we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

Well, folks.  This week was a normal week with some notable news - Penelope lost her first tooth, we're getting a little more serious about sleep-training Rocco, and we had the week off school so I cleaned out some closets and got rid of a bunch of stuff.  But this week also came with bigger fish to fry:  we decided we're moving again.  To church plant again.  This time, in Columbia, Missouri.

If you're feeling a bit blindsided, so are we.  We have known about this opportunity to church plant for months, and have repeatedly said, 'no, absolutely not.'  The 'con' list seemed to far outweigh the 'pro's.  But still, it never felt like we were able to put the idea to rest.

Recently, we spent more and more time praying and asking God for clarity, and we really feel like he delivered and is calling us to Columbia.  One morning, before doing my Bible read-through, I asked God to show me what he would have for us.  As I was reading in that day's passage from Genesis, I came across the story of God calling Abram out of Ur, saying, "Go from your country, your people, and your father's household, and go to the land I will show you."  I felt very strongly like the Spirit was addressing my biggest argument for staying here:  I didn't want to move farther away from my family.  But I felt God asking me if I would trust him with leaving 'my' country and 'my' people to go where he would lead us.

I didn't say any of this to Todd right away, though - I had heard God, and I'd go if he was calling us, but I didn't want to say out loud that I thought that's what he was calling us to.  Pride, or fear, or stubbornness would all be reasonable guesses why.  So I stayed quiet - until Todd said that a friend had challenged him with this very same passage from Genesis, encouraging us to go.  At that point, we had a pretty serious discussion about how we felt God was moving us.

Todd then sought counsel by asking our church elders what they thought he should do.  The chorus was a resounding "Go!  You're needed more there than here."  So Sunday afternoon, Todd prayed that God would give him a dream telling him what to do.  That afternoon during a nap, he dreamt we moved to Columbia.  And we were pretty hard pressed to find a single moment where we felt like our prayers were answered with anything other than the urge to go.  So nothing was left to do but finally get the gumption to submit to what we were being told.  And that took a few days, because the 'con' list is still really long, but at a certain point it had become moot and we had to admit that.

So we're going.  And I have mixed feelings about it.  I mean, first of all, we've never even been to Columbia.  Like, ever.  So that's kind of a big deal.  Plus, we already did this not that long ago, and while it was super great, it was also super difficult.  We have to sell our house (so if you know of anyone who's looking...!).  We have to find Todd a  job.  We have to pack (worst thing ever).  We'll be farther away from all of our family, and we'll have to leave the friends we've made... again.  And none of that is to even mention the stress and loneliness of church planting itself.  It could get rough here for a while.

But I'm confident now that God is calling us there, and I know that our best interests lie in following where he would have us.  There is no good thing apart from him, so I'm sure the single 'pro' outweighs all those 'cons.'  I'm excited to see God show us what he has planned for us, and I'm choosing (sometimes more intentionally than others) to see this as an adventure.  This time around, I will actively try to refuse self-pity and find joy in knowing that following God is the only true source of peace and happiness, even when (and perhaps especially when) he's calling us to do difficult things.  Please be praying for us!


Alana said...

Woohoo! I am so excited for you!

todd said...

the single pro of following God outweighs all the cons. very well put.

Emily Sunderland said...

Wow, this is huge! We will definitely be praying for all of you : )

The Gaggle said...

I am so excited to see the great work God is going to do through you guys in Columbia! I will be praying that your newest "adventure" will be exciting, encouraging, as easy as can be, and that you will daily be able to rest in knowing God's perfect will for you. We will miss you here, but will look forward to the times we get to visit you in Columbia :-) -Kera Gieselman

Amanda Cushman said...

Congratulations!! Columbia is a very nice city!