Monday, March 23, 2015

Journeying To A New Land

Since our return from Arizona, we have spent a great deal of time and energy in prayer and meditation with God.  Why?  Because this trip was life-changing.  God had already told us 2015 would be a "pivotal year" and we were beginning to see some of those whisperings from God come to pass.

Late last summer I began to hear God telling us we would be moving next fall.  It is always iffy to put a specific time on God, it usually does not come to pass in our timing......but that is what I believed I was hearing.  Joel was not wanting to even go there yet, so we waited.  Then when he was ready to pray about it, he also heard the same message.  The problem?  We had no idea where God was leading us.  None.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will makes your paths straight." 
Proverbs 3: 4,5 

In October Joel shared with me that he felt we would have answers to our questions after our trip to Arizona and we needed to be patient in the waiting.  I am not so good with waiting!  We had been seriously considering going out to Woodland Park CO to Bible college, so both of us were thinking this may be where our answer would be revealed.   After visiting the school, attending classes, and attending the worship and healing service there this February, we came away with an answer~ a strong no for Charis.  We were sad, but by the time we got back to Iowa we realized that God had something else in mind.

Since returning home, we discovered, much to our surprise, that we felt very comfortable in Gold Canyon AZ.  It felt like home.  Strange.....  We wanted to make sure it was not a reaction to the good visit we had there with my sister and BIL, friends, or the new adventures we were experiencing.  We spent many hours talking, discerning, etc.  During that time God was working behind the scenes.

We knew that we were looking for a new kind of ministry, we knew that God had been speaking to us about moving, and we knew we were praying to surrender to His plan for this season of our lives. We did not know it would involve moving nearly 2,000 miles away from our family.  We thought we would be re-visiting Gold Canyon, but God is asking more.  We are saying yes to moving to Gold Canyon.  And we believe God will bless our plan to come back for our family gatherings, some special events, and hopefully part of the summer.  Kind of like being reverse snowbirds.  It is a "one step at a time" process we continue to pray is guided only by God.

All the moves we have made over the years were directed by the military and then by God.  As a minister Joel's purpose was laid out and so was a welcoming community every time we relocated.  This will be a new adventure with our new purpose yet to be revealed!

We have prayed, asked for confirmations, laid a fleece that was filled and filled again, and have had countless conversations with each other and with the Trinity.  Now we take a step of faith.  I saw a graphic on InCourage that really spoke to us.  It tells how I feel as we free fall with God into a new season.

Gold Canyon is the most eastern suburb of Phoenix.  It is nestled against the Superstition Mountains and foothills.  It is an unincorporated city of 10,000 that doubles it's size in the winter.  Mesa is 20 minutes away.  It is filled with cactus, desert, and lots of animals.  Some welcome, some not so much.  It is also filled with houses.  Lots of houses.  For these two Midwesterners, it will be a big change.  We have lived in New Mexico, Utah and Montana, so the west is not new to us, yet we know this will be something completely different.  Most importantly, we are leaving our children, in-loves, grands, and most extended family behind.  After 19 years in one place we are heading to a new land. 

Superstition Mountain at Gold Canyon

I expect to be sharing our journey here as we, like Abraham and Sarah, pick up and move at an "older" age.  We keep asking God to slam the doors if we are being misled, while at the same time giving praise to God as He moves us forward.  One step at a time.

Speaking of that, Joel will be done at Faith Lutheran in mid July.  We plan to put the house on the market by then, and when it sells, we will buy the house God brings to our attention.  He has it all worked out.  It is a matter of trust.  We are on a journey to a new land, and even when we have considered the cost, we have to move forward in what we feel is obedience to God. We are excited, we are sad, we are apprehensive.  Okay, okay, I am the one who is apprehensive.  We are saying "yes" to what God is asking, and believe all things will work together for good according to His plan.


Mom Of Many said...

I am soooo excited for this new season for you guys!! Overjoyed would be a great word. Arizona! The same state we live in - I LOVE it!! xoxo

Gayle said...

Oh, my thoughts and prayers will be with you as you move into this direction and leading.

Renee said...

Thanks Linny!

Renee said...

Thanks Gayle...