Little and Big Peoples update
Well, here is the news:
Since I resigned in March, Michelle and I have been praying about what is next. I believe I keep hearing the Holy Spirit tell me to trust Him with our journey and my family. Our oldest, Haleigh, really doesn't want to move again and I feel her! As much as I have been exposed to moving (military family and ministry), I really don't want this to be our pattern and have asked God continuously to land us somewhere for the next 100 years (I know, I am just 22 and don't have that long (: ). We had planned to go to Memphis and land there with my parents while we waited for another opportunity to serve on staff at another church. But I think God has a different plan so:
I decided to go back to school full time and attempt to finish my degree this December. That's 14 classes in 8 months ... yeah! So far I love my PSYC class and hate my Philosophy class, although I see the need for it in ministry. So we took some of our tax refund and paid for my school for the next few months. Our landlord is allowing us to end our lease a year early and leave the house June 1st. So, I signed up for a full load this summer, thinking we would be living with our parents and I would have plenty of time for school.
But God decided something different again (at-least it was different from my plans). While at Urbancrest Baptist Church on Easter, someone who Michelle and I had poured our life into came up to us and offered his house to us for a year. Matt Stapleton is being shipped overseas for his military deployment and felt lead by God to offer his house to us. I was blown away and even told him to think about that again before we said yes. Well, we have accepted his offer and will be moving to Monroe, Ohio May 14th. This will mark our 1 year anniversary from our move here last year and it is my birthday weekend. So, I will get to spend my xx birthday in Ohio again. Awesome and awesome. We will have some responsibilities for our rental house here in PA until June 1st and I might have to travel back to mow the lawn and make sure the house is cleaned well one more time. Matt's house is smaller than this house which means we will be selling (and already have) a bunch of our stuff to fit in his house. We were given the blessing of a good severance package by Faith Lakeside and now have enough saved up to get us through the month of October. If I can find a part time job in the summer, I could save up enough to get us through to January, which would allow me to finish school without adding to too much to my schedule.
Every time I have asked God "where are we going to serve again?", He meets me with "trust Me for this journey and trust me with your kids". So that's what we are going to do. I have no plans other than school and finding a place to serve God's Kingdom while we are in Monroe. We are praying through (along with Pastor Tom Pendergrass) where to serve, whether that is going back to Urbancrest, helping a church planter or maybe its something else we haven't seen yet. We are excited to go back to Urbancrest for a season and see if God is connecting us back to a church we love incredibly. We are saddened that we will not be able to continue some of the weekly relationships we have here and have cried over several couples that we will no longer get to walk beside. I am thankful for the lessons God has taught Michelle and I here. He has done some incredible work through us and allowed us to enjoy Him more through it.
These last days I have been praying for Faith Lakeside as the Elders (Todd and Don) lead the church through this time of transition. I believe in these men and as I have been talking with them almost every other day, I see they are clinging to Jesus through this process. It has been hard on them but I see God's faithfulness holding them and accomplishing what needs to be accomplished. I believe that Faith Lakeside will be a better church this year for their service. Pray for them and if you are a Faith Lakeside member, support them and serve each other.
So, we are moving back to Ohio, I am going to school full time, I need a part time job sometime this summer, Michelle and the kids will find another co-op to join, our kids will get to be around the families they grew up with and we will journey with God. I am excited to see how God uses this time to grow us and make us more like Him. However, I am ready to land in a place where I get to experience God growing His Kingdom exponentially. Pray for us as we move and if you can help us pack the truck May 13th or 14th, come by and grab a box or 14.