Dropping Nets

by Laura on March 19, 2010

As I look back over the pages of this blog, I realize that I have yet to write about my personal journey Christ-following in regards to our decision to move to SE Asia to help combat child prostitution.  Now that we are facing the messy piles of miscellaneous stuff and starting to say our hard goodbyes, perhaps I need to remind myself by writing it.  Like anything, the fuzzy futuristic dream is often more appealing than the in-your-face chaotic reality.  And sometimes we just need to remember. . .

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His Moment. Matt came downstairs that morning with a face that seemed to be glowing.  Months of wrestling with the weight of our decision to move our family of five overseas had taken its toll mentally and spiritually, and he had finally heard. From the Bible, specifically, where he was already reading in his trek through the New Testament.  It was a divine appointment with God’s Word and God’s Spirit which was the final brick that tipped the already-leaning scales.

Luke, Chapter Five.  Jesus tells his friend Peter to go fishing–out into the deep waters, in the middle of the day.  Despite all logic (fishing in midday) and despite the danger (fishing in deep waters), Peter obeys.  And the nets overflowed with more abundance than these weathered fishermen had ever experienced in their lifetimes.

And for my husband, all of the months of prayer and seeking culminated into this moment.  All the arrows had been pointing in the direction of us helping at this Asian orphanage for a while, but this passage, on that Saturday morning, upstairs by himself in our room, was the final neon-lighted sign blinking a glaring “GO”.  

 But, then, there was still me.

My Moment.  For the first time in my life and in the 10 moves of the last ten years, I have become settled, contented, and happy here in this small town of Colorado.  Our children have spent almost 5 formative years of their lives here, and my network of community has overflowed.  For the first time, I had begun having thoughts of staying in one place, of seeing my kids go to that high school, of lunches in five years with these friends.  My tent stakes were getting hammered further into the ground, and my heart was planting roots unlike ever before.

But then, I could not deny the arrows pointing to SE Asia, too–the stirring of our hearts, our anger at the injustice of child prostitution, our circumstances.  The dots started to connect for this job, in this place, at this time.  And yet, I still wanted more–more confirmation that I needed to start packing and start learning a new language.

And I asked God one morning if I could have a revelation like my husband had.  I wanted something that I could drive my own stake into the ground on–some truth I could cling to with my two hands.  And in reading the same passage as Matt had earlier, I found it.

Luke, Chapter Five.  And I started reading in Matthew Henry’s commentary about that same story of Peter fishing, when I noticed a few of Henry’s statements about the passage.  The scholar in essence asked this question:

Isn’t it interesting that the moment these disciples were asked to follow Jesus was the moment when their nets were the fullest?

And I had never thought of that before–that the point when Jesus called Peter and his friends to drop their nets was the moment when they were experiencing the greatest success in their professions.  Their nets were overflowing in abundance, and that was the moment when they were asked to drop them and begin their journey in Jesus-following.

And the analogy for me was obvious and undeniable.  Other than not being close to my family in North Carolina, my nets have been the fullest here in Woodland Park, Colorado.  My kids have flourished, and I have been surrounded by more natural beauty than I could imagine.  My friendships have taken root, and my life has developed a rhythm of comfort and ease.  And yet, I could not deny that Jesus was calling me to let go of my own American Dream here in the Rockies and follow.

And let go.

And drop my nets.

And leave the wood of the docks for the dust of

whatever road

Jesus happens to be walking.

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So there you have it, friends.  My side of the story.  Thanks for letting me share it; I needed to remember.  I hope you don’t walk away from a post like this comparing or justifying or trying to correct.  Our spiritual journeys, our Christ-following, our giftings, and our paths are all beautifully unique.  In fact, I am the one blown away by some radical love I’ve witnessed around me lately –a family taking in more foster children, parents adopting special needs children, a wife who is unwilling to let go of a marriage, a man who is staying when it is hard, and the list goes on.  May we all champion each other’s journeys and offerings–regardless of if they look like our own. 

  • http://ponderinginthedesert.blogspot.com JoAnna

    Well written, and beautiful. Isn’t it amazing how God used the very same passage to speak differently, but equally confirming messages to both you and Matt? As I was reading your story, I found myself nodding in agreement – it’s SO TRUE how when our nets seem fullest, we are asked to put them down. It’s the hardest time, yet it is a true testament to our faith in our God, Who loves us abundantly and always knows best, even when we think we know better. Thanks for sharing, friend! I’m savoring your perspective in this – keep that coming. :) Praying for you all.

  • Amy

    My dear sister, I’ve read everyone of your blog posts and this might be my favorite. I love how open you are in sharing your story and your heart. But yet you seem to understand that each of our hearts is unique and beats differently than yours. It is a wonderful gift to be THAT open. I’m so happy for you and it helps me realize that I need to let you go. When our relationship might be the fullest it has EVER been, I have to believe that it will only get fuller after you leave. Thank you for being you. It is truly inspirational and I love you.

  • http://www.CHARLIESHEEN.TK Fausto Mccready

    This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  • Pippi

    What a beautiful journey my friend!

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    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  • http://www.yams.com MarkSpizer

    great post as usual!

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  • http://www.lovewellblog.com Kelly @ Love Well

    I am bookmarking this. And then I’m going to copy and paste sections of it into my journal so I can talk to God about it. This is STELLAR, Laura. And it certainly does a good job of explaining your journey. I pray for you, friend, that God’s joy would overwhelm you sooner rather than later. Either way, we know it’s coming. It’s a certainty, not a wish.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    Hi Laura,
    So lovely to meet you on your blog … Thank you for the follow on Twitter, btw. That’s how I got here … gotta love twitter. And I love these moments of random connection. I so need to go to bed, but I’ve been browsing and keep reading and clicking–what a beautiful job you’re doing of your blog. I am subscribing and bookmarking … : ) I look forward to reading more of your journey.

    peace,
    idelette

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      Thanks so much, Idelette . . . .

      Ditto on wanting to connect with you more via web-world . . . .

      Thanks for your encouraging words.

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