One year ago

One year ago today Dan and I spent an entire Sunday attending, touring, volunteering at, eating and interviewing with people at Northpoint Community Church. After his afternoon of meetings and interviews was done, I picked him up in the rental car and listened to him unpack all that had happened.

He told me who had said what in various meetings and interviews, I asked a million questions, told him what I had experienced helping put on a birthday celebration event, and together we came to the same conclusion. That this was not the right fit for him, for us,  and not worth uprooting our family for at this time. We had such a great situation at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI that we were content and happy to head back and return to life as usual.

But then…

We got a text to meet the Joiners (ReThink/Orange) at a local restaurant, Norman’s Landing. I’ll never forget that Tilapia Reuben sandwich with a side of fried okra, baked sweet potato, my un-southern un-sweetened iced tea, and Reggie practically FORCING me to order the peach pie a la mode.

We sat and listened to their hearts and realized that this was us. This was worth uprooting our children for. Worth that high and painful price of leaving an amazingly awesome church family and communityThis was our game-changer moment.

God had worked out all the details behind our backs and without our knowing it for us to be ready to change our course and leave so quickly. We sold and moved out of our house in less than two months. We committed to leaving well. Even though it meant a lot of hard choices, awfully hard goodbyes, and even taking some hits in order to preserve peace and honor God. I believe He has and will continue to bless us for those hard choices and leaps of faith.

Here on the other side, I remember how excited I was that day a year ago. I know it was the right decision because God has made our way here so clear. Dan is in a place where he gets to creatively use his gifts in a big and impactful way. My resilient kids transitioned beautifully and are beginning to thrive here. Our family rhythm is almost…normal. Getting to know Dan’s co-workers and experience the other side of the Orange Conference and beginning to forge friendships with amazing servants and leaders who love God I am confident that we are where we are supposed to be, despite my sometimes feeling like I am lacking context and meaning here.

My game has changed. And I am fumbling often as I learn to play it differently. But I think I’m exercising muscles I didn’t know I had or that had become lazy. So I’m excited to think that I’ll only get better as I continue to work at it.

Tonight I am thinking back on this year ago with very mixed emotions. But I am so hopeful for the future. I know God put me here for a reason, brought our whole family here because He has a plan to use us somehow. I’m beginning to see the hint of God’s smile in our lives and fully admit that I am living a sweet, blessed life that I do not deserve even though I constantly fight the urge to long for more.

And I know years from now I’ll come back and read this post and roll my eyes at myself and groan at my naiveté and the teenage angstyness of this post. But I needed to just put it out there.


6 thoughts on “One year ago”

  1. I’m remembering the job we said no to a year ago. :). God was in that one too. So glad we did. Happy you guys are settling in and have peace in transition. There’s no way to do it without knowing that God is in it. Love ya! Thanks for sharing.

    1. We’ve said “no” umpteen times…and this was the first time we both had an overwhelming peace of “yes” even though it was SO FAST, came out of nowhere, and seemed impossible. God sold our house before we even put it on the market in one of the worst housing economies ever…affirmation that it was HIS plan and timing, not ours! Great to look back and know you made the right decision, huh?

  2. Your “yes” to God often challenges me yet today. I praise Him for your faith, example and friendship! Hard HARD transitions along the way, but in the end I have seen amazing growth in you! I cannot believe that it has already been a year since this adventure unfolded!

    1. Rox, you were/are one of the “awful goodbyes”. BUT I love knowing that distance does not abate our friendship one bit.

  3. Love this post Jenna. What an amazing year you’ve had. And what AMAZING faith you continue to show all of those around you. Thank you for being a light through every situation and for trusting His plan to move you here. Our organization is better because of Dan, and my life is better because I call you friend. Love you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. They encourage me to keep hanging in there. And if it weren’t for people like you who are making room for me in their lives, I’d be one lonely pup! Looking forward to more Kathy in my life in the coming weeks, months & years Lord-willing.

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