As we share our news. I will be publishing journal entries written during the decision-making process, some written several months ago (this one in October), in chronological order. Any [ ] additions, were added during transcription. Hoping to share our journey!
Right after marriage, a few months in, John and I bought our first house. It was small, perfect for us. We knew it wasn’t our forever home, but we thought Harrisburg was our forever “place,” and that the house was a good start.
3 or so years in, we did our first big project… a patio. It was completed in October. We had big plans for the next summer. Then, in June, it became clear that we were called to Asheville, NC. The patio became an investment for the future buyer (who, FYI, has yet to put any furniture on it!).
Enter Asheville. We knew John’s position was temporary. But, we grew roots. Our hearts grew for this amazing city. Our faith was tested as we were encouraged to dig into God’s word. We had the twins. We developed deep friendships. It was home, but, it didn’t feel like THE place. Not the forever place.
2 years later: back to Harrisburg.
THIS would be forever.
We bought our dream house after what can only be described as divine providence. We painted. We dug flower beds and put down roots. John took five months to build a playground we pictured our grandkids playing on someday. This time, it wasn’t just the two of us building friendships, our kids did as well.
Last year, we built our dream deck. I told a dear friend who has become an important mentor to me, “This house has everything we need. I think we can stay!”
“Well,” he said. “You should probably start packing.”
I laughed. But, something moved in me. Would God call us somewhere else…again? Would my efforts once again prove to be a desperate attempt to find comfort and stability that hadn’t been my lot since the day I acknowledged and accepted a call to missions when I was 16, a call that John seemed to be experiencing himself the deeper his own relationship with God grew?
I fought. Hard. I established traditions like everywhere else. We had baby #5. “This is our forever,” I convinced myself.
But inside, it didn’t align.
I felt like I was fighting something I couldn’t see. I now know that I was fighting God’s demand for a willing heart. I was silencing it with thoughts of stability. God was using restlessness to encourage me to turn to him, even before a specific calling was clear.
About 4 months ago, as I was sorting out my own career goals, I started Jennie Allen’s devotional, “Made for This.” John and I started praying for God’s “anything,” (which makes sense if you read the book) in our lives. Once again, I went into it thinking I knew what God wanted. Really, that meant I was asking for a clearer vision of what I wanted.
Shortly after, a potential move to DC came up. It was more than a passing idea. God was lining up pieces – which I’ll share another day – in a way that only he could. I stopped the devotional and ignored each and every one of them. “Come on! We have what we need HERE!”
As my restlessness grew, I began the study again. John and I dug deep. We asked God to strip away any idols we might be placing over him. We asked close friends to pray, even without being able to share details.
Y’all … God. Showed. Up.
Fears were replaced (and are still being replaced) with truths. Material attachments with scriptural gifts. Anxiety with peace. My feeling of control with complete reliance on God and (mostly) a willingness to “go.”
“Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
As I’m writing this [2 months before publishing – we now know the outcome], I don’t know the outcome. We’re now in the waiting place that he has used over and over in our lives. The place where we know he’s working even if we can’t see what happens next.
But, this I know. God has a plan. When I’m restless, it usually means he’s using it for something. This time, restlessness gave way to willingness. It might sound crazy from the outside, but in our home, it feels right.
We weren’t made for comfort without challenge or purpose. We’re made to search for and align with God’s heart and purpose. We are made to follow, even when the call is “go,” and no one understands it.
John and I have found great comfort in this, even during the times we’ve wanted nothing to do with God’s calling on our lives.
Whether we go or stay [we are going] we have become willing. Our hearts are anxious about logistics, but at peace in a way that is not of this world at all.