We felt like we needed to go to church in Goodlettsville today, so we went but we are exhausted and ready to give up on this crazy adventure. The things that give us peace do not make sense. For example, we have peace that school for the children is not something that we need to worry about, but the first day of school is on Friday and we do not have resources for supplies, we do not have a house and the friends we are staying with live in a different county. All of these factors should give us serious anxiety, but they don’t unless we try to solve them by making something happen. If we simply listen to the still, small voice inside we are calm. The problem is that my mind is not satisfied with reassurance from the still, small voice; it desperately tries to figure out a solution for the school dilemma and in the process causes serious anxiety, fatigue and frustration. Additionally, the only marching orders we have from God are “pack up, it is time to go”. I just wanted to go back to being a sane, rational “Christian” that talks about God, attends church and has a job!
It was in a state of utter frustration that we went to church today. On the way Jenny and I vented our frustrations at God and I resolved to give up. After all, we have options. I could attempt to get my old job back or we could move to Illinois and stay with my parents. We told God that we needed a real, clear word from Him or we were going to have to quit.
We arrived at church 20 minutes late, due to construction traffic, and as we walked in the building went strangely silent (300+ people). A member of the congregation began speaking in tongues and a few minutes later this interpretation was given: “I spoke the world and universe into existence and I am aware of your situation. You feel that your circumstances are impossible, but I PROMISE YOU that I will handle it if you will allow me to.” It was as if these words were spoken directly into our hearts and we were instantly refreshed. The service continued and we left feeling very encouraged, as well as determined to follow God where our trust is without borders.
Today we decided to rest as we intend to pack our suitcases, clear out the rooms at our friend’s house and “go” as that is the only direction we have from God. Our spirits are high.
We packed the van with the last few items that needed to be moved to storage and took them to our storage unit, then we packed our suitcases and loaded the van up. We scheduled a house showing (after all, God told Jenny to pick a house) for the afternoon and planned to stay in our van until God told us where to go.
In the afternoon we prayed with our friends, thanked them for housing us and left to see the house. We looked at the house, prayed for the occupants and that the house would sell quickly, then we went to a local parking lot to wait on God. While we waited a couple came out to a dead battery, so we gave them a jump start, but outside of that, nothing spectacular happened. It is as if God got busy doing something else and has chosen to ignore this little band of crazy people. We are sleeping in our van tonight.
A horrible night’s sleep! No one, besides Bella, slept more than a couple of hours and we were up by 5:30am. We went to the local Rec. Center to shower, etc. and then we spent the day by the pool. It was nice to be clean and relax, but the lack of sleep and direction from God was causing me to despair. Additionally, I was pulled over for expired license tabs (need to renew but I do not have a residence…). I just received a warning. Amazingly, the kids and Jenny have been full of faith all day. In the late afternoon our friends, from Franklin, texted and invited us over. I was reluctant to go as I wanted to wait until God spoke to us, but the thought of air conditioning and comfort of a home was too much, so we agreed to stop by for a visit. They were so kind and offered us loving care, food and insisted that we stay the night. I was too exhausted to protest, so we are sleeping in their home tonight.
We slept in today and felt better as a result of sleep. I had the opportunity to talk, at length, with my friend and felt refreshed, but still frustrated with God’s lack of communication. We were invited to another friend’s home in Spring Hill for dinner, so we went there in the evening. They also insisted that we spend the night, so we did. We stayed up late discussing the pure insanity of “following God” but all agreed that there was peace from doing so. Just before bed, I went outside to get something from my van and walked right into God (no other way to describe it). I felt like he simply asked me to worship him. I was more inclined to poke Him in the nose and ask where he had been for the last two days while my family and I were living like gypsies, but I simply dropped to my knees and worshiped. It felt good.
Woke up at 2am to a text from my mom advising me that my grandmother had a heart attack. It is as if God is allowing the pressure cooker to heat to the boiling point. We were directed to pack up and told that it was time to go, so we went. As a result, we are homeless vagabonds living out of our van and now my grandmother’s health is failing and I can’t even go see her. What does God have to say about all of this? “Worship me.” God is talking but he is not saying anything that we want to hear. The first half day of school is today and, as of this morning, we have no money for supplies or house to justify their attendance in the schools that they are registered in.
Our friends from Franklin have a son getting married tomorrow and we have volunteered to help with the groom’s dinner tonight. We have no money for gas and just enough to get to the venue and back to Spring Hill, so we needed to decide to either assist at the groom’s dinner or go to the wedding tomorrow. Since we would be the most use at the groom’s dinner, we decided to go there. Shortly after that decision, we were given $500, completely unsolicited. This allowed us to get some food, pay our phone bill, attend the wedding as well as the groom’s dinner and buy school supplies. The kids did not get to attend the first half day of school though.
On the way to the groom’s dinner we once again encountered God (no good way to describe it, sorry) but we felt He was acknowledging our family’s passion to wrestle with Him for His blessing. We had a wonderful time serving at the groom’s dinner and met some amazing people. We were also able to bless others who had a financial need. Overall, it was a good day. God talked (although He did not say what we wanted to hear), God provided and we were able to be a blessing.
We attended the wedding today and had a great time.
We went to a local church with some friends and found the worship and message refreshing, but we are frustrated again about feeling peace, when our kids can not attend school (out of county issue). After much debate and reasoning we decided to send them to school tomorrow. After all, they are registered, expected to be there and we could get creative with what we told them about our living situation. I confess that this is not directed by my spirit, but by my logic.
Woke the kids up early, got dressed and started out for school. Alex, Jack, Jenny and I were so heavy in our spirits about going that we just wanted to cry. The boys agreed that it made sense that they go; their friends are expecting them and they want to go, but they can not say that God wants them to go. Jenny and I feel the same way, so we simply drove to a local parking lot and are waiting for direction from God.
In the late morning I emailed all three school principals explaining that we had to move from our rented home and were living with friends. It felt good to be honest, but I was concerned about what might happen. The Middle school principal contacted us right away and assured us that she would champion our case to the county school board and told us she would call us back with specific direction.
We heard from the middle school principal this morning. She advised us to simply bring the kids to school and she would work out the behind the scenes details. It was to late to bring them today, so they will officially start tomorrow.
We also moved back in with our dear friends, so we are no longer van dwelling vagabonds. We finished the school supply shopping and are ready for a good night’s sleep (in comfortable beds!) and the first full day of school.
The school day went amazingly! Alex had friends that meet him at the high school and showed him the ropes. Jack acted as mentor and guide to Max in middle school and Bella was met with cheers and excitement from students and teachers. God is good.
As I reflect on the last seven days, I can clearly see that God was up to something. It was not what I expected (we move out and He gives us our house, etc.), but it was just what was needed. We had a chance to bond more closely with others in our circle of friends, we were financially blessed by over $1,600 (the majority miraculously came from a government entity and was completely unsolicited), our children are able to attend the school of their choice, our license plate tabs are renewed in the correct county and, finally, we learned that our hope should be in God, not in what He will do for us. We got frustrated with Him because He was not doing what we wanted Him to (give us a house), and we failed to see that He was doing exactly what we needed.
Now that all of those details are in order, I am ready to pour myself into my work with author Kevin Adams. He and I share a passion for awakening the modern Christian to the amazing power and provision that faith alone can bring, and I am more passionate than ever to see that vision accomplished. I plan to write a blog post about that “ministry” (I don’t like that churchie word, but it fits) in the coming days.