Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Hold

I am not exactly an enthusiastic flyer.  I typically endure take-off, landing and any bumpiness in between with clenched teeth, prayers and by squeezing my hubby's hand until he loses feeling in his fingers.  A good dose of anti-nausea medication doesn't hurt, either!

While I don't enjoy most aspects of flying, there are some that are decidedly less pleasant than others.  For example, I hate when you've nearly arrived at your destination but are forced to circle above the airport and wait to land.  For one reason or another your plane has been placed in a holding pattern.  How frustrating is that?  You are so nearly right where you want to be, but you are forced to wait until you recieve clearance from the tower to land and get on with your plans!

Can you see where this is going?

Yeah...  We are the plane.  But in this case it's not all bad.

It has been a month and a half since we felt that God was calling us to move to C-Town and work with a church there.  Right away we decided that we needed to pray and ask God for the following three things before we made the move:  a job, a place to live and the finances for the move.  Since that time we've been actively pursuing item #1 (job).  Hubby has been calling contacts in the area to spread the word that he's looking for work, calling businesses to inquire about openings and filling out applications.  So far, nothing has opened up for us.  In addition to this, we've been hit with several big bills recently (and are still expecting some more), so the finances are definately not there yet. 

We felt the call.  We still feel it.  But we've been placed in a holding pattern - waiting for clearance.

Hubby has less than two weeks remaining at his current position at this point.  Two weeks ago he got a call about a job from an old friend of his who owns a construction company near here.  Last week he met with the guy and interviewed for a position.  The terms were good, so he took the job.  We were both relieved and puzzled at the same time.  He needed a job.  Obviously we weren't going to make it with next to no income.  And this job sounds like it will be decently good for us.  However, we feel confused about things because, well, we don't know what God is up to.  We were pretty sure that our next move would be to a job and home in C-Town.  Now, we are making the move to a job in this area, and we will also be looking for a new house to live in around here.  (The house we currently rent is a bit too far from the new job and also a bit too expensive.)  This will be our fifth move in seven years.  To say I'm getting a bit tired of packing and unpacking would be an understatement.  Although, I will admit that it seems to get a bit easier every time.  I pretty much know how to pack every item I've got into a box without it breaking.  I know what fits well in boxes together.  And, I've greatly reduced the amout of clutter we have in our home!  Every time we move I throw out, give away or sell a great deal of stuff.  I've always been a person who likes to hang on to nearly everything because of sentimental value, but I have learned to let go!  There are things that I just don't value enough to pack up and move anymore.

We don't know how long we'll be "on hold".  It could be as little as two or three months to as long as a year or even more.  Sometimes I feel a little frustrated about this, but I'm trying not to be.  After all, God's timing is always the best timing and we don't want to jump into anything before the way is prepared for us.  Hubby and I are united in our feelings about moving to C-Town... and about waiting.  While we feel anxious and ready to go, we also feel content about waiting.  God has provided a good job for us while we wait and we are confident that he'll also provide affordable housing.  While we are here, hubby can continue with the college course he is taking without the hassle of doing it long-distance.  We also will continue to make the most of every opportunity we have to spend with our family and friends.  I can continue on with the ministry I am employed with for the time being.  We can give our kids the opportunity to enjoy some of the same things that we enjoyed while growing up in this area.  Additionally, we are feeling led to attend a certain church.  We are excited about the opportunity to make some new friends and take a bit of a break from pastoral ministry.  We need to slow down and relax for a little while and spend some time just being a family.  The kids don't get to see enough of their dad right now.  We also need to improve our financial situation.

So, yeah, a lot of mixed emotions right now. 

Therefore, I've come up with some "Strategies for Surviving the Wait."

1) Be Content.  Live in the moment and focus on the positive aspects of waiting (see above).

2) Be Patient.  Don't get ahead of God.  Trust Him.

3) Be Flexible.  Stay open to changes and don't get stuck in a rut.  (This is a hard one for me!  I like a steady routine.)

4) Grow in Relationship with God.  Prayer, devotions, healthy church life...  Stay in constant communication with Him.

5) Stay Assured of the Call.  Don't doubt.

6) Maintain Readiness.  Don't get too comfortable in the current circumstances.  Be ready to go when He says "go".

7) Be Teachable.  Use every opportunity to learn from this experience.

I'll be referring back to this post frequently, I am sure.

As we head into the final days before we begin making the big transitions, we would appreciate your prayers.  Goodbyes are never easy.  We've made some good friends at our current church and we'll miss them.  Our son is old enough now to have some real concerns about changing churches and getting a new house.  Our daughter isn't affected by it yet.  At 16 months old, she does not understand what we're talking about when we say that we are going to move.  However, I know that she is a girl that likes her routines and familiar surroundings, so it will be interesting to see how she reacts.  Of course we'll all adjust - there's just questions about how smoothly it will all go...  Through it all we will look for God to sustain us.  We are excited about the future and the possibilities!

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."
-Psalm 33: 20-22 (NIV)

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