The next chapter

My husband graduated from seminary this weekend.

It’s the end of a journey we began four years ago with little knowledge and a lot of faith.

We packed up a U-haul, my dad’s truck and our Saturn, not knowing if we’d have a place to live. Or a job. We didn’t know if we’d find friends. A church family. A community in which to settle. We thought we’d finish seminary in three years. (It took four.)

I didn’t know what living in a small town would be like. (Was Wal-Mart close?)

Our arrival in Myerstown was at least a little quieter than our arrival in Charleston, IL the year before. (We were driving around town the first night and a cop pulled me over in our new driveway for a non-functioning license plate light and a broken tail light. I got a warning. And a friendly welcome.)

It was an adventure in all senses of the word. God provided for us in ways that blew our minds. And He stripped away our dependence on ourselves, our parents, anyone but Him.

His call on our lives to come to Pennsylvania was crystal clear, in spite of the uncertainties and perceived insecurities.

In spite of deep disappointments, dark valleys and discouragement.

In spite of missing family so much it hurts.

In spite of unmet expectations.

And it wasn’t all bad.

Sometimes, it was great.

Like when our family of three became a family of four.

 

Like being so close to Hershey you can practically smell the chocolate.

Like making life friends we’ll never forgot.

Like being counted as family with people who were once strangers.

Like facing an uphill battle and arriving on the other side alive. And victorious.

Yes, this journey has had its ups and downs. Sometimes we were WAY up. And sometimes we were WAY down.

And we’re on the other side.

If life is a story, which I would say it is, then we’ve closed a chapter and opened a new one.

Today, we are no longer in seminary. My husband has a master’s degree. He’s an alumnus. He has no papers due. No assignments. No upcoming classes. We don’t have to order any books.

Today, my husband is taking me away for three days. To reconnect as a couple. To pray for the future. To celebrate our May milestones: my birthday, Mother’s Day, graduation and our five-year wedding anniversary (later this month).

Today, we begin another adventure, destination unknown.

We are not entering full-time paid church ministry at this time. My husband is looking for a job. We might move. We have a couple of months’ living expenses stashed away while we make these decisions.

Uncertainty and insecurity threaten again. We don’t know the next step. We know God, though, and we know He is good. And faithful. And walking with us. He will not forsake us. He has not abandoned us. He is leading us.

The next chapter is blank, as far as we can see it. We are pursuing opportunities, waiting for God to show us the next part of our story with Him.

The adventure continues.

We invite you along on the journey. It could be a bumpy ride.

Pray with us as we seek God.

How can we pray for you? And what adventure is God taking you on?

 

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