“I am never moving to Alaska.”
This has been a firm stance of mine throughout our 13 year marriage. Alaska is cold and dark and depressing. End of story.
“Hey Jenna…there is this ad I keep seeing in my emails. Good salary, loan repayment…in Alaska.”
“Oh, that’s nice. I am not moving to Alaska.”
“We really need to come up with a way to pay down the student loans faster…”
“Okay…but there has to be another way besides moving to Alaska!”
…weeks go by…
In this time, I remember looking out my front window, thinking and praying about how thankful I am to be here. Where we live is like our own special retreat. Four acres, not a person in sight, room to run, to plant, to sit, to be… A little slice of Heaven. It feels safe, secure, while beautiful and peaceful. Why would we ever want to leave this place?
Yet, as I looked out my front window at the chickens scratching in the yard, looking at the beehives, the fruit trees, the stream and the kids playing, I could not shake this underlying feeling like this is the calm before the storm. Or maybe, the place of retreat before it is time to head out again, back into the thick of life, in all of its complexities.
I have fought this ‘American Dream’ for some time now. I remember hearing my friend talking about not knowing if she even wanted to raise her kids in this culture with its ‘for me’ focus. I am not sure I got it then, but I get it now.
I get it now.
There is something distressing in knowing that, literally, there are people starving, and dying and you begin to get an attitude about not getting an article of clothing the kids wanted or there isn’t anything they ‘want’ in the refrigerator. It grates against me in ways that can only be described as painful. I hear it and begin to feel this frustration rise up and want to lash out to stop it. ‘This life isn’t about you and it isn’t about me!’
So, I prayed. “God, thank You for all we have, but I don’t want this American Dream… I don’t want the end of my life to show that I had a nice house and good friends. I want to serve You and I want my kids to know You in ways that are bigger and more amazing than ‘God, bless me.’
…yeah, you can say it. We all see it coming, though I didn’t then.
‘Jenna, will you go where I ask you to go? Will you leave it all behind? Will you go to where I am leading you, even if it is the last place you ever wanted to go?’