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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Moving On

I've been trying for several days now of a way to tell you what's going on and to tell you in a way where you won't think we're crazy. I've been completely unsuccessful so I think I'll just start at the beginning, and if you think we're crazy, that's okay.

Almost 3 years ago Brian and I both just really felt the call to do something more. It's not that we were unhappy really with our current life as the youth and children's pastor at our church, but it just felt like God was telling us He had something different in store for us. We began looking into international Christian schools, specifically in Korea and China. Our family all thought we were a little nuts. For whatever reason, door after door kept closing, and we knew that God was very definitively telling us no.

As the last international door closed, Randall Wright (our former pastor and friend) spent the week here in town and as we visited, he mentioned his desire to start a new church. We told him we'd be happy to consider that, but to be perfectly honest, it wasn't something we'd ever really had any desire to be a part of and we were pretty sure that possibility would never really come to fruition. But shortly after that week, he called us and had started preparing to resign his current position and was putting together a team to start a church just outside Dallas, TX.

I had never thought of Texas. In fact, all I know about Texas came from Friday Night Lights so naturally, I was scared to death. ;) We had even told Randall that we did not really want to be in the south, and Texas is pretty southern! Fast forward to a trip to McKinney, Texas, with Randall and his family in July 2010 and we knew that this was what we had been looking for. We resigned our church and started fundraising in January 2011. On March 30, 2011, I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer, and we knew that our plans to move to Texas in June was just not meant to be. We struggled with that alot.

Alot. Actually, Brian struggled with it. I just tried to survive.

In September 2011, we received the news that my cancer was not in remission, probably would never be, and we pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that Texas was not in our future. We resolved to make the most of our lives here in Tennessee. In October 2011, we visited Texas and our desire to be a part of Clearview Church grew instead of diminished. We began praying right then that if this was still meant to be, that God would show us a way. In January 2012, I was given a break from chemo. That short break allowed us to clear our heads and start entertaining the idea that just maybe God still had a future for us in Texas.

In February 2012 Brian resigned from his position at the church (where he has worked for 12 years) and we headed out on the road fundraising for the new church. He passed the TX state education tests (with flying colors I might add) and prepared to apply for a new teaching job in Collin County. Now this job is massively important. More accurately, insurance that comes with a teaching job is crucial. When you have/had cancer, insurance is about the most important thing in the world. 

On April 24 we learned that instead of having a house to live in through the summer while Brian searched for a new job, that we would need to move in less than 30 days. And there's no job yet.

I probably don't have to describe to you the tears that have been shed as we tried to decide yet again what God's plan was for us. We had two choices: (1) try to find a short-term apartment, hopefully secure a job for Brian and move to TX. If he didn't find a job, it seemed as if our dream of TX would be over or (2) go ahead and move to TX trusting that Brian will find a job. 

Even though staying here seems the most logical (and definitely the safest), staying here just didn't seem right. We agonized and agonized over what to do. Moving to TX without a job seemed so hard. Maybe not the smartest move financially. And yet it's what we kept coming back to.

Sunday morning, May 6, we discussed yet again what we needed to do. Anyone remember that moving date is coming up in 2 weeks, and we still haven't made a decision? Earlier in the week we had decided that we'd like to attend Crosspoint one more time before leaving Nashville. We left bright and early to attend the 9:00 a.m. service and planned to have lunch at McDougals one last time. You know, my favorite jiggly chicken place?

Pete Wilson, pastor of Crosspoint (whose father was our psych professor in college), spoke on faith Sunday morning. And not just faith, but blind leaps of faith, stepping out in faith in big ways, starting new churches kind of faith, moving to TX even when you don't have a safety net kind of faith. He must have used the phrase "stepping out in faith" 6 dozen times. Brian and I both got in the car after that service saying to each other, "Okay, God. We get it. We'll go to TX."

So May 22 we'll be loading up a Uhaul and moving to TX. No, Brian doesn't have a job yet. But we're trusting that he will. We're trusting that God will provide, and we know that we're saying "yes" to God's plan for us. My mind keeps coming back to our verse for 2012: "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

We would certainly appreciate prayers as we make this transition. I imagine that it's going to be difficult for all of us. We're moving into a small 2 bedroom apartment (hopefully temporarily). The kids are pretty excited about the pool that comes with the apartment complex, but sad to leave their trampoline, school, friends, yard, family behind. Our biggest prayer request is a job for Brian. He has a really hopeful lead with the school where Clearview Church currently meets. Please pray that God will provide the perfect teaching position. Continue to pray that my cancer stays gone, gone, gone. And pray that God uses Clearview Church in a fantastic way as we try to serve McKinney, TX.

