When I come up against the "now what" question, my first impulse is to make a plan. You can't leave "now what" sitting out there for too long. It needs action. It needs forward movement. "Now what" is the point in the plot line where there has to be immediate action or the story flops. "Now what" taunts you into the next step because you simply can't leave it hanging out there.
But I find myself with the conundrum of not knowing what follows "now what." The past six weeks have been about wrapping up things in South Africa. Finishing the job well. Saying goodbye. They've been about spending loads of time with Hannah and the other kids in Oasis Haven's family homes. They've been about packing and training my replacement. They've been about finishing one chapter so the next part of the story could begin.
So, now what?
Job search, yes. Reconnecting with family and old school chums, yes. Life is moving forward and there is a what happening, but the question is about the bigger "now what." What job? What home? What church community? What form and shape does this new chapter take?
My impulse is to jump. To take a flying leap and see where I land. But I've jumped a lot, and while I've almost always landed on my feet, I think I'm at the point in life where "looking before leaping" sounds a bit wiser. And maybe even, waiting before leaping is the wisest course. Waiting before leaping and waiting on God to take the first step and say, "Here, my child. Come this way." It sounds a lot wiser than my normal mode of operation: "I'm going this way, God. Are you coming?"
There is a desire in me to make it all happen super-fast. Have the job. Have the home. Have the community. Have the kid. But all of these take time. They take patience and waiting. They take trust and faith and obedience. They take quiet and solitude and prayer.
And maybe on the other end, I find something worth waiting for.
So as I wait, I see four major areas for prayer focus right now:
- The Adoption Process: For the process to go smoothly and quickly so that Hannah can come home forever. For each step to be entrusted into the Lord's hands. And for those around me watching the process to see God's heart of adoption for them. How He has paid a great cost to chose them and make them His very own.
- The Job Search: To find the right job where my skills, talents, gifts and passions can be used to the glory of God. Where I can be light and where I can build others up and release them to do what they do better. And a job where I can be a single mom and where it is a no-brainer that Hannah comes first.
- The Home Search: To establish a home that is a place of rest and a place of safety for others. Where people know they can come to find hospitality and peace. A place where the neighbors feel safe when their children come to play and where anyone can drop in unannounced. A place where life and community happen, and a place where generosity and hospitality flow.
- The Community Search: To find a place where I can contribute to the community in meaningful ways according to the gifts and talents I have been given and where I can live out my purpose and calling. A place where I can be a contributing member of the body and a place where I can find the support I need to be a woman and a mother.