4 months ago today, we moved to the state of Florida. To be honest, I never imagined I would live in Florida. My aunt and uncle moved here when I was in elementary school. I visited them. I vacationed here. I even honeymooned here. Living here was never in my scope of possibility. Then, on April 5 of last year, we receive a random email from a man named Jerry Gill at a church in DeLand, Florida. And the ball started rolling.
The process was slow...very slow. We prayed a lot. We wanted to be sure this was right. We sought counsel from people much wiser than us. We called every pastor and former minister we had worked with before. We called friends from former churches. We called seminary professors. We needed many people praying for us and with us. All the while, asking God to give us clear direction to take the next step.
It would have been easier if we were unhappy. It would have been easier if Dan didn't have a staff he loved and enjoyed working with. It would have been easier if I hated my job. It would have been easier if the people in Vidalia were not like family. It would have been easier if my Sunday School class weren't falling head over heels in love with this Jesus we had been learning about. There was nothing easy about it.
Five months is a long time in a process like this. Very rarely do you get a phone call, then have the committee narrow the search down to just you then it take as long as it did this time. We wanted to be sure. We wanted to say without a doubt that God was calling us to leave Vidalia to come here. We wanted to "prove" to everyone that we were following His will for our lives. I remember someone in Vidalia asking Dan if he was SURE this was right. I was flabbergasted when Dan said "No, I'm not sure!" WHAT? Did you just say you weren't sure. He followed that with "but that is where Faith comes in!"
It has been over 9 months since that first phone call from Jerry Gill and I can honestly say I have never been happier and it is all due to location. No, not the state of Florida but knowing that my family is right smack dab in the center of God's will. There is no better feeling. I felt the same way for many, many years in Vidalia. It isn't about your zip code, it is about allowing Him to take you where ever he chooses.
We have seen God work and move over the last four months in DeLand. The church has had 60+ additions. Of those, 15 or more have been professions of faith. God has blessed this place with an incredible staff that we get to partner with and stand beside. We are seeing firsthand what happens when God ignites something in the heart of a believer and they can't do anything but serve Him. Just this week, I talked to a lady who shared with me what people in this place have done for her and how she has come to know Jesus because of them. WOW! Several kids were saved in our student ministry last week. I'm telling you, it is electric around here. Not because of Dan Glenn arriving in DeLand. Not because Reggie May knows how to lead us to worship our creator. Not because Jeff Dowdy is developing relationships that are leading students to Jesus. Not because some members of our church are being who God has called them to be. