i sit across from a man i've never met before and give him my name.
the snow is already beginning to melt outside.
he asks the needed questions
and i supply the answers
and then we wait for the paperwork to print.
i'm startled when he asks a personal question,
when he leans forward like he genuinely wants to know.
he asks me how i like it here.
and i want to laugh, because he couldn't know that a year ago today i buckled my three babies into their seats, closed the door on my little yellow house, cried in the kitchen of my best friend, held the hand of my husband
and drove away.
how i looked out across the prairies that i love,
blanketed in snow as though tucked in for the long and cold winter
and entered into a season of not knowing where we were going to land.
i look this man in the eye,
the one who fought in a war,
lived here for 40 years,
buried a son,
and waits for my papers to print...
and i smile wide as the words come tumbling out,
i love it here.
and as the printer whirs he begins to share of the valley he moved from,
the one that sees 144 inches of rainfall each year
to this one that barely sees even a fraction of that amount.
this place that the summer sun beats down on,
the one that sagebrush dries up in and tumbles across...
when he says the words that have pierced deep and stayed with me all day,
but this place that by all accounts should look like a desert, is greener than anything i ever saw back home.
maybe because i am learning about them every monday, how the study of those freed hebrew slaves fills up my thoughts; but i understand, maybe a little, of that moment of looking out across a vast dry and dusty space and questioning the plans of the Almighty.
they stopped at Etham and saw the easier route up to the Promised Land to the north
and the hot, looming desert to the south...
and that Pillar of Cloud beckoned them to follow Him into the latter.
one year ago today, with tears on my face, i took that first step out of my Etham and into a journey held together only by trust and a very shaky faith.
it all looked so bleak and empty.
but i'm learning this about my Jesus Who loves;
He waters what is dry
and provides a way where there is none,
even while you still find yourself in the middle of a barren wilderness...
and what by all accounts should look like a desert,
is incomprehensibly spilling over with Life.