There is always a story waiting to be told.
Grab a cup of coffee and join me as I share some Salt & Light.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where I'm At

We’ve moved into our new rental home. Everyone in the family is very excited, as it has been almost two and a half years since we have been in a home of our own. Moving has become somewhat of a regular affair for us, regular being a new abode every six months or so… well, twice was to my parents and once was my mother-in-law’s… Still, we’ve packed and unpacked boxes. Some, we just left packed. Until now - we are ready to empty boxes… and the storage unit... and my parent’s basement… and a friend’s basement, too. I can remember when we moved in to the house in Naperville, I said that it would be the last time I ever moved. I wanted to be buried in the backyard I said. That was 6 moves ago. Moving seems like not a big deal anymore. We have learned to live without so much stuff. It’s the people you live with that make the difference. Family makes a house a home. We have been blessed with wonderful families. Oh, how we are blessed.

In September of 2010, our pastor did a sermon series on “Storms”. In my notes, I jotted down what he said that morning (and I haven’t been the same since.) First, I simply wrote “Salt & Light is for others”. Then, “There are people waiting on the other side of the storm”. Then I scribbled Romans 8:28, which is - “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

On that fall morning, I’m not sure I knew what God was saying to me just then. But, I know that those words that came out of Glen Quirk’s mouth were directly from God, directed toward me.  On the other side of my “storm”, people are waiting for me to minister. God put it on my heart to minister in a situation. God wants me to bring someone out of a storm. I want to Glorify Him, Exalt Him and Lead others to Him.

It was that very message that led us to Florida. Many don’t know the reason we moved to Florida in the first place or even understand how we could be moved as an answer to a calling. We moved to Florida because I felt called by God to move to Florida. Mark’s family lives in Jacksonville, and I felt God telling me that we needed to be there. When God speaks, you move. In this case… literally.

We didn’t know what a future in Florida held. We knew that we would be with family and near the beach. We found jobs and a church to call our home in no time at all. But, I didn’t feel God in that place.  I tried. Oh, how hard I tried. And the devil tried harder to attack my every thought and move. So I prayed. And God moved me yet again. Well, all four of us, actually. That’s when we prayerfully decided to move back to Wisconsin. It happened all so fast some people still think we live in Florida, others don’t even know we ever left Wisconsin. I worried that our “mission” in Florida had not been accomplished. What if we didn’t do what God had planned for us to do there? Had we planted a seed? Had we made a difference? We may never know. We simply need to trust that we have been obedient to God’s plan for us.

Around the time we started thinking about moving back to Wisconsin, I read a blog post by author John Katz. He stated, “Sometimes you need to leave the things you love to understand how much you care and how much they mean.” Anyone that is familiar with Kohler knows it is a special place. Often times it feels surreal, in both a “Pleasantville” and “Stepford” kind of way. There were a number of reasons we considered when it came to our move back that had to do with the schools, jobs, and church, down to simply missing living in the Midwest. The old sayings, “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone” and “you can take the girl out of the [Midwest] but not the [Midwest] outta the girl”, certainly can stand true.

But on the other side of things, recently while listening to Joyce Meyer on the radio regarding developing discipline, she said, “You need to stay where you want to run away from – there is work to be done!” Wow. That hit me hard. When we left here a year ago, I was running. I was running from people, places and things… I often still feel like I want to crawl under a proverbial rock and hide. Some of this stems from my depression, some from our recent (and past) circumstances, or simply it’s from my own baggage. But just as I felt God was telling me to get out of the boat in the storm because people were waiting for me in Florida… there were also people I left here in Wisconsin with my unfinished story, when I had just begun telling it (or living it, for that matter). I know that God is working in me here… and I have much work to do. I have a lot yet to learn and much to embrace where I am at. This was confirmed to me today, as our new pastor said “As we are preached to, we then do the preaching.” We use our personal stories and experiences to give out the truth and love of God’s Word. And so it continues, here in Kohler, Wisconsin. More to come…


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