I have been meaning to post for a few days now, but I have no idea where to begin.
When Stephen lost his job back in May, we were devastated. We thought that was where he would be for the rest of his working life. We had no idea what to do next. I brought up the subject of youth ministry again (like I have every few months since we had been out of it) just to make sure that wasn't what Stephen wanted to do. If it was, I wanted to make sure he knew that he had my support. So, we started praying for God to show us what in the world we were supposed to do. But he really didn't feel like youth ministry was what he was supposed to do with his life, so I let it go. Stephen committed to taking several weeks and intentionally listening for God's voice and His direction. In July, Stephen went to Wilderness Trek with some teens from our church. He was really looking forward to the trip, mainly because he knew he would have concentrated time alone there to spend with God. He knew God would speak to him there, eventhough he didn't have any idea what He would say. But he was anxious to get going and hear whatever it was.
When he got home, he was telling me everything he heard from God on that trip. He knew that God was speaking to him about being a better father, husband, spiritual leader in our home, etc. He was so energized. But still, we had no answer about what he was supposed to do. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled with the changes I saw and with the "new Stephen." Not that I didn't love the old one ;) Anyway, I feel like now I know why God spoke to him about our family.
Over the last week, we have both felt a very strong calling to go back into full-time youth ministry. I feel like God spoke to Stephen regarding our family because, to be an effective youth minister, you have to put your family first. You have to be able to show the teens what marriage is supposed to look like. And your family has to be supportive of your ministry. Stephen and I have always looked at ourselves as a team when it comes to ministry, so my supporting him has never been an issue. Anyway, we have sent a resume to a church that isn't around here ;) I don't want to share too much about that yet, but once I know a little more, I will.
I have never liked the idea of moving away from home. My family is all around the Nashville area. But that is one reason I know God is preparing us to move away: I am at COMPLETE peace about moving away. Actually, I am excited about the change. And my kids are even getting excited. I haven't seen Stephen more excited and energized about anything in a long time.
I am rambling. All this to say we covet your prayers over the next few weeks as we see what God has in store. Pray for focus to get stuff done at home. We have A LOT of cleaning out to do if we are moving. We have lived in our house for 4.5 years and there is stuff in our attic that has been up there since we moved in! Nice. Anyway, pray for clarity. Pray for our financial situation; Stephen has been working at Target part-time and reffing soccer, but the money we had saved up is gone, so we are living paycheck to paycheck. We have amazing friends and family who have made sure we have everything we need, but it's still scary. And if we have to go interview somewhere out of town, Stephen will have to take off work without pay for a few days. Most of all, just pray that God's will be done. We are extremely excited to see what God has in store.