Oceans

It was September 2013 when Michaela first recommended this song to us.  Knowing that we were taking a huge step of faith, selling most of our possessions and leaving everything that was familiar and comfortable to us, she knew that it would speak to our hearts.

OCEANS (Where Feet May Fail)
You call me out upon the water,
the great unknown, where feet may fail,
and there I find you in the mystery,
in oceans deep my faith will stand 
 
And I will call upon Your name
and keep my eyes above the waves
when oceans rise
my soul will rest in Your embrace
for I am Yours and You are mine.
 
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
 
Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
let me walk upon the waters
wherever You would call me
take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger
in the presence of My Savior

 

I cried the first time I listened to the words of this song, as we were packing up and getting ready to say goodbye to friends and family and move to the other side of the country.
Tears streamed down my face a couple of months later when we sang this song in a church service, as we sought the courage to take a risk and stand up for Truth.
And then again a month later, as our hears lay open and wounded, struggling to understand how people’s actions could cause such hurt.
Four months later, as we stood in church singing this song, we found ourselves at a place of trying to grasp what God had planned for our life.  Our hearts were broken and we were completely at His mercy.
digital pictures 2006 047
 And then, we heard it again a couple of months ago.  We thought we possibly knew what God had planned for us, but in this past year, we’ve learned enough about a life of following after Him to know that it is indeed the great unknown.  If there is any peace to be had in this world, it is resting in His embrace, with our eyes fixed on Him and not on the uncertainty around us.
I’m so thankful that our dear girl and the wisdom she had in connecting our hearts with this song, knowing that it would give us the courage to live through a very difficult year.

where are we now? how did we get here?

I know I am way behind in updating.  I have started six or seven drafts, but then abandon them because I can’t seem to express what I want to.  So, I am simply going to “bullet-point” the past couple of months to bring everyone up-to-date.

  • End of February-we left Arizona and moved to Roach, Missouri, where my parents graciously opened their home to us.
  • March-Chris started job-hunting in Indiana and Missouri.  While looking for full-time work, he was able to work through a temp agency.  We enrolled the boys in the Camdenton school district.
  • April-Chris continued his job search, even looking briefly at Kentucky and Tennessee.  The boys were doing great in school-which was a huge answer to prayer for us.  At the end of the month, he was hired by a pest-control company and started a full-time, permanent job.
  • May 1-we signed a lease for our own apartment and spent the weekend moving in.  Chris’ job was going great.  His boss was purchasing his truck and they were talking about having him supervise and train the other technicians.
  • May 5-It was a Monday afternoon when Chris came home and told me that his boss had let him go.  When Chris asked why, the boss refused to tell him.  We suspect it was because of concerns Chris had expressed regarding illegal chemical applications.
  • May 6-God had definitely given Chris a “peace that surpasses all understanding”.  He was confident of God’s plans and His provisions for us. (I on the other hand was having a panic attack)
  • the rest of May-God really did a work in my heart regarding WHO He is and HOW MUCH He loves me.  He has promised to always meet our needs, and over and over during that month, He proved Himself true.
  • June-lots of family celebrations and time with my parents.  Chris was working part-time and enjoying his job.  He continued searching hard for full-time employment.  Alex and William both started working at McDonalds.  The boys had a couple of friends from Wisconsin come and spend some time with us, so that was so very nice (for all of us).  The end of the month started time with Michaela and time with my siblings.
  • July-Having exhausted every possible job lead that he found, Chris (on what we thought was a whim, but now believe to be the prompting of the Holy Spirit) applied for a few jobs in Wisconsin.  During that second week of July, he had a phone interview with someone from Johnsonville Sausage, which is located in Sheboygan Falls.
  • July 18-Chris had a face to face interview at Johnsonville.  A few days after returning to Missouri, he was offered a 2nd shift, full-time position.  The cool thing about asking God to lead us by opening and closing doors is that you can trust that He will.  It was very clear to us that we were to move back to Sheboygan.
  • So starts another packing and house-hunting frenzy.  His start date was supposed to be August 1, so we had about 9 days to pack up.  God led us to a home that sounded perfect for us. (That is a story that I will tell another time!!) I was excited to be closer to Michaela, to my sister and her family, and all our other dear friends, but it was so very hard thinking about leaving my parents.  I did a lot of crying during that time.  We spent our mornings packing and our afternoons and/or evenings spending time with my parents.  It was a bittersweet time for me.
  • July 29-we U-hauled it up to Sheboygan and were overwhelmed by the love and support of dear friends who came to help us unload, unpack and get settled.  A HUGE welcome back hug!!
  • August-Chris found out he didn’t start until that first Monday in August, so I loved that he was able to help with the unpacking.  I was eager to be settled, so the process has gone pretty quickly.  There were a few testing times during this period, but we were reminded that whatever God’s plan for us, His plans for us were only for our good and His glory.  And we could trust in that!
  • Today, August 27th-Chris is really liking his job and the company he works for. We are getting used to different schedules and the way it affects our family dynamics.  The boys are registered for school (though dreading the actual start date) and Alex is already practicing with the cross-country team.  All the boys have been reconnecting with childhood friends, and I think that has been very healing for their hearts.  Chris and I are waiting on God to show us His reasons for bringing us back to Sheboygan, and just living each day for whatever He brings our way.

This is just a quick overview of the past few months.  It is pretty much devoid of all the emotions that went with all these changes.  I am still working on processing those! But now you know where we are and how we got here!

 

 

{consider it pure joy}

Saturday, August 31, 2013

On Wednesday, Chris came home from work in the middle of the morning.  After being with the company for 16 years, he was let go. Tears were shed and Scripture was read.  We prayed and we talked.  We went to church for the evening service and baptism and our hearts were filled with courage.

Chris is relieved to be no longer be at this company and excited about serving God full-time.  Just last week, he prayed and told God that he wasn’t going to give up and that if God wanted him to do something different, He would have to move Chris from this job.

Lord, this is what you want, right?  Chris has wanted to be in full time ministry for so many years.  We believe that you took away this job so that he could serve you in a different capacity.  We’re just not sure how, when or where.

At this point, I feel unable to think.  I’m not sure what I am supposed to be doing.  Moving or not moving?  School or no school?  In state or out of state?

James 1:2-8
                            Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let
 perseverance 
finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you
lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives to all without finding fault, and it will be
given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts
is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  Those who doubt should not think they 
will receive anything from the Lord; they are double-minded and unstable in all they do.
 
Psalm 62
Truly, my heart finds rest in God alone-I will not be shaken-trust in Him at all times.
 
Psalm 67
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us-SO THAT
Your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
 
Psalm 106:13
But they soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for His plan to unfold.