center, but that’s not her journey’s end. While she might wish she were on a journey to answers, that’s not the real destination either. 

No, Christy Spencer is on a different journey. A journey to trust.

Have you ever been on a journey like that? Yes? Me, too. 

As Christy wonders where in the world she and Todd will call home, she sees God provide for her friend Katie. Katie is the girl who didn’t know where to go after she graduated from college and prayed and prayed until God moved. Now as she looks forward to her wedding day, her parents are disinterested. But Christy sees that God has provided for Katie in beautiful ways with a new family who love her and a sweet spot to call home (even if cockroaches are included!)

This and many other experiences bring Christy to the point where she realizes,

“If God can give a garden cottage to Katie…I’m open to wherever He leads us. Here or Newport or someplace we haven’t even thought of yet.” [1]

Have you come to that place? 

Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe you were there once and are back on the journey. I think in some ways it’s the trip of a lifetime with rest stops and lookout points along the way. 

I think that’s how it’s going to be for Christy, too. Time (and the next book) will tell.

Until then, we can all benefit from Christy’s journey with a few helpful tips for us real-life livers.

  1. If you think your dating-and-waiting days demand strength and trust, just wait until your married days!
  2. Watching God working in others lives bolsters our own faith. What if our stories are meant to be the ones others can “read” and find encouraging? How are we doing in this? 
  3. Sometimes it takes a long time for God to give us answers to the longing of our hearts. Sometimes He gives us answers that look different from what we expect. For Christy, God eventually does provide a roof to shelter her and Todd (very unexpectedly!), but Christy first learns to practice Proverbs 3:5-6 and discovers a couple of powerful truths about where her home is.  

May we travel this journey well with Proverbs 3:5-6 as our motto. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (ESV)

[1] Robin Jones Gunn, Home of Our Hearts, Christy & Todd: The Married Years, no. 2 (Kahului, HI: Robin’s Nest Production’s, Inc., 2014), 209. 

Perfect Timing

As we say “adios” to 2015, I’ve been thinking about timing. Did you get to do everything you wanted to do this year? Did things happen according to your schedule? If your year went anything like mine, not much happened in your timeframe. You still might be waiting for an event or wishing some things hadn’t gone by so fast. Perhaps you are actually scurrying to keep up with a whirlwind of new direction. On the other hand, the timing of other things might have been as sweet as the best Christmas surprise.

As much as we try, there are simply many things about our lives that we cannot control. The passage of time and the timing of so much are not subject to our wishes. However, time is subject to the King of Kings.

Life happens in God’s timing. And I think His timing is mysterious.

That’s how it was with the first Christmas. God’s people waited for generations – for thousands of years – for the prophecies to be fulfilled about the expected Savior. When it happened, all the pieces came together in a flurry. Now as God’s people look back to that day, generations are again waiting for Jesus – in a new way but with the same level of unknowns.

Why did the Lord choose that time in history to unfold such a pivotal scene in His story? Why not sooner or later? What was it like for the generations waiting? Was it anything like us waiting for God to give us the answers, direction or things that we’d like?

If you are in the middle of being at the mercy of God’s timing or if you’ve been there done that a time or two, you can relate to Christy and Todd in Forever with You the first installment in the series “Christy & Todd: The Married Years” by Robin Jones Gunn.

Like many young couples, especially those in ministry, these two are surfing their life-wave when the ocean gets messy. As breaker after breaker rolls over them, they can’t help wondering what in the world God is doing as they wait, wait, wait for Him to bring some solutions to their very-present problems.

Yeah, I’ve been there, too. The waiting is not so fun.

Happily for Christy and Todd (and any readers), they figure out how to keep trusting God amidst their stormy seas. Then they get to watch God bring all the elements together at just the right time…like He did on the first Christmas. As in real life, not all of their problems get tied up with a bow – besides it is the first book in a series – but the ending is sufficiently wrapped up with these words from Todd:

“To the King and His kingdom! We praise you, Father, for Your mysterious ways and Your perfect timing.” (pg. 265)

Yes, someday the mystery will be gone, and we’ll be able to see God’s timing as perfect.

May we be able to face 2016 with the same spirit even with the waiting, “whirlwind-ing”, and wondering. And if you’re looking for a little encouragement along the way, you might want to pick up a copy of Forever with You.