I'm currently participating in a Bible study by Beth Moore entitled "The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." We've spent the last few weeks studying Abraham and his faith to "Go". In Genesis 12, God told Abram to leave his home country and his family and to Go. Not knowing where he was going, he took Sarah and they went. Abram had faith in God's plan for him and Sarah even when he didn't know any of the details of the plan. My family has made several major moves, and most times we had a plan laid out. However, our most recent calling to "Stay" has proved to be the one that has required the most faith.
We have only experienced unemployment twice in 16 years as a couple. The first time it happened in 2003, we picked up and moved from Pennsylvania to Washington State. That move proved to be a major turning point in our relationship as a couple and our personal relationships with God. Most recently, however, we felt that God was telling us to stay when my husband lost his job. This was a new concept for us. Our pattern had always been to pick up and move for better employment and income opportunities. However, God had been doing some major work in our lives over the past 3 years. He was stripping away parts of us, pruning us, molding us, burning the fake off of us and calling us to something bigger. While we knew there was a calling to go into full-time FCA minstry, we had no way of knowing how it would unfold. And to be honest, if I had known all of the spritual attacks, tests and divine interventions we would encounter, I would have probably run in the opposite direction.
We lost the opportunity to purchase a home we loved, had to move out of another house because of lack of heat, lived in a hotel, job opportunity in GA fell through at the last moment, Rich had neck surgery, I had sugery to fix a hole in my diaphragm, Rich was on disability for 6 mths. due to stress & back related issues, we travelled to Nicaragua on a short-term missions trip, moved into a rental home owned by friends that's within walking distance of the kid's schools. Those are just some of the things we've gone through since we first had a desire to join FCA 3 years ago.
While many of those things were not fun or enjoyable to go through, they each were used by God to prepare us for this next chapter. When you are living in a hotel, you lose the desire for aquiring material possessions. When a loved one is ill, you forget your own selfish desires and focus on them. When your door to "worldy success" is closed by God, you redefine success in God's terms and see His plan. When you are living on an extremely tight budet, you separate needs from wants. When you travel to another country and see the poverty and devastation, you realize that filling our lives with stuff is such a waste of God's blessings. You begin to look outside of yourself and see the needs of those around you. But just seeing it won't be enough...you'll have to do something!
When we felt God telling us to "Stay" in Ohio and fulfill His calling on our family, our minds were filled with the normal human questions. Questions like "What about money to pay bills & buy food?" How are we gonna be able to afford another car?" "How can we pay for gas in the cars?" "How is FCA gonna work?" "Is God really telling us to stay?" We are finding that each step of faith in obedience is drawing us closer to God and His plan. God has supplied every one of our needs and at just the right time. His blessings are confirming to us that we are exactly where we need to be.. As we continue to be obedient to Him, His grace gives us the ability and power to do His will.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.