Under the Bridge

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I once knew a young couple who was newly-married. I remember the young, starry-eyed wife saying,

“I don’t care where I am as long as I’m with him! I’d live under a bridge with him if he asked me to!”

At the time, the couple was building a brand new home and she was successfully convincing me that her priorities were right, new house or not, this was her guy.

I thought it was a sweet statement, and honesty, it was. But things that are good in theory, aren’t always as easy to implement in real-life situations. Imagining the newlyweds actually packing up and heading out to take shelter under a bridge loses its charm pretty fast when the first rain storm hits.

As I write this blog, I’m sitting in my home town, Pueblo, Colorado. I met my husband here, and within a matter of a few months, I was promptly whisked away. Following a new job offer, we went from this small town with a desert feel, to a beautiful new life surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado Springs.

I loved the cooler weather.

I loved the backdrop of Pikes Peak.

I loved my church.

I loved the people.

I felt like I belonged there.

Then hard times came and my husband found it impossible to find a job in Colorado Springs. I couldn’t believe it when, after looking nationwide, he found a great job in…

You guessed it.

Pueblo.

It felt like a giant step backwards. How could this be God’s plan for us? He knew how happy I was nestled in the life He had given me! This had to be a mistake.

Indeed, I felt like my groom was asking me to go live under the local bridge with him.

The comments didn’t help. Many people actually said they were sorry for me.  One well-meaning “friend” said, “Oh! Pueblo? Don’t worry! Only certain parts look like a third-world country, and you can always get a boat!” (We have a large resivoiur here).

Yeah, five years later I still remember that one word for word.

I was discouraged to say the least.

It was at this point that I had to ask myself how far I was willing to dive in to this life with God. How many things was unwilling to give up in order to live His story out in my life?

God had given me a great foundation in Colorado Springs, and now was asking me to go back “home” and live, maybe forever.

Every Sunday in church I sang songs about how much I loved my God. I always felt that I trusted Him completely with my life and future. My favorite verse rung in my head:

“I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I loved that verse since I was a child. But now that the plan was clearly His and not mine, it was time to put all my well-meaning emotions to the test. Could I submit to His will?

Would I kick and scream and whine until my husband declined the job in Pueblo? Would I dare to assume that a place, the place I came from, wasn’t good enough for me? Or even worse, that I was too good to live in it?

So I started packing. Although, I wasn’t happy about the prospect of living under a bridge.

Here is a picture of the underside of the bridge I half-heartedly told God I would abide under.

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It’s nothing too fancy. But a far cry from homelessness. The truth is, it’s just about perfect. God knows me in so many ways. He knew what I wanted when I didn’t even know it myself.

It was a rough first few years. Emotionally, I fought accepting my new home. But recently, I started seeing all the beautiful, unique blessings my family and I enjoy because of our life here!

What bridge is God calling you to live under with Him?

A move?

Waiting for something?

Death?

Loss?

Unfulfilled dreams?

Be encouraged.

In my experience the places He calls us aren’t as bad as we imagine them to be.  In truth, they’re taylor-made dwelling places. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you take hold of His hand and go anywhere He asks. You will be safer and more loved under a bridge with Jesus than in a mansion with anyone else. I’m convinced that when you see what’s waiting for you, you’ll be thankful you were willing to, “live under a bridge” with the King of Kings.

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