Me & Brett have had a restlessness in our hearts for a while now, knowing we needed a change, but not sure what it looked like and where it would lead us. Honestly, our family has endured a lot the past 8 years. From a devastating miscarriage that led to complications & major depression, to 2 crazy life threatening pregnancies & crazy recoveries, 2 babies with colic & tummy issues leaving us operating on 2-4 hours of sleep for months, to crazy hard transitions in the youth department, to Brett working LONG hours picking up slack & working weekends faithfully week after week making it difficult for us to attend church TOGETHER & leaving me feeling alone. I miss my husband. I miss having someone to sit with in church. He misses seeing his kids like most parents get to on the weekends. But we pressed through. We knew God was teaching us, helping us through even though at moments, we weren't sure if we'd come out on the other side whole. It's no ones fault! It's just life can be tough you know?
Youth ministry was SO FUN & amazing when we were single or married without kids, but with the hardships of life we've endured & with having young kids it's difficult to do it together like we once did.
All that being said, before the big youth events, The National Conference & Summer Camp, we planned a trip to California to visit my Sister & Brother in Law & 2 nieces. They moved to Lincoln, California for a job Transfer & when they were looking for houses, they found a gorgeous 6 bedroom house that was foreclosed on that they got an amazing deal on! They felt led to buy this giant home & Jesse had a sense "this home is going to be for more than just our family.."
As we were flying out, we were stressed about bringing 2 small kids on the airplane. Brett had a funny code word "Oregon Trail" to keep the trip in perspective. That no matter how hard it got, it was nothing like what the pioneers faced heading out west!! Haha! We kept saying it to each other when things got tough & it helped keep us on the same page & focused. Cuz, we don't usually travel well together 😆
Reuniting with my sister was like coming home. Brett felt it too! They lived in Columbus for a year before they moved & we were constantly at their house & when I was very sick and pregnant with Story, I lived there & Amy helped with Trust and made sure I ate. Brett would come and hang out in the evenings and watch movies with Jesse and we felt supported. Brett also didn't worry about us on the weekends when he was working because I usually ended up at their house. When they left last January, I felt like a rug was pulled out from under me. My support was gone. My best friend was gone. Yeah, I have other friends, but there is something different about family. You don't have to hide anything. You can be. We were safe.
While we were in California visiting, we got the opportunity to attend the Jesus Culture Sacramento Church that had just been planted in Sacramento a year ago. The moment worship began both me and Brett had STREAMS of tears flowing down our cheeks. We didn't know the songs, but the words hit places we didn't even realize needed healing. Brett expressed afterward that he enjoyed worshipping next to me and it made him cry that we don't have that now. It felt natural going there, like we could really find some good community!
We kept asking God "is this where you want us?" & we asked for "signs" & even dreams to confirm what we were feeling. Brett got a pretty solid dream the very same night he asked for a dream (& he NEVER dreams!) & I also got a dream!
Then, Me, Brett, Amy & Jesse went on a hike down a mountain in Squall Valley & I kept praying & felt God speak to me on the journey. I'm not even joking, there was literary a "sign" on our trail that said "Oregon Trail" like the code word me & Brett used on the way out to Cali for when things got hard & I laughed!
I got this cool analogy climbing down the mountain about life. That when you start out with something new, it's exciting, you're taking in the view, taking pictures, enjoying the process & the scenery. After a while though, you start getting fatigued, your footing gets rough & you forget about the beautiful scenery because you are focusing on your feet & not tripping. It becomes as Rich Nathan always says "left foot, right foot". You get nervous because you're not sure you're on the right path, and you get anxious, afraid you've missed it or that you've lost your way. But then, the path clears and you see the end! Hope is restored to your eyes & you realize you should have enjoyed the journey more, but the anxiety of trying to find your way overtook you. You celebrate how far you've come & what you've learned (like next time wear better shoes & bring more than 1 water bottle!). The next day you feel the aches & pains of the journey & you realize, though it's over, there is still healing that needs to take place.
I feel like me and Brett are finishing one journey & are headed into a new one but know healing needs to take place. Healing we both need for our strained relationship & for our family.
We have had many other confirmations & a few others we needed to happen were 1.) selling our house & 2.) selling both cars. Well, our house sold in less than a day at FULL PRICE & both cars sold in days.
We also needed a place to stay until we got on our feet.. Remember that 6 bedroom mansion that Jesse bought thinking "this is going to be for more than just our family.."? Well, we are staying with them & using my parents car!
My parents also just sold their cleaning company & will have a very well paying job that will supplement what we need. Amazing timing. Though we won't need much! Just food & phones really!
Brett doesn't have a job yet, but will be doing part time admin stuff on the computer for a friend until he finds something. He's gotten some amazing leads but they closed the door when they found out he was in Ohio. So we know that will be no problem when we are located there.
We are literally selling everything we have & I LOVE IT. Why do we accumulate so much stuff?!?! It is SO freeing to let it all go & say, what matters isn't stuff & money & cars & houses... It's people, it's our little family that matters & following God! That if we have our core family, we'll be ok & will thrive anywhere. At the end of our life we won't be able to take the "stuff" with us you know? It's radical, I know! And soooo good!
Have you ever stepped out in faith & risked everything to follow God's lead? Yeah, me either! Hahaha until now!! This is one of the coolest, craziest things we've ever done. Stepping out into the unknown, trusting the unknown to a KNOWN God. He has brought us this far we know He won't let us sink.
Pray for us. It is still hard & sad to leave everything we know & everyone we love. Yet, we know it will be so good!!