While I am not delusional enough to think any of this will be easy, I feel good. And we feel confident that, crazy or not, this is right.

17 comments:

Renee T. said...

Such big life changes! I will keep your family in my thoughts as you begin this exciting next stage in your lives! I hope the transition goes smoothly and that Brian finds a job quickly.
:) Renee

Amanda said...

Excited for you all!! I kinda figured this was the big news. Will be praying Brian finds a job quickly and that your transition goes smoothly. Looking forward to reading of all the good things God will you use you all for!

Angie said...

We are so excited for you guys! I figured this was your news. We have your prayer card on the fridge and will definitely be praying for a job for Brian and all of you during this transition.

My kids really enjoyed spending some time with your kids when you came to the church. They have mentioned it several times and are also praying for you guys!

As you know, Jeff would love to be back in Texas. I'm sure we will be that way on vacation at some point. Can't wait to see how God will use the whole team to impact McKinney, TX!

Vicky said...

Attending Crosspoint Church in the flesh is one of the things I long to do :) I've been praying for you for this uncertain and adventurous time. When Rick and I moved back here to Minnesota from Idaho- neither one of us had jobs either. Yep, it was rough and yet we made it. He took his camera everywhere and started posting his pics online and the rest just pieced itself together. We just knew it was the right place for us! I have a call in to my brother who taught in Houston schools for many years. He still is in contact with his former principal and we'll just see if he has any ideas :)

All shall be well!! So excited for you and will continue to pray that God reveals his plan for you!

Kathy Reger said...

So happy that you have made a decision and that you feel good about it! I, too, have faith that all with work out for your family! I'm looking forward to hearing about your new adventures!! Wishing you the best--and many prayers that Brian finds the perfect job!

Monica said...

haha..I thought you were about to say you were moving to the Ivory Coast in two weeks! You're not crazy, just faithful. Praying for Brian's new job!

Joy said...

So excited for you!! You are not crazy - you are stepping out in faith like we all should do. There is no doubt in my mind that Brian will be offered a job soon. Schools should be fighting to get him. We will be praying for a smooth transition for you both and the kids. Can't wait to hear all the exciting adventures you are going to have in Texas!!

When we moved to Ohio (and you know all the drama with that), I bought a magnet that says, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." So true. It's usually that first step that's the hardest - it's amazing how the rest will all fall into place. : )

Shelly said...

As someone who has been down the church planting road, I totally get it! Praying for you all, prayng that God will show his provision for your family in ways you won't even understand, and praying the He continues to make the way clear for you all! It's such an exciting time, even though it's scary... you KNOW where He's leading you, so just continue to GO and He will show himself faithful!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Melissa and Brian--follow the Lord's leading!!
Gma E.

Karen said...

Not crazy! You two are amazing examples of true faith and will surely do great things in Texas. I think it's fantastic that you are following your calling and going where God has clearly led you, I will pray for you as you move and for quick employment for Brian,

Christine said...

I don't think you are crazy at all!!! This is going to bring amazing things for your family, I just know it! You will all be in my thoughts and prayers though.

(Did you know I moved to Boston on a whim?! No job, no apartment, nothing. Granted, I was single and young... but it worked out for me just like it will for all of you!

Joan B said...

My BIL and SIL are in Frisco Texas and my SIL teaches nearby. They are very involved in their church. I sent them a link to your blog entry and asked them to help if they could. Best of luck.

thewonderfulhappens said...

I'm so proud of y'all! This is not an easy move, but you have been given the go-ahead from God!!! It keeps reminding me of a book I read called, "If You want to Walk on Water, You've got to get out of the Boat". Congratulations, you are stepping out of the boat.

Laurie said...

I don't think you're crazy at all. I love that you are stepping out in faith and giving Him the glory!! God is SO good and will use your family for amazing things!! Will be praying for you guys!! (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law shared your story with me. I teach special Ed in Sherman, north of McKinney. Other areas to research would be Fridco, Anna, Melissa, Allen and a little further south in Plano. Texas schools are ISD's , McKinney ISD etc, good luck and God bless you all. Praying for a job and healing.
Tami

joelsgirl said...

How exciting! And terrifying, lol. But God is faithful AND trustworthy. I'll be praying for you guys.

Joanna B said...

Following God does sometimes look crazy, but really, it's crazier not to follow.
Of course I will be praying for you all during this transition!
Blessings!