And as if our two years together haven’t held ENOUGH adventure, this blog and our life truly lives up to it’s title- an adventure. By the way, we’ve moved. Again.
Before I go on, let me just say that we couldn’t be happier. Never wanting to publicly complain, John and I have had a longing in our hearts to return to the the state, the city and the people that we love, here in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. About a month ago God granted that desire.
It all started when we left Kiel, not knowing where, when why or how God was going to move, but knowing that we needed to trust, wait and pray. Spending last summer in Black River is something we will ALWAYS fondly look back on. What a wonderful opportunity we had to be near to family and have temporary full time work. God provided and continues to provide.
Then God called us to Omaha, yet even as we drove away that rainy morning, we both felt heavy hearted, knowing with all our hearts that God had called us there, but wondering why it was Nebraska, and not Minnesota. God had a plan and we spent a wonderful 6 months learning and growing as a couple and as individuals as God taught us more than we ever thought we could pack into 6 months. We thank God continuously for those jobs and those boys from whom we continue to unwrap treasures of wisdom. The Lord surrounded us in a place far from all we knew and loved with friends and people who supported us. People that we had known from past seasons of our lives were now living in Omaha and we were able to reconnect old friendships.
The church the Lord led us to was exactly what we needed for where we were coming from and the Lord spoke through out Pastor as we read through the Bible with our church and he preached through the Old Testament each Sunday following the new year. I think our whole family felt the burden of the faith step, but looking back now, I feel God blessed all of us for our faith. When we arrived on the steps of our new place in Omaha, I held back tears. I didn’t have the feeling I’d hoped to have- excitement. Instead I felt dread knowing what lay ahead might be harder than anything we’d ever faced..and it was! I slipped on my “Gripes Be Gone” bracelet- from a bible study I had been going through with my mom- trying to remember not to complain but to trust the Lord and my husband in all things. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder when God would lead us back to the church, and when God would, most importantly, stir my husbands’ heart back to ministry.
I can’t explain the way I heard His voice, but I know I did.
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength…
Quietness…Not one of my strong suits. Confidence…also an area I struggle with. So many times in the next few months I would need to bite my tongue- not to tell my husband he was wrong- God had called him to be a Pastor, not a nurse, and that he didn’t need to go back to school or into the military but that he needed time to heal, time to process, time to pray and seek God’s voice, but I felt consistently the quiet voice telling me to be quiet.
For some reason, Easter, two years in a row, has been very significant for us, representing new things as always and representing more new things for us this year. It was last year on Easter that we knew we were moving to Black River. This year, a few weeks before Easter, we sat in church listening to a sermon on Moses. Our pastor spoke about the excuses Moses made, the way he tried to explain to God that he was not the right man for the task. Who was he to question God? God chose him because he knew what Moses was capable of.
Later that night as we sat on the couch, I listened as the miracle I had been praying for happened and my husband explained to me that God had most certainly called him and he had most certainly felt incapable, but he was ready to trust God to use him in whatever way He saw fit. Again he asked the monumental question that has been asked 5 times now since we’ve been together- “Will you go with me?”
As John opened the computer and we began to casually look at youth pastor positions online, my heart jumped when we saw a position at New Life Church of Woodbury. John had casually mentioned, days before, that he felt God lay the town of Woodbury on his heart. Completely unlike John to say something like that, I took note. I’m going to speed ahead, now, because the main thing is that each week God opened a new door down to the week that we moved, when I found out that a position opened up at New Life Family Services, the exact office that I had interned at 2 years before. I literally filled out the application between packing boxes and finished it the first night in our new home in Newport, MN. A week after John began his job as a youth pastor at New Life Church, I began working at New Life Family Services in Richfield, MN.
And that’s where we are today. Still shocked and amazed that a month ago our life consisted of parenting/coaching/mentoring/teaching 8 teenage boys 6 days on, 24/7, and now it consists of going to work and coming home and having weekends off in which we can travel to places like the cabin like normal people to see family and eat around a camp fire. We continually say things like “A year ago at this time, did you ever think…” as we remember visiting similar parks to the ones we visited with our youth group on a missions trip to this area, feeling God’s calling us here even then and wondering when and how it would come to be.
His way is perfect. His timing is perfect. His lessons are perfect.
Life? Not perfect, but as a wise junior high student carefully spoke to her sunday school class last week,
“You might think that God is doing some stuff in your life because he doesn’t care, but that’s not true. He knows what he’s doing and he knows that what he’s doing is right and will just make you stronger. Sooner or later if you keep looking, you’re bound to see His love in it.”
John, who had been teaching the lesson in the book of 1 Peter, smiled and said,
“I couldn’t have said it better.”