We've Come A Long Way, Baby!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Today is a special anniversary, of sorts.  Not exactly cake and champagne-worthy, but definitely notable.  On February 28 last year, Sean and I left behind our lives in California for good.  We took a red-eye flight out of San Francisco, bound for Cincinnati.  I was 30 weeks pregnant AND we were flying with our two lovely kitties.  Looking back, I can only laugh at the sight we must have been.  Duke had chewed through not one, but TWO carriers on the drive up to San Fran.  Seal was beside himself with anxiety, and I was through the roof nervous about all of it.  Oh, what a sight we must have been at the airport check-in desk!  I think the lady was a little bit worried I might go into labor during the 6 hour overnight flight.  Thankfully, we all made it in one piece with a largely uneventful flight.

Our new temporary home?  Sean's Dad's basement.  To say that this was a humbling move would be an understatement.  We are eternally grateful to Dad & Roxanne for taking us in and being so supportive of us in a time when we needed family the most.  However, after 7 years of marriage and being on our own 100% that entire time, it felt like we were newlyweds again- and not in a "can't keep our hands off each other" good way, but more of a "we're broke what are we going to do" way.  After Sean lost his job in October of 2010, I never imagined that we would still be looking for a job when his severance pay ended in February.  I never really even thought we'd have to leave California.  I guess you could say I was in denial about it all.  I was so relieved, overjoyed and grateful that God had finally taken us out of such a toxic church environment, but there was still a bit of sadness over the good stuff we had to leave behind.  And there was still a bad taste in our mouths over the hurtful things that were done to us by the pastors in leadership in Fresno.  Thankfully, God was in control the whole time (duh).  Though we could not see the bigger picture, God could.  Like only God can do, he worked in spite of the sin of others to bring about good in the lives of us who were constantly seeking Him.  Once we were settled into our new home, Sean would look for jobs every single day.  He had many interviews, but nothing that really felt right.  We both just had a feeling that this was a time when God was telling us to just rest in Him.  Man, that was tough.  Rest?  We had a baby coming in less than 2 months.  Rest?  We don't have a job!  Rest?  At almost 30 years old, we're living in Dad's basement.  With our two cats.  :)  Sounds like a good joke, right?

But in all our praying and seeking, the answer we kept receiving was rest.  So we really did try to do just that.  Even though Sean continued to diligently seek a new ministry, we took time to enjoy the season of rest we had been blessed with.  And looking back, we can now say it was one of the best times of our lives.  We'd never lived so close to family before.  It was wonderful to be a part of everyday life with Dad & Roxanne.  Sure, we got on each others' nerves every now and then, but I appreciate them on a level that I never did before.  We got to share so much of my pregnancy with them- something that would have never happened had we still lived in California.  We attended church just as regular church-goers... no other duties on Sunday but to simply worship.  (And eat Skyline after.)  It was wonderful.  Sean sought counsel from a pastor there, and had good meetings with him.  It was a time of restoration for both of us.  Sean was with me 24/7 those last days of my pregnancy and for the first few months of Gia's life.  That is amazing to me.  Literally every hour of every day for months, we were together.  It was wonderful and perhaps one of the greatest blessings of our lives.  When Gia was born, it was so incredible to be able to have family there in the waiting room!  And we had even more family visit the next couple days we were in the hospital.  So much fun!  I never thought that would happen.  The day we took Gia home from the hospital, Dad & Roxanne had prepared a delicious dinner and had the family over to celebrate.  It was so great. 

Of course, the weight of "reality" was always in the back of our minds...we needed a job, a home, etc.  We kept praying that God would make it clear and that it would be worth it all.  To make a long story short, the place where we are now was most definitely worth it.  It feels like home already, and we are so blessed to be in ministry with such awesome students and other ministers.  Despite the difficulty of the past year, we can look back at it all and whole-heartedly say "IT WAS WORTH GOING THROUGH ALL THAT!"  Though Sean is working harder than he ever has, he is growing and thriving, and I am thankful for the men that are coming alongside of him to encourage him.  He has people who are lifting him up, challenging him and just doing life with him.  A stark contrast from the way things were in the previous job.  God has brought me a fantastic group of girlfriends, something I have always longed and prayed for.  We have weekly Girls' Nights, just us grown-ups and it is amazing.  They ask me about Whitney, we talk about movies, compare stretch marks and well... the rest is confidential.  :)  God is doing great things in the hearts of our students and we are just in awe every day that we get to be a part of a place where God is truly moving. 

So, in just a year, we've come a long way.  From being 30 weeks pregnant and living in Dad's basement with our x-box and two cats to now getting settled into a great new town and wonderful church family, we are so incredibly blessed.  A few weeks ago, Sean said that he was thinking about the past year and he felt that the entire season that we were without a job, just waiting on the Lord, He was saying to us "I love you."  At first, that was really odd to me.  I didn't see how Sean was able to get God saying "I love you" out of that trial.  But he's right... the time we had together as a couple, the time we had alone with God, the time we had as a new family, undistracted from so many things was truly God saying "I love you."

What about you?  Have you ever had a season of life that was difficult, but in retrospect can see that all along, God was saying "I love you"?

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2 Lovely Words

  1. Yes. I have. As you know. But I'm so thankful to have been able to have read yours, and am thrilled as to where you are now, and your ability to see. Much, MUCH love to you!

  2. such an amazing story of faith and of god blessing you. it was calming and inspiring. so happy that you are happy, shey!


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