On a more positive note...
In Sunday school today, we were talking about Abraham when God told him to "Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father's house to the land that I will show you" Gen. 12: 1. I was reminded of the many stories I've heard my dad or Granny Rosie tell about their family vacations when my dad was a kid. Pop Pop would tell the family, "Pack up, we're going on vacation." And when they asked him where they were going, he said he didn't know. They just packed up, left and ended up somewhere to vacation. But, really, what would you do if God asked you to pack up and leave where you were...leave your friends, family, house, community, church, job and He gave no direction, except to follow him wherever He leads? Would you do it? That was a question Rod, our teacher, asked us today. I thought of the time when Brent told me he was moving to Fort Myers, FL after he graduated to take a job, which ultimately meant that I had to move as well. I never imagined living anywhere but Birmingham, never imagined leaving my home church in Cahaba Heights, never imagined having to learn to shop somewhere other than the Summit or Galleria. But, God imagined something different. After we got married in May 2007, I packed up my things in Auburn and Birmingham and moved to Fort Myers--a place only familiar to me because I had visited him 4 times in the span of 11 months before we got married. 8 days after we returned from the honeymoon, he called me around lunch time from work...a phone conversation I will never forget:
Brent: (laughing sarcastically) We definitely have something to talk about when I get home from work today.
Me: Do you still have a job?
Me: Ok, where are we moving?
Brent: Fort Lauderdale
We didn't want to move to Fort Lauderdale because it was further from home (as if we weren't far enough already) and we would be broke because the cost of living there is high. Thankfully, after we waited about a week, the Lord provided a position for Brent here in Huntsville. But I look back and I feel like I can kind of relate to Abraham. I wasn't moving to another country, but I was moving, twice in 4 weeks. I left my comfort zone in Auburn/Birmingham to move with Brent to Fort Myers. I got there and spent all my free time unpacking and making our townhome "home", I was preparing to start my first year of teaching at Mirror Lakes Elementary and I even joined McGregor Baptist the first Sunday I was there. Then, God told us to leave. As sad as I was to leave and as much as I sometimes wish we could have stayed, we wouldn't be satisfied because that's not where He wanted us. And now that we are here, we are so blessed. After God told Abraham to leave his country, He said, "I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you" Gen. 12:2,3. Just as God fulfilled promises in Abraham's life, he is fulfilling the same in ours. We bought a house, we have a dog, we are closer to family, we both have jobs, my car is still running (even though it sometimes runs when no one is in the car). But the best blessing is that God directed us to Lindsay Lane Baptist through one of my co-workers, Elayne, and we are so grateful. We have a wonderful Sunday school class that seems to grow every Sunday, either with new members or babies. We have a lot of fun, but we also can be real about God and desire to learn more and grow in our walk with the Lord. Brent and I are starting to get involved with the youth group, which is where we desire to serve. Starting next Sunday, I will be teaching Sunday school to the high school girls and Brent will be helping in Sunday school with the middle school boys. And...something that I am VERY excited about...our church is starting a christian academy that will open in 2009. I am on the volunteer committee (even though I haven't done anything to volunteer yet) and I would like to teach there sometime in the future. We are blessed beyond measure and my prayer is that we don't lose sight of that. Instead, I pray that we can bless God with the things he has given us. With all that has happened in less than a year, we are excited to see what is in His plan for our future.