September 7, 2020

God Said, “Go”

I gave my heart to Jesus today. It’s a sentence I want to exhale every night as I crawl into bed and close my eyes. I want to slumber knowing that I gave my soul to my Savior. I want to wake knowing that my life is the Lord’s from sunrise to sunset.

In a world spinning in sin, I want it to be well with my soul. I know that means forgiving mistakes and mountains made out of molehills. It means bended knees and surrendered will. I seek to trust Him. I’ve learned that life isn’t easy, inside faith or out. But choosing to be “in” is key. I’m all in. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).*

Life on the Road

I drove six hours round trip every weekend for much of 2012 and early 2013. My daughter and I lived out of suitcases, spending five-day weeks in one town and two-day weekends at another. We left recipes, toys, refrigerator notes, familiar beds, and the family room and set out for the school year ahead. Of all the comforts we left, Daddy was the biggest one.

After years in one place, our family was moving and our daughter was starting sixth grade at a new school. The transition would mean days of separation; marriage and parenting would require a new kind of teamwork. We believed that Jesus was moving in our lives, and we knew that we had to move with Him. How and when were unknown.

What do you do when the Trinity says, “Go”?

The Life of Faith

We did our part as best we could. My husband stayed behind to list and sell his practice, spending nights alone. I went to back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences as a single parent and learned my way around a new town. Our daughter worked on assignments and made new friends while missing her room and her daddy. We loved meeting on weekends to update hugs and happenings if only for a few short hours before the road called again on Monday morning.

I remember one weekend in particular. Our daughter and I pulled into the driveway and came inside. The fireplace was warm and the fridge was full of food. That Friday evening my husband was handing out long hugs, then lugging suitcases I’d become adept at carrying.

We’d made it work, and it was Christmas break. We’d stay two weeks instead of two days. There would be two cars in the driveway and two bath towels hung in the master bath. My daughter would kiss her daddy goodnight instead of blowing him kisses on Skype, and he’d hear her sing in the tub.

Walking in faith is acting with bold, blind effort. That night walking in faith meant resting. That night I saw merit in both faith and action, recognizing that they had to work together.

Joy in the Journey

I wish I would’ve logged how many miles we drove that year. Whatever the math was, we were an exhausted household of faith and fatigue by the time it was over. We’d learned what we could do, and how to answer the command, “Go.”

I recall my Dad saying, “You’re a brave soldier, Heather.” And my daughter saying, “I actually loved our time on the road, Mama. I fee1 proud of us.” I remember my husband and me locking up the U-Haul, ready to move, saying, “I love you” and “We made it.”

It had been eight months from first trip to last. Pulling onto main street of our new town, I whispered, “Thank you, Jesus, for taking care of us. We never had one accident or one flat tire.” Jesus hadn’t set us on the long “go” journey alone. He was beside us. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should he called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

Each night during our transition year our daughter and I picked a bright star that hung high in the night sky and made a wish. She wished for energetic 11-year-old things. I wished for safe travels and for escrow to close. We’d recite our little poem and send our wishes wistfully into the night for safekeeping by Jesus, who rules His universe so competently.

I gave my heart to Jesus today. Sometimes that comes in the form of bold servants, young and old, offering a starry wish or a whispered “Thank you, Jesus, for no flats.” Sometimes that comes from a family teaming up to answer “Yes” to the Trinity’s word “Go.” But always, giving one’s heart to Jesus comes in the form of taking trips to the cross to seek a Savior who says, “We’ll all be together soon. I’ve already gone ahead of you.”

I gave my heart to Jesus today. It is well with my soul.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

Heather VandenHoven lives in California and blogs at

*Bible texts are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright ã 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.