Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quite the Step of Faith Here

Cannot believe months have gone by since I updated my blog! So I'll just jump right in. Most of this will sound crazy, but I'll write it anyway!

Matt was laid off his job in January. To say that we were shocked by this is a gross understatement! Talk about a gut punch. We didn't even have an inkling toward this happening. He was working so hard at his job and was quite involved in every aspect of it, with big dreams for its expansion and future improvement. And, well...

Moving on...

This was very hard for us to swallow, but we immediately began asking what our next step would be. We'd been talking for months about how amazing it would be to one day buy the business ourselves, and we'd been dreaming about how we'd work hard to make the business grow and improve (it was a good business already). The owner mentioned being willing to sell the day Matt was laid off, so we started seriously toying with it. Short end: we heard God say no. So, we walked away.

No job. But God didn't miss a beat in His provision for us. That very next Sunday I had to kind of drag Matt to church (he was hitting the "I can't believe I'm such a worthless joke who has no job" stage). And I know good and well he's not worthless or a joke, so I knew he needed to get out of the house and hear from God. So we went. Talk about a reward we got for making that decision: At the end of church, we were given about a month's salary in cash. A stack of anonymous $100 bills. Seriously! I cried like a baby because it was so overwhelming that He would love us that much--that He hadn't forgotten us, and He wasn't punishing us for something.

I don't want this to be too long, but here's the story: Slowly and steadily God spoke into both of our hearts that He was calling us somewhere else. This has been something that's welled up inside of us for some years, and we believe it was never the right time, but that He was steadily speaking to us about a vision for our family that couldn't happen unless we go to a city. Our desire toward missions in some form just will not go away. We bury it over and over, stuff it down and say "maybe some day." Recently our church studied the book of Nehemiah and developing vision in our lives--asking God what His vision is for our lives. Well, the vision that just doesn't leave us in that of starting a nonprofit organization with some close friends that will help missionaries in various ways, namely through video and media. Matt was asked to be on the board for this organization about a year or so ago. It's not on the ground rolling yet, but God's been progressing it over the past few years and we're excited to see it bloom! It's neat because even before we knew about our friends' vision for this organization, Matt had one for the missionary in our church, Rhonda Baxter. He has always wanted to travel where she is in Kenya and do video projects for her to bring back and show to churches to raise support for her. (Wouldn't you know, this is exactly what our friends' vision for the nonprofit organization is!) So, after calling this a coincidence and saying how cool that'd be for a while, it has finally hit us that God really does want us to submit our hearts to this.

It just didn't ever seem possible. And wouldn't you know that God would make it possible? Enter Matt being laid off due to cutbacks in his company. All of a sudden, we are available.

That word elicits both excitement and fear out of me. Excitement because I want to be in God's will and to raise our kids in God's will. Fear because my human side wants to raise our kids right next door to their grandparents and to live comfortably. I know a move to OKC is not a move to Africa, so in essence, it will still be comfortable. But I figure you get the idea.

The overwhelming peace that we feel about this change is confusing even me, and I find myself packing our house up in faith that God will continue the good work He has started in us (Philippians 1:6) even though we're still only in the interview process job-wise. So this is where we are. We're making a trip for a few days starting tomorrow for interviewing and other explorations. Like I said, I'm excited but nervous, and so we would LOVE prayers from our family and friends. Thank you for reading this far and for praying for our family!
Peace of Christ to you,