Looking back over the last two years I can see a consistent theme…faith. God keeps asking it of us and we do our best to obey, dragging our feet sometimes, but eventually getting there.
At this time two years ago Mark and I had just begun to consider the idea of adding to our family through adoption. For someone who thought she was done with two kids, it was a step of faith. The idea of it excited me but the reality of it scared me. But we knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that it was what we were called to do.
At the same time God began to nudge Mark regarding his job as the executive pastor of our church. Mark began to feel as if there was something else that God was calling him too. We waited, we prayed, we waited some more. Finally, hearing nothing but a gentle “it’s time to leave” Mark resigned. For what? We didn’t know. What we DO know is that God had uniquely provided for this situation. Just a few months before we had paid off our house and then a couple months later I started a full time job at the church that provided the income and insurance benefits we would need.
At the time we had no idea that it would be 9 months later before God would answer Mark’s “What now?” In the midst of all that we were completing the adoption of Wendemagegn and Beza (which we had committed to doing debt-free). Through that roller coaster time of emotions and setbacks and waiting, God faithfully provided every single thing we needed and even some of our wants (like sending the kids to Christian school).
God saw us through every part of the adoption, including letting us travel to Ethiopia with our dear friends the Slonigers (who by the way are in the process of adopting another adorable little boy “A”). He has continued to see us through the last 10 months of adjusting to our new life and what raising four kids takes of us.
Just when we thought we were getting comfortable we began to feel it again…the nudging. We prayed, we waited, we prayed some more. We dragged our feet a little 🙂 While our other steps of faith were somewhat exciting, I will admit that this one held no excitement for me. In fact, it held fear more than anything else. Not fear for us, because I am completely confident in God’s provision, but fear for the hurt that our steps of faith might cause others.
For God was telling us that it was time to leave our church. We’ve left churches before, but it was either because we were moving or because we knew, early on, that it wasn’t the church for us. But THIS church? We’ve invested 8 years of our lives here. Mark was on staff for 6 years….and I was still on staff (and have been off and on over the last 7 years). These are our friends, our family.
Despite the fear, obedience trumps it…every time 🙂 Obviously our decision also meant that I would be leaving my job. Again, I wasn’t worried about the money or the benefits but I WAS sad about leaving my friends. I LOVE the staff at our church. They are an awesome group of people who do whatever it takes to do the job. They stood besides us and prayed for us through our adoption journey and we love them.
For those who attend our church, let me say something (because I know how the rumor mill works). There is about OUR family and decisions we are making for US. There is NOT some secret going on that is causing us to leave, no scandal, not with the church and not with us.
So here we are at another crossroads. The last couple of weeks have been difficult, but we are moving forward. Friends are still friends and life goes on.
I am REALLY enjoying the time off! With Mark working from home it is nice to be together during the day (when we’re not running different directions) and it has been great to have time to run errands, go visit my mom and just BE.
There are tons of ideas bouncing around in my head. Writing a book (finally), advocating for orphans, maybe doing some public speaking – sharing our story, helping other people find financial freedom. The list goes on. In the midst of that I’ll be doing freelance design work to help pay the bills.
So we keep moving, knowing God has big plans, and waiting for his timing to reveal what he has next for us.