The Next Chapter

“I will either be smiling or crying tomorrow,” I told Kris. For the record, I cried.a.lot.

For the last few months we have felt God’s call to move to the next chapter of our lives and we announced it at our church today which made it official official.

At the end of August, Kris and I will be moving to the Toledo, OH area to plant a new Free Methodist church.

What I was not able to say through my tears was that I am thrilled about this new journey. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to plant a church. I am thrilled about the Superintendents we will be working under. I am thrilled about what God is doing. Since it was first proposed to us we have felt nothing but excitement about this possibility. We have seen God do some amazing things and confirm this call in really amazing ways.

However, I cried because I just have no clue how to say goodbye to the people I love here so much.

My dear church family,

You will never know the depth of love we have for you. You have opened up your lives to us and truly become our family. So many of you have loved our family in such a way that I could never begin to repay you. You accepted Kris and myself when we were just babies and coming to our very first church. You saw us through the first years of our marriage. You brought your kids and trusted me with them. Some of you even sent them halfway around the world with me. Some of you even went halfway around the world with me and still joined me in teaching the teenagers every single week for four years straight. You believed in me as a woman preacher and some of you even told me that even though you don’t believe in women preachers, God spoke to you through me. That was always my favorite compliment. You showed up over and over. You brought us meals and baked us pies. You had us over for dinner, for swim nights, for game nights and for plays, graduations and celebrations. We sang next to you on Sunday mornings and mourned with you in the dark times and the losses. You threw me a baby shower and over 70 of you came. You gave me enough clothes that I still don’t have to buy any outfits for Anastasia. You showed up when Anastasia was born and I walked through the darkest two weeks of my life. Some of you even broke hipaa codes in order to start praying for A immediately and I am certain that is one of the reasons my daughter is alive today. You welcomed our family home, loved us, prayed for us, babysat for us and encouraged us. You gave me advice as a new mom and gave me a break on Sunday mornings when so many of you were willing to hold her and love on her. Some of you let us live in your house, drive your cars, come over for holidays, take your kids to do wacky and crazy things.

You are so much our family and we love you greatly.

So, for the next chapter… We will trust in God and continue to expect him to show up in amazing ways. We are praying for FCC and that God will continue to move in his great power here. We are praying for the new church that God will move in his great power there.

As my dad put it, “Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze.”

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