What comes to mind when you hear the word interruption? I know for me, it usually has a negative connotation. Like, when my class is interrupted for the 87th time in one day, and I have to redirect my students AGAIN. Or when date night is interrupted by an unexpected call and my husband has to fulfill his role as pastor for a moment. Interruptions can be a hassle.
But not all interruptions have to be bad. My parents’ lives were interrupted at the age of 19 when they were surprised to find out I was about to enter their world. I’d like to think of myself as a positive interruption. My brother interrupted my only childhood lifestyle I had going for the first three years of my life. He’s ok for the most part. A year ago, my life was interrupted on a pretty large scale. I began a relationship with an amazing man of God. We began dating in November, in January he proposed, and in May we were happily married as I settled into a brand new environment.
Jared was already a pastor when we got married, so I moved to him two and half hours away from home. That’s the way the cookie crumbles when you marry a pastor. You go where God has called, and God has called him to the middle of the woods, no civilization for 30 minutes in any direction, an out in the sticks town of Arkansas. Now can I just tell you, growing in up in Louisiana, I was never the girl that was just all about her home state. I didn’t have an LSU wardrobe nor fleur-de-lis on every spare space in my home. But take me out of Louisiana, a place that I now love and appreciate more than I ever thought I would, and I’ve got Louisiana mementos all over the house. The great part is that Jared is also from Louisiana and appreciates it just as much as I do. But needless to say, my life had been interrupted more than I ever imagined.
For the first few months, I lived in constant motion. We had 2 weeks at home and then for the next month and a half, we lived on the road. We traveled to camp, honeymoon, national meetings, and mission trips. Then we had a few weeks before I had to go to my new classroom and plan my layout and curriculum for the year. It took a moment for the dust to settle, but once it did, it wasn’t pretty.
For those that know me, it comes as no surprise when I say, I don’t do change well. I tend to fight back when it starts. And when I have a lot of change all at once, I shut down and it takes me time to recover. When I moved, not only did my job change, but I lost my home church I had attended since I was seven. I lost my proximity to my family that I am extremely close to. I lost a support group that I had for the last several years of my life. Not only did I feel as if I was shutting down, I felt as if I would never recover. And I felt terrible for feeling this way. I felt so selfish for wanting to go home, for missing my old school, being jealous of my friends’ posts from back home. Then every little interruption seemed to be making it worse. Our internet is terrible where we live. We live 25 minutes away from the nearest town. And to top it off, for the first few months, we battled ants and wasps for our home. I lashed out at Jared from time to time, which was wrong. It was nowhere near his fault, and to an extent, he felt guilty for taking me from everything.
But over time, God began to soften my heart. He gave me a very loving and patient husband that challenges me each and every day. The Lord showed me the ministry in my school, our town, and our community. Then He hit me square in the face when I read an article about gratitude, an article I didn’t expect to see let alone read. In it, Bob Goff said, “Loving people well means living with constant interruptions.”
My interruptions may not have been desirable, few really are. But if my interruptions are going to challenge me to love people well, then I welcome them. Am I completely happy with my new season of life and the place where God has called us? Not exactly… but I’m getting there. See, it’s not about happiness and comfort. If it was, God would have called Jared and I back home yesterday. But it’s about God calling. I definitely have a whole new appreciation for Abraham uprooting his family and following God’s call when He told them to go without a destination set. I’m already in the destination, and I’m struggling. God doesn’t call us to comfort and happiness. He calls us to Himself. Truth is, I have never been more reliant, more conversational, more in tune to Him than I have been these last few months. It’s hard, but He’s calling me to Him. Calling me love his people well. Calling me to look outside of myself, my wants, my desires, my dreams, and focus on His wants, His desires, His dreams, and His people. He’s calling me to His interruptions.