Stepping Out

I was shopping at Target last week when I ran into a 3-year-old I teach at Sunday School. (She was with her mom, people. This isn’t an article on free-range versus helicopter parenting.)

Anyway, the adorable thing looked up at me and said with wonder, “Teacher, I didn’t know you lived here!”

She wasn’t too far off the mark. I practically do live at Target. It’s just a little piece of American life that I love, and feel like I can’t live without.

But, the hubbers and I have decided that very soon Target won’t make my weekly to-do list. After months of praying, and discussing the pros, the cons and the in-betweens of it, we’ve decided that we’ll move back to India this summer.

It’s been sixteen years in the US for the husband. Eleven for me. He went to grad school here, has worked for the same company for 14 years and loves his white-picket-fence life with one wife and two kids in suburbia.

It’s been a good life too. We love the Pacific Northwest with its I-live-in-a-travel-brochure beauty. We love our trips to food carts and farmer’s markets on Saturdays. We love meeting our Indian “gang” Friday nights and worshipping with our church family on Sundays. I love Trader Joe’s and Costco. I love getting deals at Old Navy and, let’s not forget my second home, aka Target.

So, why rock the boat? Why move across the world, give up our comfortable house for an apartment, give up 10 minute work commutes to be stuck in traffic for hours, to give up the security of our life now for a bunch of unknowns?

To us, it doesn’t seem so much a rocking of the boat as a stepping out of the boat in obedience. We feel like God is urging us to trust Him. To keep our eyes fixed on Him.

He’s saying to us, “Let’s do this thing!” (Is that the tagline for Home Depot?).


Photo credit: Flickr, Moyan Brenn

So, we’re allowing this boat to be steered into deep waters.

And sometimes we have one foot in the boat and the other in the water. And sometimes we take a few steps in the water and then pull a sinking Peter, with our eyes fixed on the where’s, the how’s, the what’s and the what if’s, instead of on Jesus.

We’re being quite literal when we sing the Hillsongs’ Oceans song, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me.”

So, we’re doing this thing. Slowly. It’s a little like how I’ve picked up Sonny Boy from school over the last year when he started public school. Despite the bus stop being a block from home, I would drive to school, park and walk to his classroom. And wait in the rain till the boy emerged. After a few months, I figured, let’s graduate to the drive-through lane. So, we waited with the minivan brigade for 30 minutes every afternoon and hauled him home like we were picking up KFC. A few more months, and mama was finally ready for the big, bad, yellow school bus.

Trusting God with our move to India has been a little like that. We are inching toward it, one baby step at a time. And now it feels like time to get in the school bus.

We don’t know for how long we’re moving, we don’t know which school the kids will go to or where we’ll live. But the best thing about not knowing – and having very little ability to plan – is it leaves you with little choice but to trust.

And, eventually, the yellow school bus turns out to be a fun, adventurous ride back home.







  1. Ruth says:

    God bless you are step out in faith. May you be led from strength to strength. Keep the writing going though. Love Ruth

  2. Susan Thomas says:

    That left me with a lump in my throat, Susan! Even though we rarely meet, I’m going to miss you being in Portland, crazy as that sounds. The good thing however, is that now we’ll meet more often in Bangalore when I make my annual trip there. God bless you all and I know you’re in the palm of his hand. I hope that all goes well (as it has so far which I know from talks with Amma) and enjoy the ride! Love you. Susan Aunty

  3. Peg Bussell says:

    What a beautiful post Susan! My heart is so warmed to hear about this journey to follow God’s leading. I have already missed not seeing you guys through the years, and I am thankful to have gotten to see you just recently. I am excited for you, Ranjit and the kids. It will be good to be around family and to have new adventures. God is so good! I pray great blessings for you and your family. You guys will be missed! What is really cool is that I just found your beautiful writings. I look forward to reading your posts! Christ Shines So Brightly In You Guys!!

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Thanks Esther. You guys’ China plans sound so adventurous. You’ll have to swing by India and visit us!

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