Since Tim and I have made our decision to move to Orlando and start a church, our life has been crazy! There have been moments when I am not even sure what we are doing, but know that God is asking us to do this. When Tim and I got married we never thought WE would be the ones to take such an adventure, but through learning and growing, it seems God has a different plan than what we may have originally planned.
Our decision came one night in October. Although it was rather sudden, this had been on Tim’s heart for quite some time. It was I who did not feel ready. I know how important planning is (even though I am not a great model of it). One starry night (I don’t know why I remember that, but we actually were laying on our newly paved basketball court and it was starry :)) we were talking about some meetings that had gone on and I knew it was our time. Tim knew too, and now there is no turning back.
Everything has been falling into place, but it is tiring and consuming. Sometimes it feels like the end of the finish line is near and other times it feels as though it is a mirage. The last two weeks has been the hardest we have faced yet, since this journey began. We went to Florida to get some things settled. Though there were many wonderful moments, there were things that I know Satan used to attack us . I was feeling overwhelmed. On day 3 of our visit, our car window was smashed in and I had some important camera stuff stolen. It was defeating. It was a reminder of crime. Though it happens all around us in Atlanta, it had never happened to us directly. Now it was happening in our new home…and it left me feeling a little insecure. Not to mention the fear of my children. They had a real hard time understanding it. Questions all day long of fear came through tears. We had to constantly remind them that God was going to protect us. I knew home owners was going to cover our physical loss, but only AFTER the 500 dollar deductible. That meant some of our stuff could not get replaced right away. Through this we never doubted our move or anything, it was just disheartening.
One day, while in Florida, we drove around just looking at places to live…not to make definite plans, but just to look. After visiting one apartment complex, we realized that we may be needing to rent a house :). Then we drove around some more wondering exactly what area we should move to and not knowing. Then just deciding baby steps were better for us….but that became overwhelming too.
I must mention I love a party! I like to SHOW UP for a party. I don’t love to plan a party. I am not extremely good at it. I try, but I forget important things and so I would rather show up for a party instead of plan one. This party, this life party, I have no choice in. As much as I would love to show up to FL and walk into a house that Tim had picked out just for me, and have a church to walk into all ready to go, that just is not going to happen. So it overwhelms, and at times, even though I KNOW with all my heart we are to be in Florida, starting a place where people feel loved by God, I loose focus. I start to doubt exactly how we go about things. Is this really going to work out? Are we really doing what God is telling us? I feel peace, but when I start to look at EVERYTHING….I get overwhelmed.
This was the trip I also started to feel the reality of the move. I started to miss my friends and the reality of living two streets over, or right down the road. I started to think about not being able to stop by to play Mario, or get breakfast, because we were all out of food :). Things that took me a good amount of time to build in the wonderful state of Georgia. Realizing I would have to start over, well, it was just overwhelming.
Then we got home and minutes after unloading we started cleaning and boxing up stuff. Tim started painting and putting in light fixtures. I was emptying piles…and gathering warehouse of hope stuff. All the while my laundry and dishes are piling up because I am not a multi-tasker and cannot do too many things. So it gets OVERWHELMING. That day a very dear friend called. She had watched our lab all week and was calling ME to thank me for the little t-shirt we had left for her son ( a small price to pay for watching our dog all week 🙂 ). I expressed some of my feelings to her. I knew that this was what God was wanting for us, but gosh I felt like I was drowning. She recited a verse to me from Hebrews.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” Hebrews 10:35-36.
It was just what I needed to hear. That night I read the entire chapter and I just marinated on the words. Now I am not saying it got easier after that…because in fact it got a little harder. When Tim was out of town for the night our wash machine hose came out and soaked all of our carpet in the downstairs area. So now I was trying to catch up on laundry, clean the house, pack, and I also had to soak up water, then wash the towels and then soak the water up again. I cried. I was starting to feel overwhelmed, but I went back to Hebrews and read the verse again and held onto it.
Then Tim and I began discussing some future changes and plans. It got stressful and overwhelming and well, it was just not good timing. So there was distance and it took a day or two to work through that. Satan was doing his best to tear apart what good we do have. It was overwhelming, but I kept thinking about the goal, the path if you will, that has been laid in front of us. The words “Do not loose your confidence…” kept ringing through my head. I cried and felt overwhelmed, but I knew God had us in His hands and I just needed to take baby steps.
A few days ago Tim came in the house and announced that the mail had come. He set it in front of me. I looked down and noticed a white envelope with Tim and my name on it. I opened it up and inside was a note wrapped around some twenty dollar bills. It said:
TIM AND TANDY
THE LORD PUT THIS ON OUR HEARTS AND WE HOPE YOU WILL ACCEPT THIS GIFT.
WE LOVE YOU.
I counted the money and it was 500 dollars!!!! Our deductible! I cried like I have never cried (I am crying now). Not so much that the financial burden for that moment had been lifted (because let me tell you, for me and my husband it was incredible), but because I did not feel alone. I felt loved. I knew that God was taking time just for us. I knew in that moment that there were people out there who loved Tim and I. They cared enough to sacrifice because they cared about us and this journey that God is taking us on. Tim walked outside and I curled up on the mattress (that was in the kitchen floor along with all the other bedroom furniture in the living room…all the process of getting our house ready) and I cried harder than I have in a long time.
I know things are not going to always be breezy and amazing. My fairy tale world has its flaws. But I am confident in He who has began a good work in me, in us, in those that believe in what we are doing, will be faithful to complete it. There is nothing better than that. Will I cry? Yes often I am sure. Will I get lonely? Of course. Will I feel defeated and overwhelmed? YES! But I will not forget that God is bigger than all that surrounds me. He has shown me time after time after time.
Thank you to those who gave to our family. My heart swells with unexplainable emotion. I cry (not kidding) every time I think of you. I do not know exactly who you are. I do not know why you chose to love Tim and I and the kids like you have, but thank you. You have done far more than provided financial support in all of our craziness. You have given hope and a reminder of how great He is. Wow. That is amazing, and I am left OVERWHELMED!