Thursday, November 16, 2017

Journey of Faith- Home Sweet Home

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing our "journey of faith" the last few months. It has not been a boring few months at all, but I wouldn't trade any bit of it. He has grown us so very much and solidified in our hearts that "stepping out in faith" was the best decision we could have made for our family. Today, I am excited to say we are no longer "Abrahaming" it. 😊😊 
We ran into dear missionary friends of ours after lunch at the Mexican restaurant 10 weeks ago. They used to be our neighbors when we lived in North Carolina and are now missionaries to Brazil. They were home on furlough and were currently part of a small country church's mission conference. We laughed as we contemplated what a small world and "coincidence" it was to running into them literally in the middle of nowhere. We chatted a bit, our children ran around, then we gave our goodbyes. Moments later, my husband received a message asking if he would be opposed to him giving our name and contact information to the pastor of this country church. He was looking for a youth/music pastor! I smiled a huge smile when my husband read the message. I knew it may not work, but, seriously, God is so good!! Just the night before "our plans" appeared gone and we were back to another crossroads of wondering what was next! Often I believe God does this to see if we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and see Him take control.

He told our friends that giving his information to the pastor was fine, but honestly we didn't hold our breath. We had similar things occur, and getting our hopes up wasn't the wisest action to situations like this. (especially as a woman 😏) But, it was a huge reminder that God had plans, and He was not going to let us flounder around with no directions. Later that evening, my husband received a call from the pastor asking if they could get together to chat before we made our way back home to Charleston. There was quite a bit of hurricane damage in the area and many were out of power so we weren't sure a meeting would happen this go around. But, the Lord had other plans... Tuesday morning we packed up our stuff and started heading home. We first made a stop at a rural little church in Byron, Georgia to introduce ourselves to the pastor and his wife.
My husband met with the pastor for a bit, then we all went out to lunch. We spent a few hours grilling each other regarding philosophy, direction, and more. As we drove away, I told my husband I could totally see this pastor as my pastor, our shepherd, and dear friends. And, in my heart, even if this ministry was not for us, I felt we had gained sincere friends. We headed home and jumped into a crazy week of appointments for the house sale. We stayed in contact with the Pastor and let him know we'd love to come see the church and meet the people in a casual situation. We decided to drive back to Georgia that same week to spend the day on Sunday.
It was pretty much in the hush that we were considering an actual leadership position. But, it was so fun to visit with the people and see them plugged into the ministry just as they were. We were welcomed, loved, and encouraged to visit again. We drove away Monday morning knowing we had much to pray about and seek the Lord's will regarding the next step. But, we were jumping into moving weeks and we had tons to do. If you haven't read about that day, you can see it here.

Amidst all of our last minute details, moving stuff, etc, we received 4 more opportunities asking if we would consider. My husband did a bit of research and discussions, but the Lord just kept bringing us back to Hardison and how He completely had swung the door wide open in the neatest ways. Several of the other options were closer to family, but we'd talk about the options, pray, and just kept coming back to pursuing the opportunity in this little Georgia church. We were excited when the Lord solidified in our hearts that God wanted us to let the pastor know we would like to pursue to see if the Lord wanted this for the church and for our family. The day after moving day we loaded some of our clothes, school stuff, and our children and began a 3 week candidating process at Hardison Baptist Church in Byron, GA. They had a nice 4 bedroom-furnished parsonage for our families' use.  I wish I could spend pages and pages sharing how God knit our hearts in incredible ways as we worked alongside each other for 3 weeks. But, He did just that! He made it very obvious that He wanted our family to become part of the Hardison family. After our 3 weeks, we had a week of break and we did a bit of visiting with friends and doing a few fun field trips with our sweet children. They have had a rough 3 months, but they have been so sweet despite all the uncertainties and changes.

Sunday night, November 12th, Hardison Baptist Church unanimously voted to bring my husband on as Assistant Pastor-Youth/music pastor. We are thrilled to say our journey has brought us to this sweet church. Our journey has prepared us exactly for this. I love to look back at all the "rungs" and see how He was molding us, shaping us, and leading us in His way. What an overwhelming sense of joy and hope I have in the promises of my mighty Jesus.
Tomorrow we empty our new home, clean the carpets, and await our trailer of "stuff" to arrive Saturday morning. It has been a long 3 months, but it has been a great 3 months of faith building, trust increasing, and joy knowing that God has had this for us all along! Looking forward to sharing  life in our new home and ministry in the days ahead.
Remember, sweet friends, that no matter the journey you find yourself on, God's ways are ALWAYS best! Thank you so much for the faithful prayers, sweet calls, notes, and reminders to me that we are loved.

Til' next time...