So there I was deciding on how I was going to break the big news when all of a sudden, some big news was broken to us instead! And not in the good news sort of way – not necessarily bad, but just not expected.
Before I go any further, let me give you some background. As most of you know, I fell in love with Texas during my five years at UNT. In fact, upon graduating and joining Teach For America, I left under the pretense that I would be returning after my two year commitment was up. Six years later, I remain in Southern California! Last year, as I contemplated my job situation and was prayerfully considering what to do next my mom and I had a conversation in which she suggested I return to Texas – she said that I always loved it there and had left planning on returning and she promised she would visit 🙂 Well, in all of that, God had different plans and I remained where I was and got to be a part of a lot of change on my campus which was encouraging and exciting. In fact, this is the only consecutive year teaching that I have ever enjoyed my job at this point in the school year!
Enter Josiah. Born here but proudly raised in Texas – and that man will cling to those roots! In November of 2009 (or thereabouts) his mom was visiting him on Catalina (where he was working at the time) and they were talking about God’s call on his life. When Lynn asked Josiah what the next steps were, Josiah stated he felt the need to attend Christ for the Nations to begin his studies. Both of Josiah’s parents attended and continued on to teach at CFNI, so some of his teenage years were spent on this campus and it is near and dear to his heart. His mom encouraged him to visit while he was in Dallas the next month and she herself was fully convinced she was going to be loading him up and moving him out to Dallas upon his return. However, between family and festivities, CFNI fell to the back burner and was not visited during that trip. Six weeks later, I ran into Lynn at Marshall’s and we all know how that story turned out! Had he ran off to Texas at that point, who knows if we would have ever met in person?!
At some point before we were married it came up that Josiah felt led to attend Christ for the Nations. Lynn was hesitant in bringing it up to me since I’m established in SoCal and my family is mostly rooted in the western states. However, I was thrilled at the potential of moving back to Dallas! How crazy?! As our lives became full with newly married life, involvement in ministry, work, etc., moving to Dallas wasn’t discussed for quite some time. At least not seriously in my mind. After looking at all of the numbers, it was determined that we would need $4,000 to move us out to Texas (between the actual move and the first payment to CFNI). So between $4000 and a job needed to be secured for me, it seemed kind of unlikely that Texas would be our place of residence anytime soon. As most of you also know, we are committed to our Get Out Of Debt (GOOD) Mission – having paid of 20% of our debt in the past 5 months – and are faithfully making headway in that area as we seek to live a life of financial freedom where we can more easily do what the Lord calls us to! (Thanks Dave Ramsey!).
Well, what would you know – between a random pay raise and our taxes, we ended up with $4001.52. Are you kidding me?! Moving to Dallas was now a reality. Enter my temper tantrums. Seriously, now that it’s becoming more of a reality, I’m kicking my feet and screaming any chance I can get. Now, Texas friends, don’t take this personally – I love you all dearly. However, the past six years of my life have been invested into family and friends out here and I’m sad to give up such proximity to my immediate family. It’s a little bit devastating. Josiah and I have had plenty of conversations about that – where I try to be excited for him, but I’m selfishly so heartbroken. I like our life here. I know what to expect. I know my way around. I like my job. I know what’s expected of me. I love my friends. I love my family. I feel I’m losing a little piece of all of that. Such a tough cross to bear, I know.
So last week, the main intention of our trip was to get my name out there in the job hunt. There were several great leads and I’m excited to see what comes of them – if anything, the way the budget cuts are these days! I spent many hours traipsing from school to school just trying to be able to put a face with my resume. Last week, our plan was to have the moving truck here on July 14th and spend the following 2-3 weeks meandering our way out there visiting friends and family along the way. I had already let my school site know I wouldn’t be returning. We’ve put the deposit on the moving truck, etc. etc. We didn’t rush around to see everyone in the area because we knew we’d be returning. We ran around CFNI and Josiah took trips down memory lane. It was becoming more real.
Last night, we received a letter from the government. All of our money we were expecting back in taxes was put towards a debt we owed (that we knew about but had not been able to get a hold of them over the past 5 months despite some valiant efforts!) – and everything kind of came to a screeching halt. I thought I’d be writing a blog to discuss our upcoming move to Dallas – the exciting (albeit bittersweet for me) news that we’ve known about the past two months, but now we just don’t know. Funny how the Lord works – I know He’s definitely stripping me of my tendency to plan MY things and putting a desire in my heart to follow HIS will even if it is different than I pictured. And, I promise, I’m getting better at that!
There are several things that we’re left wondering as we ponder what the Lord might be teaching us through this unexpected turn of events:
- Are we needing to learn not to depend on our own means and to watch the Lord miraculously provide that money needed for the move? After all, it’s pocket change to Him!
- Is the Lord supporting our commitment to getting out of debt and we’ll have to wait before moving back to Texas until we are debt-free?
- Is He checking our motives into going to CFNI – will we still trust Him if this is not the time despite all the plans thinking it was? Is it a situation where He’s testing our hearts to see what we’re willing to sacrifice?
- None of the above? 🙂
Who knows?! Thankfully, He does. And we can rest assured in that. I’m so thankful we serve a mighty, sovereign God who is a Master Planner. A God in which following Him becomes such an adventure of excitement, disappointment, fulfillment, etc. One in which, despite our circumstances, we can without reservation place our trust in. It’s rather exciting being at a place where we really don’t know what our lives are going to look like three months from now. As of this moment, we still have reservations for that moving truck to be here – en route to Dallas! Please join us in prayer as we seek His direction, wisdom, guidance and peace!