Five years is a lot of time. A lot can happen. Five years ago, my life changed drastically. My husband and I made one of the biggest decisions of our life. We left our home, our family, our friends, and everything we knew and moved 1200 miles across the country to Virginia.
We were living in Oklahoma where my hubby was a Youth/Family Minister. We had been there for 7 years…one year was spent part time during our senior year of college. We would drive 1 1/2 hours to the town, spend the weekend with the youth group, then drive back on Sunday nights (usually after a youth devo) and go to school the next day. When we graduated, we moved down and started working with the church full time.
We had some great times and made wonderful memories there. Our son was born at the hospital in town (which just happened to be across the street from the church building..very convenient!). We made lots of lifetime friends. It was our first “grown-up” job…and we did a lot of growing up along the way.
I remember the day that started all of the changes (ok…I don’t remember the actual date, but I remembered the events). My hubby and I felt the need to start looking for another ministry. We prayed that God would lead us in a place that needed us, where we could serve Him. One day, I came home from work, and my hubby casually stated “Oh, I sent my resume to a church in Virginia”. What??? That was a huge announcement. I took a deep breath and said “….okay…” He then said “Don’t worry, it’s a long shot”.
Well, when you pray to God, you better get ready for the answer! A couple of phone call interviews, a trip out to visit and several months later, we packed up our U-haul and took off for a new adventure.
Moving out here has been one of the most amazing, wonderful, scary, stressful experiences I have ever had. We’ve had lots of fun hosting family members who have come to visit. We live within a day’s drive to the beach, Washington D.C., numerous historical sites, mountains…you name it…we’ve pretty much got it. We’ve had some sad times. While out here, my husband lost both grandmothers and his only grandfather. Being away from family, especially during those times was hard. I missed the birth of my niece, and finally got to meet her face to face a week after her 1st birthday.
We have met some wonderful people. We have seen many come to/return to the Lord. It is exciting to see the church members grow….not just physically, but spiritually. We’ve made lots of memories. From record setting snow storms to preparing for hurricanes, and even a familiar tornado or two thrown in for good measure! I’ve learned a lot about living in the “south” (although Oklahoma is south…I have found that Virginia is truly southern!) One ritual I learned of was on New Years Eve, at midnight, if you live in the country, it’s normal to go outside and shoot your guns off…not at anyone or anything…just up in the air. Still haven’t figured that one out!!
I have no idea what God is preparing for us in the future. He threw us a curve ball last year when my hubby was asked to step up as the Pulpit Minister after our former minister retired. We are slowly easing into this new position, as more of an “up-front” minister’s family. I’m sure we’ll have our ups and downs, but we are surrounded by a great group of Christians that will help us…we will help each other!!
I feel truly blessed to be able to live in a beautiful area of our country. I know we never know what God has planned for us, but I am thankful everyday that He has allowed us the chance to live here in Virginia, to work with some wonderful people, and to raise our children in Him.
“…Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16.