On Moving South and Loading up the Donkey

On Moving South and loading up the donkey, Liturgy of Life

“You couldn’t pay me to move down there,” chuckles the man helping me unload my boxes at the Good Will.

“That’s like the border of Mexico. No sir. You’ll probably get killed.”


I blink wide eyed as I hand him the last of my things.

I had mentioned we were preparing for a move, and he’d asked where we were going.

I wondered if my daughter was picking up on what all he was saying.


“Good luck,” he waved as we drove off.


I felt flustered, but knew that despite spending the last five minutes critiquing my life, he really hadn’t meant any harm by it. The reality was that most people probably had the same thoughts but had enough self control to not say anything out loud.

And I get it. I mean the border of Mexico is hot, it is far away from everything except Mexico and it doesn’t help that the border has been synonymous violence in the minds of Americans for the last 10 years.

And I feel it. Not just in the disapproving comments but in my own heart.

.    .    .

Making a quick trip to the HEB shortly after we moved I was in search for three items. My tea bags that I use every morning, my husband’s sparkling water which he likes when he’s been doing a lot of work in the heat and my daughter’s fruity snacks which she requests on just about every occasion.

Standing in the aisle 15 minutes later I was on the verge tears.

I was 0 for 3.  Not one of our go-to items was there.

Sure there were alternatives, and maybe I was just being picky, but suddenly all the novelty that I had felt when visiting the border in the past had worn off. Those lollipops with a scorpion in the middle or those tiny dried shrimps that somehow were part of the candy section all said to me, “this isn’t your place, if you want Tazo tea, Le Croix water and Annie’s Organic bunnies you need to go somewhere else.”

I felt foreign and as I looked around I realized no one looked like me and in fact no one was speaking English.

Why had we come? Why had we left a place where we were comfortable and secure, a place that was finally beginning to feel like home?

Of all the hundreds of people who have come down to spend a week or two son mission trips why are we the ones making this place our home thousands of miles from our families?

I racked my brain for days trying to come up with the answer. Trying to recall some story to bring my life and this post together so it would all make sense.

The answer did not come.

.    .    .

The only thing that came was a story. A story that my daughter was obsessed with a few months ago, one that we read over and over and over.

It is the story of Abraham.

Abraham is told by God that through Him and his offspring the savior of the world will come. Abraham is old when he is told this and he has no children. Still he believes and when he is 100 years old his wife gives birth to a son, Isaac. Nothing short of a miracle.

Some years later God speaks to Abraham again,

“Take your son, your only son, whom you love-Isaac-and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Abraham is devastated but with fear and trembling obeys.

“Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. . .”

There is a lot we could say about this story.

Today I will say this,  sometimes you don’t know what lies ahead. Sometimes God calls you and He doesn’t tell you why. Sometimes all we can do is load up our donkeys and go. Giddy Up.



I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment here or join the discussion in our facebook group.


Related articles:

A Knife Pointed at My Own Heart: Lessons from Abraham

Approaching My Mexican Home

A New Home for the Jarretts



  • Becca Reply

    You have a way of writing that brings me right to where you are, or at least I imagine I would be in your shoes. On the verge of tears and desperately awaiting the follow up and happy ending “ram in bushes” to this story.

    • egjarrett Reply

      Thanks Becca, I am glad I’m able to communicate what I was feeling. It is crazy how sometimes it is the smallest things that can just tear your heart out. There is a lot we love about being here. We definitely feel like we made the right choice in this move, but the move is always hard. The exciting thing about our particular situation is we really don’t know what to expect, I mean we have some projects we are working on but all of it is pretty open ended right now, so there is a lot of space to be surprised. I’m learning to be a little more comfortable with that. Thanks for reading.

  • Shannon Reply

    Giddy up, girl. Rooting for you guys.

    • egjarrett Reply

      Thanks Shannon, likewise. It’s funny you know I wrote this and then I remembered that I actually love donkeys and we even had a live one at our wedding. So the metaphor here really does work well for us.

  • Emily Reply

    This is beautiful and so hard. It’s all the things. I am in awe of the way God works, and afraid that He’ll call me to something hard, and excited that He’ll do that, and in such admiration of the way y’all have followed Him.

    • egjarrett Reply

      Thanks for your thoughts Emily. I remember a period of time, several years ago now, but when I was absolutely terrified, not just of what God would call me to do, but who he would call me to become. Like what if I wasn’t as funny or as cool (ha, not that I was ever much of either of those, but you get the idea) I was just so afraid of loosing myself in his calling for me. Now I’ve learned that the more I follow him the more I find myself, the more I feel true to who I really am. I’m still afraid of course, but I am convinced that I can’t do anything good apart from him, I’ve tried and failed, so I follow, what else can I do? And it is so good. I’ll be praying for you and your life, you are at such an exciting stage of things. Of course it is all exciting but still.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *