If we get all technical ...
Today is one year that we moved our little family to Columbia, South Carolina to begin our journey as the student & young adult pastors at Christian Life. Our intent was to move into our apartment on the afternoon of August 1st. But with a broken down uhaul on a country road in the middle of nowhere, that had to be hauled by a tow truck to Columbia with the contents of our entire home (irony, right?!), we slept the night at DoubleTree on August 1st and "moved in" on August 2nd!
As we pulled out of our driveway in Panama City, FL with our eyes as puffy as they've ever been. Our sleep was more than lacking. And our muscles were sore (not from moving - we had oodles of help) but from the tight hugs we've been given and received.
I don't think in that moment of driving away I fully realized what it meant to leave family and kindred friends. That was probably Gods infinite wisdom of protecting my heart and helping me make the move in a blind faith I'm not sure I've ever had before, or since!
My husband processes things BEFORE big decisions. I process things AFTER. I tend to think it's Gods amazing way of balancing us out. It's freaky sometimes!
As I look back over the last 12 months, I am so thankful that God gave us what HE knew we NEEDED and not what WE thought we WANTED.
Because there were a few days that I wanted to pack my babies and husband up and high tail it back "home". I saw people looking at Easton with raised eyebrows as he would yell at them or he'd attempt to talk to them. I didn't WANT to explain to everyone that my son had a speech development and couldn't talk. I wasn't sure if Autumn would make friends. Heck, I wasn't sure if I was going to make friends! I missed the safety of our ministry we had molded & shaped for almost a decade. I missed knowing history of the church we were a part of. And being a part of the history of the church. I missed a lot.
And then God would gently give me glimmers of what my heart needed. It was like he was feeding me small doses so that I didn't take it for granted.
In due time,
He gave me girls who would call out my name when I drove up and give me a hug.
He gave my son really great big brothers who took time to get to him & his personality.
He gave us people who at first squinted their eyes as they were listening to us ask them to trust us for a few months, and then one day their eyes were open as they were listening & their heads were nodding.
He gave us a pastor who feeds my spirit each and every week with a word that the Lord has given him.
He gave my daughter a place she could use her mothering gifts while working in the toddler class.
He gave me small group co-leads who became just as much my friends as my partners in ministry.
He gave me a business I can use to get to know women through.
He gave us a student & young adult ministry who desire for Union to echo in their every day lives.
He gave my son a school and teacher that has helped him form sentence upon sentence upon sentence.
He gave us a home that I could not have ever dreamed we would own.
He gave my husband some young men to circle around him and not only help him with ministry but to simply walk through this new life with him.
He has given us more than I can imagine in a short 12 months.
I can't even begin to speculate on what the next few years will look like.
But I can tell you that we are looking forward to them with excitement, hope and a passion to reach a city that needs the love of Jesus.
As our pastor says, he wants Columbia to be a hard place to go to hell from.
That couldn't be a more accurate cry of or hearts!
#union #CLA #oneyear #moretocome
14 “You are the light of the world.(A) A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.(B) 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others,(C) that they may see your good deeds(D) and glorify(E) your Father in heaven.