Tonight at a going away picnic (hosted in a gym, since nature has spent this February trying hard to flood the earth once more), someone said to me, "I just love your faith. You're going to move out there, and God is going to bless you for it."
Standing in the administrator's office at the boys' school, I heard it again. "Ya'll are taking a leap of faith, and God is going to bless you. You're going to be fine."
I have a confession for you guys.
I'm not moving to Colorado on faith.
I mean, yes, okay, to a certain degree I am. I have a deep conviction that my future is there. And the last time I really heard anything from God - which has been a couple of years ago - I felt strongly like He wanted us to move there. But the unction to go, the fuel behind actually getting six people from point A to point B, is not faith. It's, I don't know, stubbornness. Determination. A belief that there are worse things in life than the possibility of financial ruin. We're going because we're sure it's the next step in our family's life. But I'm not calling God's hand by going. It may be just as difficult to find a job once we get there as it has been to try to find one from so far away. Our money may run out. I may have to go back to work. I may be completely disenchanted and isolated there. Any number of unforeseeable things could happen. God doesn't owe me success and prosperity in Colorado, and if it all falls apart, it won't be because He let me down.
My real act of faith right now has nothing to do with moving, or money, or making big, public life changes. It's much harder than that.
My faith is in choosing to believe that God is with me, even though prayers have been met with silence. It is making a conscious choice to reject the notion of God as an overbearing father glaring down at his children, and reaching toward the unconditional Love that I once knew. It is pursuing that Love at whatever cost - from throwing away books I once highly regarded, to sitting alone in an unfamiliar pew every Sunday. While the outside world sees me making a risky decision and calls it faith, inwardly I feel like the last child at school, waiting for my mom to show up and take me home. I keep moving forward, hoping that these steps toward Love will connect me again to a God I once knew.
Who knows. Maybe I'll even find Him again in Colorado.