If you’re just joining in, you can start from the beginning here.
We went through the holiday season with our families as planned. We kept appearances up for the children, but inside we were swimming in guilt, fear and humiliation. We tried our best not to let the stress of the possibility of losing our home and everything we had on this earth show. We were now completely cut-off from the bank and no one would even give us the time of day.
As we stepped back to see what the Lord was trying to teach us, we realized several things.
1. The Hubster had made some really great connections with his regular customers. They had great talks and many of them looked to him for spiritual guidance as well as interpretation of Scriptures. God had him at this job for a reason.
2. While we continued to pray for deliverance, we realized that we – at times – had still tried to fix things on our own.
So, at the beginning of 2013, the Hubster relinquished his “control” over the search for a full-time ministry position. He decided that God had provided ministries for men over the last several centuries and He alone could do it again. He was no longer going to send out resumes in search of a position. He told the Lord that he would wait for His timing and the perfect position for him and our family.
You see…over the past several years we had been hurt, very hurt by churches. Many resumes sent out with very few responses. And even those responses were shallow form letters. It was very sobering and disheartening to think that churches actually operated like this. So eventually he gave up. And then, the LORD began working on our hearts again and pulled us toward Him and we began to trust again. Our hearts were once again opened to God’s people and the work He wanted us to be involved in. Where…we didn’t know.
Can I just say, the LORD is AWESOME!!!! On January 7, 2013 – just weeks after the Hubster relinquished control of the job situation – he received an email from a small church in Indiana. They got his name from a list at our alma mater of available ministers and wanted to know if he was interested in their Senior Ministry position. He took a few days before responding to them and then wrote this in response:
I would like to know more about your church and your eldership. Are you looking for a bible teacher? Are you looking to grow in Christ, to glorify Him and Him only, to be led only by His spirit? That is the type of ministry I’m interested in. I am not interested in the fad these days to use a “charismatic speaker” to fill pews and “grow” a church. I am interested in serving Christ by teaching my brothers and sisters His word, and allowing him to produce the fruit in all of us, to the Glory of His name. If that is the kind of minister you are searching for, I am interested, and I praise God for churches like you! If you’re looking to build a church on man’s abilities and man’s power, using surveys or “demographics” etc. etc. etc. Then frankly, “Shame on you!” and I will not be interested.
It is not my intention to be offensive, or come across as “rude.” I merely do not desire to waste your time or mine. We (the church) must rise up in this time and proclaim that God is enough for us, that He is able to build what he wants out of our churches, and that He is able to direct us. We must have faith in the all-surpassing power of Jesus Christ! Wisdom gleaned from His word, and His spirit is what we need to help us along the way! We do not need a “democratic consensus.” We need men of bold faith, who will lead like elders afraid of only He who is able to destroy the body and send the soul to Hell! We need men who’s fear and respect of God Almighty will be the only factor in their decisions to lead the flock entrusted to them! I challenge you most especially to allow the Holy Spirit to establish these men as your leaders (even if you converse with me no more) that in their submission to Christ, and your submission to them, God may be glorified in all the activity of your congregation!
WOW!!! When he showed me the response (after he had emailed them), I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. How could he be so blunt? How could he just blurt it all out before he even “got in the door.” But, what came out of my mouth was even more shocking…”If they respond, we’re moving.” I couldn’t believe I had just said that! I have always been a “homebody” and never really wanted to move too far from my family. The furthest I had ever lived was 2 hours away while in college. The possibility of moving nearly 12 hours from family was overwhelming. Yet…from the beginning I felt at ease and at peace with where this might take us.
Within three days the committee responded and asked to set-up a phone interview!!! WHAT?! Were they serious?? I couldn’t believe it. After all this time, the LORD was finally answering our prayers? I tried my best to keep things in perspective. We had been down this road before and it led nowhere. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so high only to have them come to a screeching halt. I prayed and prayed for the interview and for the committee to see and hear my husband’s heart for ministry and his passion for teaching God’s Word.
The phone interview went well and within a week he received an email from the committee that they would like him to have a phone interview with the Elders. This…this was progress!! Usually the first phone interview was enough to shut them down and we never heard from the church again. But this time…we were going the next step. I was getting a little more excited and anxious. The call with the Elders went very well and the Hubster was pleased with their questions and responses. Within a couple of days, an email came in asking our family to come for a visit. We set it up for the last weekend of February (21-25).
