Saturday, July 29, 2017

On Saying Yes....

Today marks 9 months of marriage. 9 months of learning what it means to be live with one another day in and and day out, to appreciate each other for the way that God made us, to love one another when it feels really hard. 9 months of laughing and crying and really awesome moments and really hard moments. 9 months of saying yes every morning and every evening.  

I've been thinking a lot about this concept of saying yes. We all say no to a lot of things in life, but most of us probably say yes more often. And every time we say yes to one thing we are saying no to another. Saying yes to marriage is probably the biggest (or one of the biggest) things we will do in our lives. It's a commitment. It's a covenant. It's saying yes despite what circumstances might bring, how this person may change, or how life might change. It's a big YES.  

These days specifically I've been thinking about what it meant for me to say yes to Dustin. People would always tell me when I was single that marriage was so much harder than singleness.  It truthfully made me angry because let's be honest, life can be hard whether you are single or married. But one thing that has been hard and stretching for me in marriage has been the idea of following my husband. That life and decisions are no longer just about me and what I want, but now there is another person. A person with dreams and desires of his own.  And God has specifically called me to partner with him, support him in his dreams, and to follow him.  For us that meant making a move 8 months in to marriage. A move that, to be honest, has been hard for me.  

I can so vividly remember sitting in a hotel room in Indianapolis in December while at a college ministry conference with Dustin (for his job) spending time with the Lord and hearing the Lord so clearly say to me, "you need to follow Dustin in his career.  you need to put him first and support him".  I'm not saying I believe in the Lord outright talking to us, but in the quietness of the moment he spoke to my heart.   I knew from the time I met Dustin that one day he should go to seminary.  He was made for ministry.  Yet because of where we were in life Dustin made the move to Birmingham to support me in my job as Children's Director.  He stayed on staff with CRU and we both did full time ministry in very separate areas.  This allowed us to get married and begin our marriage in the city I was already living.  But we both knew change was probably coming.  That his calling was changing and that both of us being in full time ministry on opposite sides of Birmingham with opposite schedules was probably not going to work long term.  But  the idea of following him into a new career and possibly making a change was terrifying to me.  I was finally getting use to my job and life in Birmingham and really who loves change?  But 2 months into marriage the Lord spoke to me and begin to teach me that following my husband was my #1 calling (other than following Jesus:-)) So I began to pray that God would help me let go and trust and do whatever I could to support my husband on this journey for him.  

Fast forward a couple months when Dustin came home from a trip to Atlanta (where he was taking a week long seminary class) really excited about an opportunity for him there to go to seminary and work at Perimeter Church.  It was one of those things that I was excited with him about, but in my heart I honestly thought "this isn't really going to happen".  The idea of living in Atlanta was never a thought for me and to be honest never a place I desired to live.  But God had other plans.  Through much prayer, counsel,  conversations, and just flat out wide open doors of opportunities we made the decision for both of us to change careers completely and move to Atlanta.  

So on July 15th we both ended 9 year careers.  For him it was 9 years of being on staff with CRU college ministry investing in college students and for me it was 9 year of Children's Ministry being on staff with 2 different churches investing in children.  We packed up a Penske Truck and moved to Northeast Atlanta to the suburb of Duluth.  I would be lying if I were to say it's been easy.  I feel like so much of my adult life has been transition so the idea of  transitioning to a new place, learning a new city, making new friends, and just starting over has been hard to come to grips with.  Not to mention leaving my family in Birmingham.  I sobbed saying good-bye to my nieces, I've cried since I've been here, and I'm still adjusting to the fact that this is going to be our home.  

But here's the other side of the story.  These months of following my husband, supporting him, trusting him, and saying yes to him  have been so good for me.  I prayed for a man to follow, I prayed for a Godly husband like Dustin, and the Lord gave to me abundantly.  Dustin's calling to full time ministry with a church is so clear to me.  He is so incredibly gifted and his heart to teach God's word and pour into others is so apparent in his life.  I really believe God is going to use him and he has gifted me with the opportunity to partner with this man and be a helper to him.  

And so starting August 1 we will both start new careers.  He will be doing a two year residency with Perimeter Church working with young families and young adults.  It's an incredible opportunity for him working specifically in an area he's passionate about and under a man he deeply respects.  I'll begin working for the PCA for the Committee of Discipleship Ministry.  My role will be more of an Executive Assistant to the coordinator, but I will continue to have opportunity to be involved with Children's Ministry through conferences I'll be coordinating and other outlets.  And then on August 23rd Dustin will begin seminary at RTS beginning his Masters of Divinity Degree.  We know we will be here at least two years and possibly longer.  

And so here I am today 9 months in to marriage, living in a new state, with my still new husband.  We both say our marriage has taught us a lot about walking in faith and clinging to the Lord in the unknown.  My heart is still wrestling with this move and what it means for us,  but I really do believe that when God calls you to something he provides, he meets you, and he blesses you. When I stop and think about it I'm so excited to see what the Lord has for us here. This is a whole new journey for us, but we both feel so confident that God has led us to this. And the same God who was so incredibly faithful to us in singleness is present in our marriage and in this new path. My head is there and I'm asking for my heart to catch up.  To be all here with my husband.  To continue to say yes to him daily and to watch the Lord unfold the story he has written for us.  
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