Sometimes what God is calling us to do doesn’t make sense in our lives because God is less concerned with our safety and more concerned with our faith.
-Pastor Gene Wooton, Free Will Baptist Church St. Croix
Our family just arrived home from spending a week visiting St. Croix. It was love at first sight for me. As we flew over the clear blue Caribbean Sea and settled in for a landing on the little twin propeller plane, I looked out the window and instantly felt a bond with the island. Something about it felt welcoming, even from the air, and it brought tears to my eyes. I was looking at our future home and it had stunning views. I looked over at Vivienne, who at this point had been awake since 0300 and behaved on three flights, and I felt a peace knowing we are following God’s call to move. It was only later during the week I realized TJ and I did not have the same thoughts when we first arrived on the island. (This photo was actually taken as we were leaving; when we arrived the island was sun-drenched and clear.)
Upon arrival I was overwhelmed by the beauty of St. Croix, as I had never truly been to the Caribbean before (I had no idea until recently the Bahamas are not technically part of the Caribbean). It was hard not to be swept away by the allure of “American Paradise” and keep a level head about moving.
It was hot. REALLY hot when we arrived. It hadn’t rained in FOREVER and the average temperature was 93 degrees with an even higher heat index. I mean, you know it is hot when people who are native Crucians are saying it is hot. We weren’t there 10 minutes and I was dripping sweat because my body is not used to such heat. Vivienne was the same way, exhausted and unbelievably hot. My “level head” came in and I wondered if she would ever adjust to such a climate change and if we were doing the right thing by moving. However, I reminded myself when I first moved to South Carolina my body had to take time to adjust to Southern weather and our bodies will do the same when we move to the Caribbean. Essentially this running list of concerns and counter thoughts continued throughout the week because I knew I couldn’t be taken away with the “this-is-vacation-all-the-time” mentality.
Look! We made it and Mom gave me cookies!
Once we secured the rental car and were making our way to the condo, the next concern came to mind: will I ever get the hang of driving on the left!? Good thing TJ was driving because I was too scared to even try it on our first day. I thought sure I would make a wrong turn and end up on the wrong side of the road. The third day we were there TJ finally talked me into trying to drive on the left, and guess what, after the first five (or so) minutes of white-knuckling the steering wheel I did just fine. Before we left STX I actually made him move over to the passenger side so I could drive on the left again before we had to go back to life in the right lane. Success!
Any remaining fear I had about moving to STX subsided when we went to church Sunday at the Free Will Baptist Church. Attending church at FWB felt like more of a church home than any church we have attended in Ohio. While the churches in Ohio have been friendly, and most have been welcoming, we haven’t felt that “family” feel since we left Refuge Church in Chapin, South Carolina two years ago…until we visited this church. The people were warm, welcoming, and for the first time Vivienne didn’t try to cling to me when I left her in the nursery. She immediately began playing (and sharing) dolls with a little Crucian girl. Now, for anyone who knows Vivienne, you know she lacks the concept of sharing at this point in time so I was amazed. Many worshipped barefoot, leaving their sandals tucked under the pew, which made us smile because TJ and I got married barefoot before The Lord. During the time to greet one another people came to us asking us if we moved to the island and spent time getting to know us. Then TJ and I both got chills during the sermon because we knew God was using the pastor to speak to us and remind us of His plan:
“Sometimes what God is calling us to do doesn’t make sense in our lives because God is less concerned with our safety [security] and more concerned with our faith. Are you ready to live crazy?”
In that moment TJ’s apprehensions about St. Croix being the “right” island for us disappeared because he was reminded of God’s will for us and where were are supposed to go. We are ready to “live crazy” and pick up and move to an island in order to serve God and follow His plan for our lives. In that moment I got chills and tears because I was reminded we are making the right decision. God is in control all the time.
Par la Foi,
~~~All things are possible for those who believe. -Mark 9:23~~~