CHURCH–

I’ve attended the same church for my whole life. I think we started going to the HOPE when I was 5 or 6 years old. I met my best friend there, my mom helped in the nursery, my brother went to children’s church every Sunday. One year for youth group we were putting on a talent show. I am almost completely talentless so the best I could come up with was wearing silly animal hats and told knock-knock jokes with my friends. The audience loved it. The audience was our parents, so they had to love it, but I still thought it was cool that they laughed at my jokes. In college, I didn’t attend church as much as I should have – I don’t have a good explanation for that other than I went to a Christian college and had a “Christian” degree, so “school” was “church”. But even while I was a big, cool college student, I would still come to HOPE for church services.
Then we moved to Colorado and we had to find a new church family. I didn’t realize how hard this process could be but it’s taken a year and we’ve been to TOO MANY DANG CHURCHES. Part of the problem is that Alan and I loved our home churches so every church we go to has a lot to stand up against. We’ve been to churches that we didn’t agree with, some we couldn’t get “connected” in, some we didn’t feel good enough to attend, some we loved until we saw the dark underbelly of. Some only have people twice, three times our age group and some only have 20-somethings without the wisdom of the “older folks”. We’ve met a lot of people along the way and made some really great friends at a few different churches. We’ve learned the importance of a genuine church, full of people who are excited to be there worshipping God together. We’ve learned the importance of getting involved! We’ve learned that some churches have coffee shops and worship as loud as a concert. Some churches have water bottles from Kroger and a singer who sings off key. We’ve been greeted, ignored, hovered over, seated front row, seated back row, and every thing in between. We’re slowly realizing that no church is ever going to be perfect and we need to look past the flashy lights and the concert-ready worship team. Sometimes it’s the smaller, off key, intimate churches that have the most genuine people. God will show you where you belong. He’ll lead you to where you can make a difference, where you can get connected and make friends. He’ll lead you exactly where you need to go no matter what – just keep in mind that the journey may be part of the adventure.

Moving —

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

We were walking around our small town, holding hands and taking pictures of the cute “vintage” shop signs. I had coffee in one hand, my husband’s (probably sweaty, he has eternally sweaty hands) hand in my other and we were casually talking about the future. We were worried about Alan’s temporary position at the air force base coming to an end and what we were supposed to do next. I had driven to Nashville to apply for an esthetician school that I was trying to get excited about, Alan wasn’t excited about working for $12.00/hour at a car dealership and we didn’t feel like any plans we had come up with felt right. Jokingly, Alan said “Well, there is a position available for a technician at air force bases in Colorado and Texas.” I remember laughing and saying “Well, Colorado would be fun they have mountains. You should apply, that would be crazy right!” Alan responded with “I was just kidding, we can’t move to Colorado!” and we didn’t talk about it again. Turns out, the conversation wasn’t over. Alan applied for the job at Buckley Air Force Base and a few months later they called and offered him the position. I didn’t think it was possible for someone’s heart to stop beating for as long as mine did as Alan started the sentence of “So, Buckley called…” and that’s when our biggest adventure started. We had to decide if we were moving, how to tell our families and where do we even begin?! 

On March 1st, 2017 Alan, my Dad, my cats, a truck full of allllll of our stuff and I took to the open road at 5AM and drove 13 hours straight to Colorado. Along the way, I cried a few times, I threw mini-car parties a few times, I told Alan just to turn around and forget this a few times. Moving so far from my family, my friends, anyone I’d ever known, was so hard. It was hard saying “see you later” to my best friends and it was a tough realization a few months later that the distance was going to best a few of my closest friendships. But as Alan and I dropped my Dad off at the airport and we were actually left alone, in a new city, with only each other… I was even more scared. It’s hard to say “I see you God, I see you working and I know you’ve got a plan” while you’re crying in a 15 minute parking spot at an airport saying goodbye to the only other person you know in the whole state. It’s hard to say “God, I’m not going to try to take control of this situation, I’m going to fully rely on you” while you’re alone in a mall because you haven’t made any friends yet and you’ve dragged your husband to the mall TOO many times. Sometimes it’s hard to see His hands in the details, it’s easier to see it once the bigger picture has been presented. It’s hard to say “Okay, God. I’ll move 13 hours away… because you told us to.” and face the judgements of people you’ve known forever who don’t understand why anyone would want to move out of Corn-Field Illinois (No offense to Corn-Field Illinois, we still love you… we just needed some space). But the Lord works in such CRAZY ways and sometimes packing it all up and putting your full trust in Him is what He is calling you to do. 

73586116-512b-45bb-9567-9755e35a4419