The sun peeks above a breathtaking view as the boisterous laughter of happy campers fills the air. My loving husband and children sleep behind me as I sit with my Bible for morning quiet time. Beauty surrounds me and my heart feels it could burst with contentment.
How did this happen, Oh God?
Only months ago, the grips of uncertainty had our family as a familiar and comfortable way of life slipped through our grasp. It came just as we closed on our home again home – the one we’d let go but God miraculously gave back. I was certain our life’s last move was behind us. When we wanted nothing more than to feel settled, and now back in our home thought we would, the bottom fell out.
We were forced to make tough decisions after my husband’s long held and well-paying job was no more. As a writer and speaker, I could offer very little in the way of finances though I sought diligently to make up for it by mornings full of prayer.
Unable to break the twelve-year streak God had called me too, I began homeschooling. It was clear he wanted me to stay as doors to full-time jobs closed. Frank soon found a position close and made precious relationships there though the salary was nearly sixty-five percent below his former one.
Thoughts of our future swirled in my mind and we were as unsettled as a tipped vase. Morning after morning the thought of our future seeped in and I laid them before the Lord. December came and so did our family friend for a visit - Ms. Patty, a widower, former neighbor, and a dear godly soul whose years of wisdom and experience have deeply touched our lives. Her personal and deep friends founded and direct a christian camp and she casually shared of an upcoming vacancy for the camp director of operations position.
“Sweet Callie, please be in prayer for them as they pray for the right family.”
My heartbeat sped with the number of questions I fired back. Frank joined our conversation and we talked for nearly two hours.
“Do you think they would consider us, Ms. Patty?”
“Oh, Callie, I thought of your family the minute I found out about the opening, but I didn’t think you’d want to leave this house.”
Her very own words echoed in my ears, “Never get attached to four walls. If you do, you may not answer when God says go.”
I hadn’t even considered the possibility of moving but it became instantly clear why God recently had me thinking of our family’s future.
Meetings were soon held as we met the loving family – the Goodman’s – whose vision it was to begin Coldstream Christian Camp. A farming family like my own, it was like stepping back into the home my heart felt as a little girl as I’d run into my own grandparents hardworking arms.
But we’re so unqualified, God. Are you sure you want us?
Clear to all involved, he did and one week ago my family and I moved to the seventy-eight-acre property that is Coldstream. Here, rest and respite are sought and found. Here, God’s presence is felt. Here, countless children have accepted the call to follow Christ. Here, relationships have been restored, dreams fulfilled, books written, callings confirmed, and here, my family now lives and works.
My house was like this little girl’s bear while God in his great mercy held Coldstream behind his. There is little more my heart can say for I am in such awe. Eight years ago, when I thought all hope was lost, I could never have imagined today.
As if God couldn't possibly get any sweeter, I noticed a few flower buds ready to burst forth near the house but I didn't know what they were. They bloomed the other day.
They were my favorite flower.
Dear one, if the grips of despair have you, hold on and look up. Look to Christ and be saved. There is hope.
Today I offer my deepest thanks to the Goodman and Brown family's who have so graciously opened their hearts and ministry to us. Thank you, Abba Father for calling two wretches like us to work today in your vineyard. May we ever bear fruit that remains and may all who come here see your heart through ours.
Today I join in with those happy campers and smile at the absolute goodness of our God.