~ that it will never come again is what makes life so sweet ~
- Emily Dickinson
Often, you just cannot expect what will come next in this life. And it is the stepping into the God-ordained unexpected things of this moment that truly does make life so sweet. We never get to go back to this moment and re-live it, which is why it is so vital to look and listen for where God is and step into the wind of His Spirit.
It is because of these truths that our Sabbath year has taken some quite unexpected turns over the last three weeks. These turns have taken up time, heart, and energy, leaving me with very little time to share about it all until now. Val and I had agreed we would say “no” to everything this year unless we felt a clarity from God over whatever was being presented to us. In the past few weeks, we have both felt led to say “yes” more than we have said “no.”
About a month ago, Val was asked to lead a team of doctors to offer medical relief to Syrian refugees. At first, we both said, “no.” But as time went by Val couldn’t shake the feeling that this was something he was supposed to step into. Matthew 12 and Isaiah 58 began speaking to us about the type of Sabbath that God desires. The idea of these Scriptures is that God desires that we care for those in need, heal, set others free, and have our hearts turned to Him in a season of Sabbath rather than us making Sabbaths about religiosity and pursuing empty pleasure. It was hard to say “no” to this medical relief trip after meditating on these Scriptures. Below is a 90 second video about the plight of the Syrian refugees. We sense God leading us as Val prepares to take a team over to offer medical care to some of these Syrian refugees.
Then there’s my brother. In the midst of his gap year and after months of travel and adventure, my brother moved out here three weeks ago. Amazingly, he was able to move into the house next door to us (it’s seriously such a cool story how this worked out), making him our neighbor. It’s been a decade since I’ve been able to spend this much time with him. I wouldn’t trade this for anything right now. My boys love him. Val and he are good friends. It just fits so well. I mean, really, how many times in life do you actually get to live next door to one of your brothers or sisters?! I’m loving it.
And...a week ago, I started leading a Bible study for a group of ladies. This was actually the one thing I had committed to do long before our Sabbath year began. So, in a way, this “yes” was already in the bag before we got to this point; however, the stepping into it happened simultaneous to the development of Val’s trip and the arrival of my brother. It is such an honor and a privilege to get to facilitate other women connecting with God. I love it so much and am so grateful to have this opportunity. I literally feel God working.
Already our Sabbath year is taking unexpected turns; however, our life feels like it’s right where it’s supposed to be. There is a reality of God in all of this. I so do not want to miss where He is and am grateful that He invites us into what He’s doing. Even as we engage in where He is and what He’s doing, Val and I are also asking Him for a reality of rest to remain, knowing that He has simultaneously led us into this season of rest.
Photo credit: Val Tramonte
Photo credit: Val Tramonte