I am excited to announce to you today that we are moving to Ohio! Andrew has accepted a position as Assistant Communications Director at a church we are excited to have become our next church family. New Pointe Community Church in Dover, Ohio is one of the healthiest church environments we have ever experienced and we are happy to announce our move there. Andrew’s job will be casting vision for the design aesthetic of the church, and building a team of artists under him. Inside he is doing cartwheels over the excitement of this position. It combines his love for art, and his skill in leading a team, all in one job. One of the things we are most looking forward to is this move allows me to stay home with Cooper! Andrew’s job will be a Monday-Friday job, giving us the weekends together. This will also allow us to serve in whichever ministry we desire. We are confident this is the right move for our family. We have many different emotions about leaving our wonderful friends and family in Florida. Our hearts are so full from our time with you. We thank you for your support and encouragement during these past 6 months. Andrew starts August 22 and will be driving up to Ohio on August 18. I will be staying behind until we have a renter and most likely until Ashleigh's wedding.
As we are at the end of Andrew’s job search and the many emotions felt through this whole process, we are able to look back and see just how God has had his hand in it all. If you’d like to know just how we’ve seen God, continue reading. If not, you can stop here and go about your day!
Ways God has been evident to us in this process:
- Andrew’s Cohort. A year and a half ago, Andrew heard of a mentorship program that Mark Ostreiker was starting. It was a small group leadership training experience. Andrew was feeling like he needed to grow more, so he signed up for the program. Generations agreed to pay for the training. His training started in September and ended just 2 weeks ago. Andrew would not have made it through this ordeal the way he has without this group of men + Caroline (the one girl in the group). We have both been hurt, but Andrew especially, struggling with self-doubt and depression. This group that come around Andrew, encouraging him, pouring time into him, and helping him process through thoughts, emotions, and decisions that have needed to be made. We know that God had put this whole group in motion well before anything every happened at Generations so that Andrew would have a support group. (By the way, if anyone is interested in this program, let us know – we would love to connect you to this awesome experience).
- My desire to stay at home. Around October a desire for me to stay at home started growing. Before I even discussed this with Andrew seriously, it is something I prayed about for a couple of months. I also discussed it with a few trusted friends. I wanted to make sure this decision was not a selfish decision so I could stay home in my pjs and not have to wake up early. I realized that our family life would be much healthier if I were home. So, in January it was something I finally brought to Andrew as a topic of discussion. He dragged his feet about it for a long time. He kept telling me there was no way it would work, and it was just better to have 2 incomes rather than 1. Well, after a couple of weeks of discussion with our core group, some people from church, and reading the book Radical, Andrew told me he would join me in my prayer to stay home. Our prayer was for something “radical” to occur to stay home. Exactly one week later was when everything changed for us at Generations. We weren’t expecting a loss of job to be the answer to that prayer, but were hopeful that in the end this prayer would be answered. I know that God placed that desire on my heart long before anything happened with Andrew’s job so that we would have something to aim for. Andrew has had opportunities come up that we didn’t accept because it didn’t allow me to stay home. Because we have waited we have found a truly amazing church to call home.
- Provision. How is it that we now have more money in savings than when we began this process (granted, it’s not a lot). How is it that we have been completely taken care of and our needs have been met this whole time? God. This was His plan, and He has worked it out for us to be taken care of. I am holding onto that in the next few weeks as we have to find someone to rent our house, find a house to rent in Ohio, and come up with money to get a house in Ohio. We will not be making any money for at least a month, so I’m just trusting that God keeps on providing the way he has.
- Timing. How dare we ever doubt God’s timing. Sure, there were times during the past six months where we just wanted Andrew to have a new job and to be able to move on. However, great blessing has occurred with timing. Because so much of the action occurred this summer, I have been able to travel with Andrew to different churches, interviewing, and being able to scope out the scene with him. Also, we are now both home to organize and pack our life up and take care of everything before we move. God also worked it out that I didn’t have to start the school year, and then have to quit just a few weeks into the school year. God has the best timing. (I know this to be true, but I will tell you that there were many times during everything that I wondered about it. It’s so easy to see now that we’re at the end).
- Growth. Because of this process, Andrew and I have both grown in our walk with God. We have grown closer to each other as well. Our experience has made us not be naïve anymore. It seemed as though we aged over night. We have grown a hunger to grow more in Christ. One of greatest parts of moving to Ohio is that we know we are moving to a healthy church environment that serves others and will stretch our fait to reach out our hands to others as well. In the few short hours we were with the people of this church, our faith was challenged. We both questioned the way we treated others and the way we served. So excited to know we’re going to a place that will allow us to grow.
- People. It has been a crazy experience interacting with others during this time. First we broke the hearts of adult leaders and students. Then we were broken because of leadership. Then we tried to make connections at other churches. Some churches we had a harder time being unguarded. Andrew even walked away as an “introvert” at one of them. Other churches, however, we felt completely at home. We fell in love with the people and genuinely hoped we could work with the people there. Choosing to go to Ohio was difficult because of some of the people we met along our journey that we now have had to turn down. And, now, we are leaving behind some wonderful people. God has created Andrew and I both as relational people. We both love to form relationships with others, and it has been a learning experience for us. We know that God has moved in us, showing us how much he values others, and how we are his tools to make that happen. We are very excited to do life with the people in Ohio.