If I would have written this post two and a half years ago, it would have been entitled, "when God says 'stay'." We had just survived the hardest year of our lives; enduring the death of my little brother and the immense grief that followed. We had a new baby (our third!). Our best friends and partners in youth ministry had just moved out of the country. Ministry felt lonely. The season was difficult. I ached for fresh. New. Exciting. But what the Lord spoke over and over was that we were to stay. We were to stay and serve, to 'bury our bones', that our 'mission' was this little suburb we live in, these youths surrounding us, this church we had grown to love.
There was a long period of seemingly hard, but what came afterwards was the sweetest season of serving in ministry that we've ever had. Relationships grew. Roots went deep, deep, deep. Though I knew it wouldn't be, I dreamed of staying exactly where we are, doing exactly what we're doing for the rest of our lives.
Funny how the heart can change, huh?
Over the last year, I have watched a vision and a burden grow within my husband. I've watched him be faithful to pray, faithful to surrender, faithful to serve. I have seen the Lord working and stirring and I have resisted something fierce. The Lord has been so gracious and my husband so patient, and I felt (although terrified) prepared when it was all out on the table:
The Lord is moving us on, sending us out. Our time in Indianapolis is coming quickly to a close and we will be beginning a new chapter come January 2014, as we join our best friends on that teeny tiny little island of St. Kitts.
It's been a roller coaster of emotions as we have begun to take steps in making this huge life change. My initial response was a two-fold grieving process: grieving the close of a season, and what I've jokingly dubbed the death of the American Dream. Leaving home-- which has far more to do with the people than the place-- is what will undoubtedly be the hardest. Moving away from our families, our kiddos away from their grandparents and aunts and uncles... our friends, our children from their friends, etc. etc. HARD. On a more surface level, leaving the comfort and familiarity of America will be a huge adjustment, too.
But friends, more than all of that, more than all of the 'hard' is an excitement to obey, to go, to watch the Lord provide and work and move and grow. The vision is big: We want to see the face of a nation changed as they grab ahold of the truth of Scripture, as the gospel is continued to be taught and demonstrated, as rules and religion are put to death and a relationship with Jesus is put in its place. Our desire is to go be a part of making disciples who make disciples who make disciples... who are then sent out to do the same. We are so excited to be joining back up and serving alongside the Grayson's again. If there were ever hearts knitted together, it is ours. We have so missed our dear friends and have prayed since the day they left that the Lord would allow us to serve together again. (My plan was on US soil, but hey, what do I know?! haha). Just all the way around, a huge excitement and anticipation for what the Lord wants to do with this little 65 square mile rock.
So there it is. A new baby coming November, and a new season starting January. We would looooooove (and desperately need) prayer as we walk forward in this-- selling our house, preparing our kiddos for and walking in transition after transition, raising support, etc. There have been many moments of 'overwhelmed' but I keep going back to Romans 4:21-22... Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He promised, He was also able to perform. The Lord has undoubtedly set this move before us. There has been confirmation after confirmation and we are confident that this is the direction He is moving us, and if He is calling us, He is going to make a way for it to happen. Please pray that we will walk in faith, that we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, that we will rest in His goodness and grace.
Lastly-- please check out our missions website/blog at mcgmissions.com. There's tons of info and details there about the island and what we will be doing and the logistics of it all. I'm planning on doing a "q&a" type post here in the next few days with the questions I seem to regularly be getting, so feel free to leave any questions you might have in the comments of this post!
We are excited, thankful, overwhelmed, full of anticipation. It is so sweet to trust in Jesus...