On a late May day fourteen years ago, my mom called the school office with an urgent message. At the time, I was finishing up my second and last year of teaching a specialty program for gifted and talented elementary students, and since my job for the year was nearly done, it was easy to take my mom’s call.

She wanted to tell me The Box had come – and could she open it? I told her in no uncertain terms that she could not, absolutely could not open The Box. But. If she wanted to run halfway across town with it, I’d meet her for lunch so I could open The Box. It made her day to oblige me, and between the two of us, we tracked down my sister and my dad. Within the hour, all four of us had dropped everything to converge at Schlotzsky’s deli on Capitol Drive in Wauwatosa.

DSCN3469Surrounded by beaming smiles and giddy laughter, I opened The Box. Inside were ten shrink-wrapped copies of my very first book, an endeavor with both life-changing causes and effects.

I had spent two years writing Living Whole Without a Better Half, while I was trying to learn how to do just that. Part of the learning meant packing up my little life shortly after The Box arrived and moving away from the thirty-year familiarity of home to attend seminary. I had no idea what came after that (and it was a good thing), but of the move itself, I was sure.

I’ve made a long series of similar decisions in the nearly decade and a half since that deliriously happy spring day: decisions of which I was sure, though I had no idea what came next. And so, I’ve discovered, goes the life of faith: Doing your best to obey and follow, and trusting that God will see to the rest.

Yesterday another Box arrived on my doorstep. This time there were thirty free copies for the author. (Thanks, Kregel!) But my mom, dad, and sister are half a continent away, because one of those decisions made in faith moved me even farther away from familiarity. So I ate a happy-dance dinner, snapped some pictures to post on Facebook, e-celebrated with a couple friends in different time zones, and carried a copy around with me all evening.

Obeying, following, and trusting are not always easy – and their rewards are rarely immediate and often not obvious. But I do them anyway – or at least, try to – because I have a stubborn belief that God knows and does what is best and loving and good for His children. He is a good Father, and I am gratefully glad – because I know what a child I still am.

Go ahead…order your copy of the new edition. 🙂

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