The main thing on my mind these days is the fact that we have decided to move. Yes, you heard me: m-o-v-e. That's definitely a 4-letter word-ha! Not that I'm against moving in itself--just the process of moving.
Let's backup a little bit and get some background as to what led to this decision....We moved here just over two years ago from our home state of Arkansas (well, technically my hubby was born in Oklahoma, but he's lived in Arkansas since something like 3rd grade). We moved here to be the student pastors at a church. We were very excited and very much at peace about moving here. We really believed we were doing the right thing and I'm not saying we weren't. It's just that we've spent the majority of the past two years scratching our heads wondering why we were here. It hasn't been at all what we thought it would be--absolutely nothing like our previous student pastorate. But we are commited to the Lord and commited to helping others become fully devoted followers of Christ, so we were pressing on.
Then came February. In a very sudden and traumatic way--moral failure--our pastor resigned. It came as quite a shock and suddenly our church (and our job) was on very shaky ground. In a process that went on for several months, a new group of leaders rose up in the church. Without saying anything that doesn't need to be said, we simply could not align our personal character and integrity with this group of leaders. And at the end of June they helped us end that struggle and decided our services were no longer needed at their church.
Suddenly we were in a place we'd never been before and feeling very displaced. It's been a real desert experience. We've spent a lot of time praying and seeking godly counsel and wisdom from godly people. It took almost two months, but a plan has crystalized and we have peace about it.
We have decided to move back to Arkansas. Vince will have much better job opportunites there (it's a larger area), we will have a wonderful church for our family to plug into (our home church), and we'll have extended family and *old* friends.
So now we are in The Process. We now have our house up for sale by owner, and we're collecting boxes. I haven't had the courage to actually start filling them up yet, but I will most likely start today. We are busy looking at homes in Arkansas and Vince is busy working on job contacts.
I must admit, I'm not sad to leave Alabama. Alabama has not been good to us. Now I don't hold anything against the state--and especially not the wonderful friends that we've made here--it just hasn't been a good experience living here. But on the upside, the particular area where we've lived for two years is a really great area with lots of fun activities and places to take the kiddos and I will miss that. And I am really sad about selling our house. I hope that doesn't sound shallow. We have all just really loved our house. But I have faith that God has just the right home for us there. I am praying that we will find it soon, one that we can stay in for a long, long time. This will be my 4th move since the fall of 2004--a thought that really depressed me last night when I realized it. We moved into a new house in Arkansas the fall of 2004, then we moved to Alabama in June of 2006 into an apartment while we waited for our house to sell, then into our current home in the spring of 2007 and now we're doing it again. Like I said earlier, I really don't like the process of moving.
Actually I haven't enjoyed the spiritual process that we've been in lately either. God has been teaching me about love, forgiveness and mercy in new and difficult ways. And although I don't like the way these lessons have come about, I am glad that I can better relate to others who have been through similar things. I want to always bring honor to the Lord--which is why I have been so hesitant to talk about this situation here. But being on the other side of it, I feel I can share just the briefest of details to let you know where I've been. Through it all God has been and continues to be so faithful. Even when people are not faithful, He always is.
Let me wrap up this post with a verse from 1 Peter:
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while,
if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold
which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found
to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1: 6 & 7