First off all I must say that we had a great time in Texas visiting with family and friends. Other than Justin getting food poisoning, Emma getting the flu, and being quite sick myself for a few days it was a wonderful trip! :-) The Lord is so good and He was faithful through it all. Things like that sure make you thankful for all of the days that you are healthy!
Where to begin? May I start by testifying to the greatness of our God? This past month has been very difficult for me as the Lord has been pruning and challenging me to do some serious soul searching. About 3 1/2 weeks ago Justin received a call from his boss asking us to relocate to San Antonio, Texas. We have been approached with this possibility of moving several times over the past year, but each time have said no, feeling that the Lord would have us stay in Maine. Each time it came up we felt that it was the wrong time to consider a major move with Justin in law school, a newly leased house, a wonderful church, and our precious families living within 45 minutes of us. Strangely, this time was different. Justin really sensed the Lord leading him to seriously pray about a possible move to San Antonio and so we started praying.
I must admit that I did not have a very godly response to the whole idea of moving! For the first couple of days I really wrestled with the Lord. I knew that I needed to be willing to go wherever He asked, but in all honesty I was unwilling. My wonderful husband was very gracious as he prayed for me and waited for the Lord to do what only He could do in my heart. I have grown up with my cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents living nearby. The thought of Emma not growing up with the same thing was very difficult for me, let alone the fact that my immediate family is very close. All I could think about was not being around to watch my little brothers grow up, not being able to drive over to my parents’ house for the day, or not watching Emma play at the lake with her aunts and uncles. As I was sitting on the couch trying to have my quiet time and looking at Emma lying on her blanket the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “I love her more than you do and I wouldn’t do anything that would not be the very best for her. You and Justin are her family.” He has been challenging me to reevaluate my new purpose in life as Justin’s wife and Emma’s mommy, and to really think about what it meant when I vowed on our wedding day to be Justin’s helpmate and to go wherever God leads him.
I am so thankful for the Lord’s graciousness in giving me a week to work through all of this before going on our trip. While we were in Texas Justin and I continued to pray that the Lord would make His will very clear and that He would give us a rhema — a specific word from Scripture. During one of our last few days in San Antonio the Lord impressed Isaiah 26:3 on my heart. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” I knew at that point that go or stay, He wanted me to keep my heart and mind focused on Him alone, trusting that He in turn would take care of everything else. We flew home on Saturday the 13th and had to give Justin’s boss an answer by Tuesday the 16th.
Sunday night our church started a Bible study called "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. Our first day of the study (Monday) was all about the life of Abram and God's call for him to leave all that he knew and go to a land that God would reveal to him. (Talk about God's perfect timing!) The study continued by laying out these 7 Realities of Experiencing God:
1. God is always at work around you.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.
5. God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
Points 5, 6, and 7 have really spoken to me as I have been realizing anew the necessity of allowing God to plan my life, as well as not just doing what He says, but jumping on board wholeheartedly. Justin and I have had to ask ourselves “What were we created for? Why did God put us on this earth in the first place? Was it so that we could be comfortable, or so that we could bring glory to Him by living the life that He created us to live?”
As we have sought His face He has made it very clear that we are to follow Him to San Antonio, Texas. He confirmed this to both of us as we read Acts 9:6b Tuesday morning. “…Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” We don’t understand all of God’s reasons, but He has said to go. We are so grateful for the full support of our families and our church. We have been amazed to see how many people have been excited for us and also sensed that this is where the Lord is leading us. The Lord continues to confirm in both of our hearts that this is where He is leading.
We will be heading out for Texas on March 23rd. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we start packing and wrapping things up. We have just about a month before we move so there is lots to be done!