Have you ever felt like you were on a wilderness journey? I know I have. Whether the journey is in regards to our faith, our marriage, or our children, sometimes the Lord makes a dramatic change in our lives to shift our thinking.
This happened to my family when we moved to South Carolina briefly two years ago. We moved to help propel our debt payoff, but it became so much more. I’m not quite sure how much I’ll share here, but I’d like to tell you a bit of our story.
In September 2017, my husband took a job near Charleston, South Carolina. I had such high hopes for this move. So many beautiful things happened while we were there. At the same time, we never assimilated into the community and I felt very lonely.
During this time period I really asked God for answers. I wanted to feel closer to Him, and I needed Him to show me His will for our lives. I ordered so many different Bible translations and study helps. I began to devour books about the Hebraic culture and New Testament time period.
I felt so alone, and I needed Him to show me who He truly was.
Looking back, our time in South Carolina was a kind of wilderness journey. What’s funny is that my husband was walking the same walk as I was. The Father was so gracious to teach us many of the same things simultaneously.
I might share some of what I learned at a different time. But for now, I think the important take away is that sometimes the Lord must strip us from everything we’ve ever known for us to be renewed in Him. Sometimes we must be pulled out of the world for true transformation to happen.
When the Israelites and mixed multitude left Egypt, the Lord led them in the wilderness for 40 years. The journey should have been short, but the “Egypt” in them had to be stripped away first.
They kept reverting back to their pagan culture ways during their journey. But God had a better plan. He had a new way that He wanted to show them. He turned them into a new nation with His statutes, laws, and ordinances.
He set them apart.
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
2 Corinthians 6:17
Ladies, it would have been so much easier on them if they would have willingly submitted in the first place. The same goes for us. I would much rather learn my lesson quickly than for it to take 40 years.
The Lord has so much to teach us, and He wants us to be set apart in our faith, our marriages, and our families. Sometimes we are pulled into the wilderness for Him to show us. This is what gets our attention.
I also considered our South Carolina move the “wilderness,” since we lived very rurally. The Lord used this time to help me see the beauty of simple living, and for that I am forever grateful. Once I became pregnant, I asked if we could move back to familiarity because the closest OB I was comfortable with was over one hour away, and I had yet to find a pediatrician whose philosophy lined up with my own. My husband took a pay cut to move us back to Georgia. I am so grateful for Him!
I thought I would like being closer to civilization, but honestly, I don’t. Sure, conveniences are nice, but being close to “stuff” drives consumerism and can become a stumbling block.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
I learned so much while in the wilderness. If this is where you are now, take heart. The Lord’s plans are for your good. He is molding you into the person He created you to be. What a blessing this is!