At this point I wasn’t sure what to think. I was so hopeful and excited at the possibilities that lie ahead. Yet I was scared to the core. We packed up the van, our four kids, my mom (aka the babysitter/helper/extraordinaire) and headed out to Indiana. The day before we left, the heaviest snowstorm blew through our area. We were covered in fluffy white snow, but the route between us and Indiana stood to get several inches of solid ice.
The morning of our trip we took it easy. We originally wanted to get an early start, but with the weather the way it was we thought it best to leave a little later when it had warmed up. We left around 8am and headed down the road. For about an hour and a half the weather and roads were clear. About 40 minutes outside Joplin, MO we started to run into snow, which quickly turned to sleet and then freezing rain. Our seemingly smooth drive just took a drastic turn for the worse. Our comfortable 75 mph speed was reduced to 40mph. The roads were slick, bumpy and quickly becoming very unsafe. I spent most of the next several hours in constant fear and LOTS of prayer!! I am not a fan of ice – especially driving on it. The Hubster was amazingly calm and collected. His driving skills were put to the test and he passed with flying colors. Our first day of travel was supposed to take about 9 hours. The weather, several unexpected stops and detours landed us at our hotel for the night only 12 hours after we had departed our home. We were tired, a little cranky and definitely ready for a good nights sleep! We got the kids upstairs and finally got them settled in the beds and we were OUT!!!
The next morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel and allowed the kids some time in the pool. After cleaning up from their swim, loading the van, gassing up for the next leg and getting a quick snack for the road – we were off…again. Thankfully we had moved out of the winter storms path and had clear roads and skies ahead for our day of travel. We arrived safely at our hotel in Indiana around 4pm and quickly checked in and unloaded our bags into the room. One of the deacons met us at the hotel and confirmed our dinner plans at his house. And our whirlwind weekend began.
We enjoyed our evening meal with several families from the church and headed back to the hotel to crash. We were exhausted, but so thrilled to be here. The next day the Elders and a couple deacons drove our family around in the church van to show us around the town and area. Surprisingly I was not at all nervous. In fact, if anything…I felt at home. I loved the charm of the town, the people we had met and the people in the van driving us around and the history of the area. I kept praying that God would guard my heart so it would not be broken if this didn’t work out. TRUTH: I’m not sure that happened, because I was already in love with what could potentially be our new home and life!!!
The rest of the weekend went smoothly and we were hopeful that this was where the LORD was sending us. But we would just have to wait and see. The trip home was definitely uneventful and smooth. We waited for what seemed like weeks to hear back about our visit and whether there was going to be a next step. Finally we heard back and they asked the Hubster to come for a visit again. Since his vacation days were scarce, he flew up on Tuesday, March 12, to preach on Wednesday and then fly home again on Thursday. It was most definitely a whirlwind trip, but it worked out wonderfully as he only had to take Tuesday night off from work.
Two weeks later, on March 24th, the congregation voted and APPROVED him for the position of Senior Minister!!!! We were elated!! The next few weeks were a whirlwind of packing boxes, the Hubster quitting his job, a quick out-patient surgery for me and lots of family time with those we were leaving behind! The weeks flew by as we furiously got ready for our new adventure and home in Indiana. We were more than thankful and blessed beyond what we could have ever imagined. God kept His promise, just as He said!!! And we were living proof!
A team from our home church came over Sunday, April 21st and loaded a U-Haul full of our household belongings. They packed the truck so full that I didn’t know how we would ever get it all out!!! The very next morning, we loaded the kids in the van and our few suitcases of clothes and items for the next few days and pulled out of the driveway at 6:05am and began the journey to our new home – Indiana!!! It was surreal yet exciting all at the same time. We were ready for whatever God had planned!!!!
About a week after we arrived in Indiana, we received a letter from the bank asking for the keys to our house. We moved out just 10 days before they took possession. Who says God’s timing isn’t perfect?! The LORD provided a home for our family until the time was perfect – HIS TIMING!!!! NOTE: I do not condone filing bankruptcy or leaving bills unpaid. We made poor decisions in our marriage and did only what we thought was best at the time. Looking back there are many choices we would have changed and things we would have done differently. That being said, I believe the LORD can and does use any situation for HIS GLORY!!!! We repented of our sins and turned our back toward them. We humbled ourselves before God, friends and family to “come clean” about our mistakes. Then and only then did the LORD begin to change things in our hearts and in our lives.
The LORD our GOD is ever FAITHFUL!!!!
What trials has the LORD brought you through? How did it change your faith or trust in Him?
Please share in the comments!!! I would love to rejoice with you and/or pray with you if you are going through trials.
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