Andy graduated 4 years ago from SEBTS and we thought at that point that God would move us on to the next thing He had for our family, the purpose in bringing us to seminary. Andy applied for many jobs and we waited. And waited. And waited some more! About a year and a half ago the waiting process started to get frustrating. We were both anxious for God to show us where and what He wanted us to do and go next. We both had this strong feeling that it wasn't in NC but we were just in a holding pattern. It was like being on the plane that kept circling around and around because it couldn't take off, the skies were too full with flights.
To be honest, the circling grew wearisome and we were puzzled as to why God wouldn't open up the air space and let us fly to the next thing He had in store. During that time, Andy had multiple job offers but with each one it was clearly evident that it wasn't what God had for us. And through each one He showed us something new, a glimpse you might say, of what was to come. Andy then really started his non-profit and God blessed through those endeavors and He is continuing to bless this ministry. God then prompted our hearts for me to quit as preschool coordinator, again His perfect timing.
About a month ago, Andy and I decided we were tired of waiting and telling God we were ready for whenever He wanted to use us or send us. Instead, we changed our mindset and decided we were stepping out in faith and moving forward to not just telling God we were ready but showing Him we were ready. We asked the Lord to begin opening our eyes--by faith--and help us perceive that He has greater things in store for our future. We started studying the life of Elisha in 1 Kings 19. Elisha was appointed by God to replace Elijah as the new prophet. Elijah approached Elisha and threw his cloak around him and Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. There was no hesitation and no turning back. Elisha then took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and burned his plowing equipment. He was ready to move forward to do greater things for God. He made a decisive break from his old life, from the source of his livelihood, from everything that represents stability and predicitability of his life behind the plow and he burned it. He was ready to move forward. No turning back.
The first weekend in March we sat down to make a Excel spreadsheet (because that's what two OCD people do!) of our Operation Clean Out (burning the plow you might say). We made a list of all the rooms/spaces we were going to clean out and purge each weekend leading up to Memorial Day weekend. We were going to prepare for our move. Where were we moving? We had NO IDEA! But we were getting ready! So each weekend we cleaned, painted, purged, and prepared.
Later that month the job opportunity of Business Manager for the Baptist Convention of PA/SJ opened up. We knew it would be a long shot because Andy is the son-in-law of one their team leaders/board members and they don't hire family. But we also know that God is a God of impossibles so if this was it, He could do it. We knew this was a dream job for Andy so we prayed!We were encouraged not to be discouraged. If it didn't happen not to take it personal because it was a family issue and nothing else. We hadn't heard anything for about a month and then the phone call came. Andy was the candidate they were looking at but they had to get the final approval from the Southern Baptist Convention to make sure it was a go. Phone calls went back and forth for over a week working out all sorts of dynamics with Andy's non-profit already serving churches, salary, family on the same team, etc. But in the end nothing is impossible for God. The approval came and Andy got the final call saying they would like to hire him as their new Business Manager. He will be overseeing all the bookkeeping, accounting, and business and property management for the Baptist State Convention of PA/SJ.
He is excited to say the least! This is the type of position he has been desiring since that graduation day in 2009. The one we have been waiting for as we circled round and round in the holding pattern. And so now the next journey begins as we move to Pennsylvania.
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To answer all of the questions we have been asked:
- We are not moving to church plant with the Morrisons/Shays in Harrisburg (the team from our church here in North Carolina). We will be in the Harrisburg area near them but we are looking to move to the east side of it. We do look forward to seeing a familiar face close by though!
- We are going to be closer to our parents...approx. 45 mins or so to my parents and 6 hours to Andy's.
- What is a Baptist Convention? The Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey is made of a group of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. There are 9 associations within the convention that equip approx. 400 churches in the states of PA/SJ.
- Our timeline starts this weekend. Andy will be headed up to PA as of next week for a couple of weeks to start the training process. He will then be back in NC for a few weeks to finalize his time with Southeastern. As of June 2nd, he will be in PA indefinitely. I will stay back with the kids during this time. We will let Katelyn finish out her school year on June 5th and then we will follow God's leading from there (as to whether or not our house has sold or if we have a new one).
- You can pray for our home in NC to sell quickly and for us to find a new one in PA. Also pray for our kids as they transition without daddy in the home (all the time) and for the move itself.
So we are ready! We are excited! And although these final weeks will be filled with sad and sweet "see you laters" we know this is the greater thing God has in store next for our family. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words as we get ready for this journey and take off!
|Image from internet source|