It’s hard to take steps beyond what you know into something you do not know. Period.
If you add all the relationships, hours spent crying and praying with people, the heated arguments, the growing . . . if you add life to that transition, it seems almost impossible to picture something beyond here and now.
Have you ever had a dream? Not like an asleep dream where you forgot to wear pants to your college final – a dream. A deep down in your guts desire so deep it moves you to action, sometimes even ordering your entire life around its realization.
My husband has a dream. When he was 17, God spoke to him in a clear picture that the people in the community we grew up in were alone, lonely, and isolated. God put a desire in Richard’s heart that people would have a new way to connect and grow with a real God in their very real lives. God put that dream in the hearts of many others as well.
Almost 3 years ago, we got to be a part of launching a campus with the church that we call home, newlife, in the north mason community. It has been amazing to watch the dream of countless families live and breathe in front of us, in our community, in our home.
We have commonly talked about how fun it will be to see Ryder go off to Belfair Elementary next year, where we both went to school as kids. How we are so excited for the new high school to be built and for the community to grow. How we love belonging.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that. James 4:13-15
There is something Richard and I have learned in our very short, and very full life together so far. Not only is God’s plan sometimes different than ours – it almost always is. We have built a trust in our Savior that causes us to truly and deeply mean it when we say, “We will go where you send us.”
God gave Richard a dream. But, it was God’s dream. It was God’s to give.
The Creator-Redeemer God of the universe doesn’t need us to fulfill HIS dream. He graciously allows us to be a part of a beautiful story He is telling, but it’s HIS story. God spoke the same dream to other hearts, which led to countless moments of action that have written the story so far.
But, it is God’s dream.
There is something people who follow Jesus say a lot that I have always struggled with a little. When you feel like you’ve heard from God about a certain direction for your life, you say, “I’m being called to . . . ”
I believe in a God that calls to us. Actively. Truly. Loudly.
I believe that God hears our cry back to him and engages with us in a very real way.
But, I am human. I filter everything I hear and know through my own heart desires, however pure (or if I am honest – ugly) they may be. I believe in hearing from God and allowing that moment of connection to give us direction.
BUT, the call that we must answer always, is the call to submit to the will of God. “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” I am called to obey the voice of my God, even when it is different from my voice – especially when it is different from my voice.
Obedience and trusting the Creator to lead me. Accepting the grace of the Redeemer. That is my calling. To follow. Everything else is secondary.
And, so. We follow.
We have been led to a moment in which God is going to show us whose the dream really is.
It’s time for us to move. Richard has accepted a new role, still within our home church of newlife. Starting in January, we will be serving at the Bainbridge Island campus and living in Poulsbo.
It’s funny because North Mason and Bainbridge Island are the 2 most spread out campuses in our church. They are about 50 miles apart, so we will still be within “hang-out” distance of the friends and family from north mason, but it’s a trek.
It’s a major transition. I’m not generally a “cry in front of people” person, but lately it’s been hard to keep my tough eyes dry.
It feels like we are mourning a part of our story that we never planned to lose.
It feels awkward and like it doesn’t totally fit well, yet. What we know is that God fits. His story is the one we want to tell. His dream will be accomplished with or without us.
The best part about the dream that God spoke to Richard that day when he was 17, driving through the community that grew him, is that God spoke of people. Lonely, isolated, hurting people. People are everywhere. God is everywhere. His mission is everywhere.
Jesus died and rose from the dead so that His mission would not be limited to one person, in one place, at one time. It’s SO MUCH BIGGER than that.
If you are the praying type, will you pray for us?
Will you pray that God will continue to heal the parts in our hearts that are experiencing loss? Pray that the students and families in north mason will feel deeply cared for by a God that incessantly pursues them and by people that sacrifice daily to be present? Pray that God will continue the story He is telling through the lives of people who are submitted to His plan, everywhere. Pray that we would not lose sight of the power and freedom that comes from obedience to the voice of God in our lives.
And, pray that this next season for us, would be one of trust, growth, and impact through the grace that we receive and share from our Jesus.
We are truly excited for this next season. We will be serving under a leader that has been a mentor in our lives for almost 10 years. It’s a season of apprenticeship and new things.
Our God is a God of new things, and so, we celebrate.