In Awe

I am glad you can’t see me as I write this.  I am crying rivers of tears as I sit and reflect on all the Lord has done in our lives over the past year and a half.  This week, we hit 100% of what we need to move to NYC!  100%, ya’ll!  So bear with this long post, as I reflect, and praise God for the ways He worked to make this happen.

The past few years in NC were super, super challenging and I still can’t make sense of everything that happened and why it was so hard and I honestly am not sure if I will ever understand all of it, other than to say that the Lord used it to get us where we are now. After switching teams and moving to NC State for the 2015-2016 school year, Ed and I felt like we could breathe and what we experienced there was not only developmentally good for us, but it was like healing for our soul and a giant breathe of fresh air.  We enjoyed ministry again, we felt like there were people that were FOR us, and we felt like we could finally just do what God had called us to do by coming onto staff.  I still choke up when I think how precious and life-shaping that year was for us.  It was so hard to leave that place.

But, when we started sensing God calling us to move to NYC, I was overwhelmed with fear – fear of hating it, fear of my kids hating it, fear of raising the mountain of support that was required, fear of leaving all that was comfortable, good, and safe (especially since NC is one of the first places we really experienced deep, life-giving community), fear of moving away from family.  God really used Esther’s story in the Bible to confirm to me that he did indeed want us to step out in faith and trust him.  Esther had the opportunity to save her people, and she could have easily walked away, scared of the risk she would need to take. But Mordecai’s words to her “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” challenged her to approach the king even in the midst of the unknown.  We, too, felt that God had been using the last few years in NC to lead us to this moment of saying “yes” to moving to NYC, but yet we were still given a choice – would we walk away or accept the task he has placed before us? Knowing that to say no would be disobedience, we chose to step out in faith.

As I think back over this journey of getting to NYC the past few months by developing our team of ministry partners, two words come to mind:  CONFIRMATION and AWE.

CONFIRMATION – As I reflect on the fear I had a year ago of whether this was really the right move for our family and whether it was really the Lord or our human desires, I can say that the Lord has confirmed with 100% certainty that NYC is indeed where He wants us to be for now. Ya’ll, we had to raise almost as much support as we did when we came on staff 9 years ago.  9 years ago, it took us almost 9 months to see that come in.  This time, the Lord provided all that we needed in 5.5 months.  HE DID THAT!!

There are so many cool stories of how the Lord provided all that we need (and I hope to share a few of these stories next week), but know that each person the Lord had join our team was 100% orchestrated by Him and through His leading.  And the thing that sticks with me is this – It isn’t going to be easy in NYC. In fact, I am sure there will be so many moments where we are discouraged and things are just downright hard, but I will ALWAYS come back to this – IF HE PROVIDED ALL WE NEEDED TO GET HERE, THIS IS WHERE HE WANTS US.

There have been so many other confirmations – finding our apartment in NYC (especially when we originally said no to this place but the Lord clearly lead us back to it), selling our house in 1 day, providing money for moving costs, the timing of our trip to NYC to find housing happening right before the hurricane so we would be able to fly back into town and not get delayed or rerouted, sensing the Lord leading us to Greenville and away from Georgetown even before the hurricane came which lead to us not being at a standstill for weeks in Georgetown with no power and no appointments, selling Ed’s car in two days, and so many more.

Even right now, we just listed our van last night to sell before we fly to the city and the first person who contacted us lives in Nashville (an hour and half from where we are right now in Greenville), but is interested in buying it and sending us a deposit to hold it until he gets here.  I asked Ed if he was okay in getting it sight unseen, and Ed said yes, and that he feels better about it knowing we are missionaries as he is a believer and is a lead singer in a well-known Christian band.  Oh, and on top of that, he and his wife have a heart for NYC, his band first played in NYC at Queens College, and they are interested in hearing more about our ministry and possibly supporting us.  Wouldn’t that be just like God to not only work out selling our car but lead someone to our team while He is doing it?

AWE – Cru requires staff to raise their support for a variety of reasons, but one of those – growing us spiritually as we depend on the Lord and see Him provide – has been something that we have experienced in a deep way these past few months.  As I think of how powerful He is, how He chooses to move and work, how He provides for our every need, how He proves how worthy He is of our trust and dependence (though he doesn’t have to show us any of this but chooses to because of His grace), I am in complete awe. I would have loved to have been at 100% and moved to NYC a few months ago, but if we had been, our apartment wouldn’t have been ready. I would have loved to finish all our support in one location while living in our house, but if we had done that, we would have missed the sweetness of living with family and time spent with them, as well as missing great connections and opportunities to partner with people in Georgetown and Greenville. I would have loved to have been in NYC in time for Kinsley to start public school, but I would have missed the confidence I gained through homeschooling her, the ways I have been sanctified through it, the bonds I have formed with her, and just learning more to help her practically with school later.  Seriously, His timing and His ways are perfect. He has never failed and He won’t stop now.  When he calls us to step upon the waters and trust Him, we can do it knowing that His ways are better than anything we can imagine.  This doesn’t mean that it is pain-free or easy or the comfortable path, but it is better.

I am so very unworthy – I have done nothing to deserve any of this – in fact, I deserve death – but by his grace and mercy and love, He chose to lavish this on us and show us a very tiny bit of his glory.  Thank you Jesus for saving me, for choosing me, for showing me more of who you are, and for using me. Let this song “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” be my prayer .

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my…


2 thoughts on “In Awe

  1. I’m glad you couldn’t see me as I read this. I thought I was a basket case with the last blog, but with this one, I have bawled and prayed for a long time. I am overwhelmed how God has moved and brought things together for you all. It is awesome and lets us know without a doubt that you are in God’s will. a
    AND HE IS ABLE TO COMPLETE THAT WHICH HE HAS BEGUN! My prayer is for peace, rest and a joyous beginning of a fabulous journey or should I say another fabulous journey? Please know that you are ever in my thoughts and prayers. I love you all and am so very proud of you and your love for God and others.

  2. April and Ed, I am so excited for y’all and grateful to the Lord for all He has done in your lives over the past year and 1/2. You have persevered in many ways and the Lord has continued to provide for you-beyond measure. What a great testimony of His faithfulness and provision! You all will be missed by the MidSouth family. I can’t wait to hear more God stories from y’all in NY.
    Keep in touch. God Bless your family!

Leave a Reply