Finding God at the Center of Your Pause
I've learned the value of watching for God. The more I am aware of His movement, the easier it becomes to spot the miracles - and let me tell ya...the past few weeks have been full of them.
For nearly two years, we have been taking back country roads home when the Seattle traffic was just too extra - which was most days.
Just minutes before our turn off for our home street, we passed by a church with a beautifully unique campus and had always wanted to visit and meet these people doing ministry in our literal backyard.
But you know, being a Pastoral family and working at a church doesn't allow for doing life at another church very well, so we just continued to pass it by.
Little did we know, that Jesus was so far ahead of us.
Isn't He always? He is for you as well.
How old do we have to get to believe He is for our good?
That He is always the shepherd of our hearts and days.
That He will lead us even when we don't know we need leading.
Unknown to us, and over time - He was giving us confirmation and comfort in a place we didn't know we would heavily lean into for light, worship, community, and new staff friendships.
The week we transitioned out of our church and into a new season of job searching and Abraham trust, we naturally stepped straight into the care of the team at New Community.
When you live life in full time ministry - the church is never just a job. It is your jam on every level.
This is where I turn into a hot mess of a momma and wife.
You guys... Jesus had it all mapped out. This staff was literally waiting to welcome us, to love on us, to confirm our call to ministry, to give our family an immediate place to belong. Unbelievable!
We arrived on Sunday morning to the later service...because saying yes to the latest service is the reward of 20 years of NOTHING being "easy like Sunday morning" with this family of 7!
With hearts that desired to give God our complete trust - but were still a bit shook at the reality of God calling us to a new ministry assignment, we could not wait to experience a fresh morning of hope. Please Jesus speak, we are listening!
Of course the connections gal found us like a champ.
I loved everything about her passion mixed with the fact that we knew her role well. She led us to check the younger kids in, explaining how to enter them in the system and about the pick up tag procedures.
I mean...immediately God confirmed my love for the church and His work. Come on. When a staff gal causes you to have a moment because she is sharing the importance of kids loving their environments...done.
The Howells were made for this.
I nodded with a smile and maybe a tear forming, not letting her know quite yet that church is our life.
I made sure to tell her that we are a ministry family and what she just accomplished with a transparency and genuine care - was brilliantly inspired by a heart forJesus. I told her, "You killed it.", and she did.
I shared with her the short version of our story about living near but working so far away the past two years and how we'd always wanted to visit and that just maybe... God has been setting this church up as our home in the pause of ministry life.
We found our seats and immediately felt the presence of joy, hope, and most importantly - belonging.
In a season of waiting where some might run, we knew our worth and believed God had positioned us to do His work no matter the setting.
The Pastor took the stage and began to teach from a place of humility and personal experiences related to work, transitions and calling. He spoke of the value in reaching out to a mentor who has gone before you - because WISDOM.
I may have lightly kicked my man in the leg and gave him a few "what on earth" elbows during the message. I mean, its what we do girls.
The service ended and my husband made a straight shot to Bill and spoke to him about our season of praying and waiting on God's next best assignment saying, "I'd like to take you up on your offer".
How proud of a wife was I in that moment? Uh hem - crazy amazed at both Jesus meeting my man in that moment and for his obedience in the follow through.
The moment we returned from church, I stepped into the kitchen to send a "thank you" text to my connections gal Elli - but she beat me to it.
Pastor Bill accepted the invite and was sitting on our river front deck having lunch by Tuesday. What?
That same day we got a postcard in the mail that carried HUGE meaning and was literally a signpost from God. To be seen, and valued, and cheered for by a church who God decided to use during our waiting - was everything we needed.
Why are we surprised at the kindness of Jesus interceding constantly on our behalf?
We forget all the times He has proven faithful. We forget that He is almighty and working out our days for His glory alone, and He was.
It definitely did not stop there friends.
The student staff embraced our boys and pulled them in as if they had been apart of the crew their entire lives. The lead Pastors spent hours with my man over lunch last week, just offering their encouragement, solid prayer and father-like insight.
We are grateful for your heart and passion , New Community - for giving us just that. To walk with us when we may relocate and not be long term investors, speaks LOUDLY not just to Kris and I... but our teenage sons and little ones having a front row seat to the things of God.
People, lets walk with others because Jesus would, not because of what they can or cannot offer us.
When the temptation to doubt rises, when there is a pause in life - He can be trusted and He is actually already where you are going.