If your Spirit does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. That was my prayer. My heart’s cry. A little over a year ago, Jeff was a couple of semesters away from finishing graduate school but had an opportunity come up. Jeff was incredibly excited. Me? Not so much. My poor, sweet man was all over the place. A full-time student, full-time employee, full-time husband and daddy– all while trying his hardest to be an active member of our church. Who wouldn’t be ready for a new pace of life?
Either way, I made it clear to him that I would not go UNLESS God make it clear to me that that was the next step for us. I really gotta work on submission, I know. 😉 It would require us up uprooting (again) with a six week old. No friends. New state. Eighteen hours away from my family as opposed to ten. And to top it off, no malls in sight. 😉 No, thank you haha. But honestly, I was open to it. I just needed God to confirm it all– in case times got tough. If I knew without a shadow of doubt this was the next step He had for our family, then I could push through. That was just my mindset. And God knew that I needed that mindset.
Because it got tough. I’m in tears just remembering. Really, really hard things happened within the last year.
Well, let me back up a little. Some of you may or may not know that Jeff and I met on a semester long mission trip in Africa, and each others’ passion for knowing God and making his goodness known was our deepest attraction to one another. We got moved twice, had babies, and went to seminary all within our first two years of marriage.
We knew seminary was for a short season. We knew that the light at the end of the tunnel was getting to do ministry together forever. That would be our happily ever after. But while Jeff was in seminary, he spent most of his days working just to get the bills paid and his family fed. He worked for Starbucks and then as a maintenance technician for the best restaurants in New Orleans. He learned so much, but was itching to do what he was passionate about. The new opportunity that he was given was to open and manage a mission-minded coffee shop in a church for a year. It seemed perfect! It seemed like his previous jobs prepared him for it and now he’d get his feet wet in some ministry, perfect right?
Well, to keep it short and sweet, my husband was made to be in ministry. One hundred percent. And this company would’ve been better off with a business/sales man. Not a man who is proficient in Greek and who studied theology for the last three years. So, needless to say, my husband came home discouraged and stressed more nights than not. I could go on and on about how this was not fitting or healthy for him or our family, but I had a solid rock and confirmation that this was where the Lord had lead us. Now, I just wasn’t sure why. Like I mentioned earlier, this gig was just a year long commitment. So about half way through, we began to lay everything on the table. Should we go back and finish seminary? Become career missionaries? Get another job that wasn’t ministry related?
I’d have people ask what we were going to do after the year, and in complete peace and confidence I was able to respond that I had NO idea. I truly trusted Him. Most days. He was just being so faithful to answer little, detailed prayers that I knew I could trust him with this huge what-are-we-doing-with-our-lives dilemma. And the whole time I was praying for a home. Not a house, but a home. Somewhere we could plant and just be. Our five years of marriage have always been on the verge of a transition and I was very unsettled. I was beyond ready to put down some roots, and that’s what I was praying for.
So, seven fast (because two babies), yet sloooow (because of the uncertainty of everything… and two babies 😉 ) months later, the church that Jeff was running the coffee shop at threw out the idea of Jeff coming on staff. We tried really, realllly hard not to get our hopes up. But the ball was rolling and a few weeks later he had an official interview. I didn’t sleep the night before, but let me share with you what I ahem “randomly” read:
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107: 4-9
I immediately knew the job was his. This was home. THAT was why He brought us here. To good ol’ Waxahchie, Texas. And in tears, again, I want you to know that I have never seen my husband so satisfied and fulfilled in our five years of marriage. He LOVES his job. And I’m a little jealous. 😉 But mainly so grateful and honored to stand by his side as he does what he was made to do. And he is rocking it. I’m SO proud of him.
And I will never forget this: before the church even mentioned anything to Jeff about him coming on staff or before they were even considering it, a sweet little, old lady at our church told the pastor that they should hire Jeff BECAUSE get this… She really wanted his wife (me) to have a home. Are you kidding me?? Yes, I’m in tears again.
So if you’re keeping track, we were seven months in when they offered him the position and it took about a month and a half for it to become official. As soon as Jeff got the job, we started looking for a house.
Because a quick 101 on Waxahachie, TX:
1. It’s just a little south of Dallas and booming. When I moved here there was pretty much just a Target and now we have a Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx, Ulta, Chipotle, and McAlisters. If I haven’t convinced you yet, let that be proof that there is a God!! 😉 All that to say it’s growing and a seller’s market. So buying a house in a couple of months was bonkers (let’s bring that word back, okay?).
2. Renting is ridiculous here. Our mortgage payment is $37 less than our rent was.
So we put down several offers within our first weeks of looking and they each got outbid. We were a little disappointed and slightly nervous about being homeless, and then our realtor mentioned a friend that flipped homes. To wrap this novel of a blog up, our realtor pulled on his heart strings, and they agreed to give us first dibs on our house!! We are having so much fun making it ours; you can follow along here. And excited about living out our happily ever after and making God’s goodness and faithfulness known to others in our house & home.
I hope that this story is an encouragement to you because it took me a really, really long time to write it. 😉 😉 God is worthy of your trust and He is at work and preparing you for something amazing even when it doesn’t seem like it. Even when you’re a new dad and husband, who just started graduate school and are working at Starbucks.We could have easily missed out on such a neat story had we not trusted God’s leading. Cry out to Him; He will deliver. He satisfies and fills you with good things. Love you!!