Closing a Chapter…

Sam and I both enjoy reading.  Sam tends to be the kind of reader who is able to read multiple books on various subjects, and usually has several books going at one time.  He can read a few pages in each of his books every day and keep up with the content.

I, on the other hand, prefer to read voraciously in spurts.  I favor espionage and crime novels mostly and will cabbage onto an author I love and read everything they’ve written before moving on to the next author.  I especially love it when an author writes a series of books based around a main character or story line, like Brad Thor’s Scott Harveth, or Tim Downs Bug Man, or Patricia Cornwell’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta.  Currently I’m reading a British author, Peter Robinson, who writes the DCI Banks series.

Regardless of which character I’m reading about I always find myself a little bit sad when I finish a series because I feel like I’ve really gotten to know and love these characters, and I hate to see their stories come to an end, even though I’m about to discover a new story line and set of characters that I’m going to love just as much.

Right now, our life is a bit like the ending of a great series of stories.  One beloved chapter is coming to an immediate end, while another, equally exciting one is about to begin.  Our time in Georgia is drawing to a close, and in approximately 10 weeks we’ll be loading what’s left of our worldly possessions into a couple of suitcases and boarding a plane for Scotland where we’ll begin the next amazing chapter in our story.  Our emotions are all over the board, and most days we would sum them up to one word: bitter-sweet.

We are super excited about how God is working in our lives right now, both personally and through our partners.  We have re-discovered just what a big God we serve as we’ve seen him remove barriers, obstacles, and distractions in ways we thought weren’t possible.  We have been blessed daily by unexpected words of encouragement, the faithfulness of our partners, and watching people enthusiastically embrace us and this ministry.  We have felt new life breathed into old and tired bones as discouragement is replaced by vision, purpose, and determination.  And we have been able to rest in the peace of knowing that we’re walking right in the center of the Lord’s will for our life as the pieces begin to fall into place for our move.  Just in case you didn’t already know, we serve an awesome God, y’all!

One of the biggest changes that has happened for us in the past couple of weeks has to do with our farm.  Many of you know we purchased a little farm about four years ago.  At the time, we felt it was our dream property, and an avenue for us to stay in Georgia permanently and live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.  For the past two years as we’ve prayed over and wrestled with this opportunity to return to Scotland we had not felt comfortable with selling our little piece of heaven.  It’s paid for, and it seemed like a good security net should we have to return to the States for whatever reason.  Sam and I have talked at length about renting it out, using it as a short-term home for families in transition, leaving it empty, moving Sam’s children from Nebraska or my parents from Florida into it, and a variety of other options that cropped up.  As we explored the possibilities both Sam and I felt uncomfortable and burdened by each option.  In the last month or so our prayers have seemed to morph from, “Lord, please open the door for us to keep our farm by…” to “Lord, please give us peace about our future, whatever that might be.”

Oh how I love the way our gracious God works when we truly surrender our will to His!!

A few weeks back we were meeting with a friend from church about partnering with us financially.  At the end of the meeting he asked us what we had decided to do with our farm.  We told him we just weren’t sure, and shared some of the options we’d been tossing around.  He listened intently and when we’d finished running through the list of possibilities he just asked us if we’d pray about selling it to him.  WHAT?!?!  In that moment we were totally blown away because he was one of the options we’d thrown around in the early days and then dismissed because we didn’t think he would be interested.

Friends, I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you that one of the most important lessons I’m learning right now about true surrender and trust is to not say “no” for people when God has been preparing them to say “yes”.

As this part of our story begins to come to a close, we admit to having mixed feelings.  We are sad and dreading the emotional roller-coaster of saying farewell to friends, family, our church, and things we have grown to love and cherish; but we are also anxious and excited to move into the next part of our story where we will write a whole new chapter full of new friends, family, and memories.

Thank you friends for being a part of this journey!

 

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