Thursday, September 29, 2011

only God

last sunday morning i stood on the stage of new charlotte church and listened as our pastor and friend, kenny, introduced me as the new elementary director.  

it's still amazing to me.  

it's hard to believe that 9 months ago i stood on that same stage with tears in my eyes as i said goodbye to my job and my faith community in charlotte.  i didn't want to go.  we had almost everything we needed in charlotte - family, friends, a church home, my job as the preschool director at the church,  a great school for our kids, a house in the picture-perfect setting of my family's farm...  
but there was one thing that was missing.  
it was a big thing.  
the career that my husband had felt God calling him into appeared to be calling us to leave.  there are not a lot of college golf coach positions in the country.  there are only 2 programs in the charlotte area and a year ago the coaches at those programs did not appear to be going anywhere.  joey knew he would have to move in order to be obedient to this path he was called to.  i knew that i would have to follow and support him if i were to be obedient in my role as his wife.  
so we opened up our hands and held out our lives and offered them up to a God we trust.
we agreed to leave a life we love for a life he was calling us to.  

here's where i get brutally honest with you - there was a lot of excitement about this decision but there was also a lot of fear and grief.  and if i thought there was fear surrounding the decision to leave, i had no idea how much more fear would shroud our family once we actually did.  

joey took a job in eastern tennessee and our family headed to johnson city...a community that we wound up loving.  the only catch was that the job wasn't what we thought it would be.  if you've been following our journey over the past few months you have read words on my blog that spoke of depression and an overwhelming darkness that surrounded me.  the circumstances surrounding joey's job were the original source of  this very difficult chapter of life.  panic attacks, sleepless nights, emotions all over the wasn't pretty.  this is the 'backstory' that i have referred to and that i still haven't edited enough for a public blog post.

our church is in the middle of a series entitled 'only God'...i'm actually wearing a t-shirt with those words right now.  i have had those same words whispered to my heart and spoken by my lips countless times over the past several tumultuous months.  there are moments in life...sometimes entire seasons of life...that carry such weight that you feel you are being crushed and you are quickly reminded that you still need a Savior, a Redeemer, a Comforter, a King that rules over you in love.

so here's the amazing part...
as i look back over the past year this is what i see.
only God could call our family to leave what we love and give us the strength and courage to actually do it.  
only God could take us to a place where we often felt like the exiles in Babylon yet still fulfill a great purpose through us there.  
only God could ask us again to step out in faith and leave trusting that in His faithfulness he would protect and provide for us.  
only God could sell the house that we had just bought in only 9 days.  
only God could enter into our fear and darkness to shine his light of hope through the tender care of family and friends who loved and housed us for 2 months while we were homeless.
only God could open a door right back where we started for joey to coach in charlotte alongside a Godly man whose priorities of faith and family are the same as his own.  
only God could be working behind the scenes as we made seemingly arbitrary decisions about preschool and a new home to place us in the same school and neighborhood as some of our dear friends.  
only God could open back up a place for me to do ministry work with the church family we had to leave behind only a short time ago.
only God could show up in such BIG ways in our small lives.

my husband said it well - God asked us to give up so much and step away for a season so that he could turn around and give us so much more than we could have ever hoped or imagined. and in the process he has bound our lives more tightly to one another and to Himself.

that is the kind of ephesians 3:20 work that only God can do...

what's your only God story?