Thursday, March 20, 2014

hope: our next chapter

A few weeks after Reuben was born, Clint and I both had a strong feeling that God was calling us away from Long Hollow-our church, workplace, and family. We've both been here since we were kids and our whole world kind of revolves around it. Both of our families go here, we both work here, and just about every single one of our friends either goes or works here. We felt like God was wanting us to go somewhere new and stretch ourselves to grow, both as an adult and as a Christ follower.

To make a year long journey a short-ish story, over a year's time, Clint's had close to 10 opportunities present themselves to him. He hasn't looked for a single one. When the first one presented itself about a month after we felt the nudge from God, we were sure it was it. We even flew out to San Antonio to interview with their staff. We loved the people, the church, and the city, but found out it wasn't what God had planned for us. We were so disappointed, but then another opportunity arose in south Florida (who doesn't want to live there?!) and we figured THIS was it-why God shut the door to Texas.

But it wasn't.

And neither were the 5-6 things that followed that.

Most of them were just talks. "We may be having a position open soon. We'd love to talk to you about it" and then nothing more would come of it.

But every single time, we'd get our hopes up.

It's hard even thinking back on it. It's easily been the most frustrating year of my life. I've been so mad at and irritated with God. I felt abandoned. He had given us this sense of moving on and here we were, stuck where we've been for the last 12 years.

I had lost hope.

Then a friend called Clint and said he was going to throw his name out there for a position if it was alright with him. Clint said sure and then told me about it. I just chuckled and said whatever. I hardly thought anything of it.

And then when our friend called back and said they were interested, a little spark lit up in my heart. I wanted to think this could be it, but I was terrified to get my hopes up. They'd been let down and stepped on so many times. This scenario was too perfect. There was no way God would make us wait for a year just to hand us something so perfect, right?  (My spirit was clearly in the wrong here, because scriptures tell us over and over again that that's exactly what He does!)

The next morning, I read this verse:

God is the God of HOPE! He desires that we overflow with hope. But not in our own power- in the power of the Holy Spirit.

At that point, the spark grew to a small flame and I started to really hope in the Lord-that he was faithful to fulfill our desires from him and that his timing was perfect. I asked some friends to pray with me and for me because I knew if this didn't work out, it was going to be really hard on me.

One thing led to another and...

It's exciting and scary all at the same time. We know without a shadow of a doubt this is where God wants us, but the unknowns are creeping up on us and it's hard to not let them get to you.

If you pray, pray with us that the Lord will continue to guide us through this process. We've got to sell our house and find another one-something neither of us has ever done. We'll also be separated for a while as I stay here with Reuben and continue to work until our house sells or until August, whichever comes first (definitely pray it doesn't take that long to sell our house!!!).

We will miss our friends and family here much more than I could ever convey over a blog post, but guess what? We're only 2.5 hours away! That's a day trip. So come and visit us!


  1. Love this story, Stephanie! It is so similar to ours in moving to Germany. Praying for yall in the exciting time!!

    1. Thanks Molly! It's a whole lot closer than Germany, but a total jump into the unknown. We really appreciate the prayers!

  2. so exciting. I love keeping up with you guys through your blog. Rueben is the cutest little boy EVER! I'll be thinking of you through this transition. GOOD LUCK!!! you'll do great!!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! You're always so sweet and encouraging! And I'm so happy you keep up with us through this. That's my goal! ;-)

  3. I will be praying for you all as you go through this journey of changes over the next few months!

    1. Thank you so much! They're definitely needed!

  4. this post really resonates with me. i think it's ok to be mad at God. it means that we have a close relationship with him. for so long i was mad at God because i had 2 miscarriages. i would say, "why would God allow me to be pregnant if he's only going to take them away?" but he always has a plan. it's hard to trust in that, but he is there. i'm so excited for your move. cannot wait to follow your new adventures.

    1. Oh, definitely. I was angry with God after our miscarriage too. This felt different because it wasn't like crippling loss, just discontentment. Which felt selfish. But I'm thankful now to know that it really is ok. Isn't it so neat to be able to look back and see why things happen?


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