This weekend marks a special event for our family. You see, ten years ago this weekend we moved from Indiana to Johnson City, Tennessee. Uprooting our family at that time wasn’t easy; we were leaving a 7 year-old church behind that my husband had started. The believers that worshipped with us there had experienced the birth pangs of this new church and we had become very close. We had endured the hard days of setting up for services in an old country church way out in the boonies where the ladybugs outnumbered us 10 to 1! There were new believers, matured saints, and freshly baptized Christians, and the future for this little church was promising – but we were leaving.
Our girls were 9 and 16. Whitney was excited about the move because it would put us closer to The Wilds – the place she loved so dearly because of its profound affect on her life. However, Allison was a typical 9 year-old who didn’t see why she had to leave “her church, friends, and bedroom.”
For me to leave the ladies with whom I’d had the joy to minister was a very typical emotional drain. We shed many tears as our ladies’ Sunday school class sat in our little corner and read and prayed together. Praise the Lord for eternity where there will be no goodbyes! Thank the Lord, too, for Facebook and cell phones so we can stay connected, even with all the busyness of our lives. We didn’t necessarily want to leave, but we knew God had a plan and we knew we could trust Him as he directed our steps.
I will never forget the Sunday afternoon we left Indiana and began to make our way to Tennessee. There were difficulties right from the start that made me question if we were doing the right thing. My husband drove the moving van and he had Whitney and one of our cats. I followed with Allison and our “Houdini” cat in our Mini van. That cat got out of her carrier before we even made it to the interstate! She was dancing her way across the dashboard, in what would have been funny at any other time, but at that time seemed a danger to our very lives! I’d cried so much as we left our church family that I had a migraine that was pounding louder than Barney’s cymbals when he played with the Mayberry Band! The moving van would stall if my husband turned it off, so we had to make progressive stops at the rest areas so that someone stayed with the moving van while its engine held on for dear life.
We made it to my parent’s home in KY that night and it was such a respite for us. They had hot chocolate and treats for our stomachs, warm beds for our weary bodies and comfort for our sagging spirits. We left their house the next morning much more encouraged, and when we arrived at our new home that afternoon, we were greeted with a house FULL of people. They had our belongings unloaded, beds set up and made in a very short time, and even left us with a pantry full of food and a hot supper for that evening’s meal. Yes, these folks were why we had come. We would minister with and to them and were happy to be here!
We had no idea what the Lord had in store. Blessings. Trials. More blessings. New believers. New church members. Peace. Joy in serving. Love from new friends and believers. A new church family. Dear friends. Opportunities to minister. We couldn’t have imagined how our hearts would become entwined with the dear people at Boones Creek. The Lord has taught me so much in these years, but as I look back , I sum it up with this –
- God wants the best for my life.
- Sometimes He has to bring change to make me realize how much I need Him, and to remind me that I must take my hands off my life and trust Him do what I could never imagine.
- He provides for me in abundance; though I am so undeserving.
- Obeying God is worth any discomfort, for it’s only temporal, and the end result is always joy.
To my Boones Creek church family, thank you for loving me and my family for these ten years. Thank you for the lovely parsonage that we’ve enjoyed making our home. Thank you for ministering to us and allowing us to serve with you. Thank you for listening when we teach, for caring when we hurt, and letting God use you to provide for us as the Philippians did for Paul. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3 I don’t know what the Lord has in store for the future, but I know this – we can trust Him!
With much love,