“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
- Hillsong United, Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
It’s February, 2014. Those lyrics have played over and over and over in my head since I first heard the song a couple months ago. I’m not the only one, of course, who feels that the popular worship song was written just for me. Just for this season. Nevertheless, I feel like the song was written just for me. For us. For this crazy season of life we find ourselves wading into. The ocean. The water. So literal. He’s calling us, this family of five, out upon the waters.
In one year, February 2015, the Bean family will be doing something we had previously considered possible only in our wildest dreams. Someone once told me, “If your dreams aren’t big enough to scare you, they probably aren’t big enough.” So dream we did. We dreamed bigger. Crazier. Dreamed of taking a step toward something that, by every thing thing our culture tells us is of value, was worthless and futile. We’d be giving up so much, they said. A steady job. A reliable income. A lovely home. Being close to family. Cherished friends. Retirement. Health care. Predictability. 3 bedrooms. 2 bathrooms. That beautiful dining room table we pined for for months. Our children’s beds. So much to give up. So much to gain.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
- 2 Cor. 5:7
A year ago I painted the oft spoken verse from Corinthians on a wooden sign and hung it on our front porch. A year ago I had no idea that that verse would be come my life verse. It would become my goal. My aspiration. It would become the voice in my head that said “press on” when the scope of the calling became more than I could wrap my mind around. It would become my silent prayer when the fears of, “What if my child gets sick?” or, “What if my husband has to work 60 hour weeks,” became loud in my mind. Walking by faith. Dying to fear. Every day. Still.
You see, for so long, my whole life really, things have been predictable. Stable. I never wondered what was coming next. We had a 1-year plan, 5-year plan, retirement plan, ect. The bills were always paid. There would always be a job. I could buy new shoes for my wily boys when they wore out their third pair of the year. If I am really honest, I have never been in a place where I had to look at my situation and say, “God, if you don’t come through for me, I don’t know how I am going to get by.” The thing about working for the military that is so enticing is the consistency. The paycheck comes twice a month. A predictable amount. The healthcare is good. Really good. No copay good. Free ER visit good. When you grow up as a daughter of two military officers and then marry a military man, the thought of getting out seems unthinkable. Irrational. Irresponsible. Ignorant. Foolish. Risky.
When I share with people what we feel God is drawing us into, their reactions range from thinking we are making a terrible mistake to enthusiastically encouraging us to “wave the crazy flag” and go for it! Interestingly enough, my thoughts often do the same thing. Then I am reminded that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” So we keep moving forward. We keep selling things. Keep praying. Keep texting and calling the precious friends and family who encourage us with their prayers and remind us of our first calling. Our first love. The One who will never forsake us. The One who spoke all things into being can certainly provide the needs of our family.
In February 2015, Austin will be getting out of the Coast Guard. We will be moving to the island of Kauai in Hawaii to step in the direction we feel God leading our family. Our ultimate goal is to have some kind of ministry centered around sailing. Maybe in Kauai forever. Maybe throughout the South Pacific. Who knows? God knows. So we go. He has made it very clear to us that our time in the military has come to an end. He has made equally clear that the next step we are to take is to Kauai. We don’t know how long we will be there or what we will do when we get there. What we do know is that He has promised that he will direct our paths. We want to know what it feels like to truly live by faith. To take the proverbial “playing cards” of our lives and spread them on God’s table. To truly trust without borders. No more playing it safe. No more staying in a job because we are scared to get out. No more spending more time thinking about where to retire. It is for freedom that we have been set free.
My reasons for sharing this is not so that the reader would read these words and think that the Bean family has it all together or that we are some kind of spiritual savant disconnected from the very real necessities of raising three children on one income. I share this online for the same reason I have been sharing it with our friends “in real life,” because we earnestly covet your prayers as we begin this faith journey. One thing I have learned thus far as we take the first baby steps into the unknown is the great value of the prayer and support of friends and family. I can not articulate how much we have been encouraged by the uplifting words of support and life that have been gifted to us my our faithful friends and family. On the days where we look at each other and wonder if we are really making the right decisions, when we find ourselves on our faces before God asking Him to show us again and again that this is, indeed, His path for us, it is the prayers of friends and family that reminds us that we are not alone.
To those of you who have been so faithful with your prayer and encouragement, thank you from the deepest wells of our hearts. You have no idea how much your thoughts and prayers have sustained us. We humbly ask those of you who read this and feel so led, to please pray for our family. We deeply desire to follow the call of God wherever and however He leads.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine according to His power
that is at work within us…”