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On the Side - January 2018

When God Says Go

by Carol Mason Shrader

My husband is winding down his tenure at the children’s hospital in our home state of Mississippi. He will begin a new job on February 1, and we will enter a season of commuting back and forth from his new job in Delaware to our current home in Mississippi—where I need to stay until our triplets finish college in a year and a half due to the physical needs of our son with Cerebral Palsy.

It isn’t ideal. It isn’t. After 26 plus years of marriage, I really still like my guy. In all the vast many seasons we have experienced—from medical school and residency, to fellowship and early career after training, to parenthood times three, then another—we have always known we would meet in our room at the end of the day.

The next year and a half will not look like that. I honestly have no idea what it WILL look like. I am taking this day by day and prayer by prayer.

And today, I find myself wondering, did Sarah want to pitch a little temper tantrum when God told Abraham to go?

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you’” (Genesis 12:1, NIV 2011).

After God’s command, all we know is that Genesis 12:4 says, “So Abram went, as the Lord told him…” (NIV 2011). Nothing about Sarah wanting to stay or being scared to go or wondering if she would be able to make new friends. Nothing about Sarah at all.

I am going to be honest here—I let my imagination run wild with Sarah sometimes. Oh, I have felt her pain as she desperately wanted to have a baby. I understood when she sent Hagar to Abraham in an effort to “help” God fulfill his promise to be a great nation through Abraham. Oh man, I understand Sarah.

But I am not sure I know how she responded when God told Abram to go.

My nature is to always find the silver lining—and as such, I am eager for the next adventure, anxious to see how God will use our family in Delaware! Did Sarah look on leaving her country as an adventure? Could she find hope in God’s promise to lead them?

But I have just gotten back to Mississippi—the place of my birth. I have just found a house that fits our needs and adequately nested it into our little haven. Was Sarah nervous about finding another house to make their home? Did she worry that it might not meet their particular needs? I could use a verse or two about how she trusted God in this….

Three years in and I am finally finding my place—a Side By Side chapter, friends. Did Sarah worry about pulling up her roots and trying to plant them on foreign soil? Did she stress about how she would meet people and make new friends?

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going…For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:8,10, NIV 2011).

Oh dear sister, I don’t know what 2018 will bring for my family or yours, I do not know what season you are entering or have just entered. But I know this, the builder of the city with foundations, the very architect of Heaven, has a plan for you and your’s. Can you enter this season by faith? Can you walk into the New Year knowing if God brings us to it, then He has a plan for us there?

I will be resting in those promises and praying you will join me.

Blessings,
Carol Shrader


Carol Mason Shrader is truly delighted that her hubby Wade will be the new chair of cerebral palsy at A.I.DuPont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware as of February 1. She plans to keep her suitcase packed and the skies hot as they fly back and forth for the next bit. As she takes this thing day by day, she promises to share any wisdom that God gives her on patience. Oy. 

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