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.
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 community. This 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.