A couple of days before we left for Ireland, I wrote a post about knowing…and obeying God’s will. If you’ve been following along over the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that we are still looking for a place to live…and the big struggle we are wrestling with currently is not living in Clontarf. If you’ve been a reader of this blog for the past year, we’ve said several times that we believe we are supposed to live, and church plant, in Clontarf (for example here, here, and again over here).
The thing is, as we’ve mentioned, there is not a lot of availability in Clontarf currently. However, earlier this week, we made an offer on a place there we felt was over-priced, and eventually agreed on a price (that is still too high). However, on Friday morning I was walking home, and had a sense that it wasn’t the right place. I talked to Liz and she had been sensing the same thing. (The landlord has not officially offered us the place yet).
The one 4 bedroom in Clontarf, and we both sense God saying it isn’t where we’re supposed to be…that doesn’t make any sense. Does it?
Later in the day we go to visit a place in Raheny (which borders Clontarf), and find a place that we like. We make an offer, spend the afternoon walking around Raheny…and both leave with a sense that this would be a good place to end up. (of course we’ll need to see if the landlord agrees:-)
But it isn’t in Clontarf…And I’m wrestling with what to do with that.
At the same time, much of it goes back to the blog post I referenced in the first paragraph. I made a decision very early on in our marriage that no matter how strongly I sensed God wanted us to do something…if it impacted the whole family, I wouldn’t move forward unless Liz was on the same page. That’s how it worked in moving from Albany to Ithaca in 1994…In moving from our former church to the Vineyard in 1997…in moving from campus ministry to starting a church in 1999…and in leaving all of that to move to Dublin this summer. (In fact this time we decided it was so big that we needed all the kids on board as well if it was going to happen…Méabh actually didn’t get a vote.)
Now, that doesn’t mean just because the two of us agree on something, it always works out…we’ve learned that lesson over the past few years.
With all of that said, here we are, after a year of believing that we were ending up in Clontarf…thinking maybe not.
“Did God change His mind?”
“Did we hear wrong?” (it wouldn’t be the first time)
“We didn’t actually make it to Raheny on our scouting trip last year, maybe God said Clontarf, and then closed off everything because He actually wanted us in Raheny…”(is it only my brain that does those type of gymnastics?)
What I’ve been thinking over the past couple of days is…if we are willing to quit our jobs, get rid of our stuff, and move to Ireland because we believe that is what God wants for our family…then we probably need to give ourselves some grace as we navigate this whole process of establishing our new lives here. If we can listen when we hear, “move to Ireland,” (which still seems pretty huge), perhaps we should be able to trust (& not beat ourselves up) if we later sense, just outside Clontarf.
Tomorrow, I get on a plane and fly to Boston…And while I’m looking forward to hanging out with Hannah, and some people from the Ithaca Vineyard…It’s hard to leave with this unresolved. Please be praying for a sense of peace as we move forward with this.
So what is the “Nuclear option?” On 14 August, I land in Dublin with Hannah & Erin. That means all 6 of us will be here…and we will not fit in our host’s home any more. If we don’t have a place to move into, the one option on the table right now is staying at Liz’s dad’s 1 bedroom apartment in Monaghan & driving back and forth to Dublin every day (now you get why we’re calling it the Nuclear Option.) We are very much praying that that does not come to pass.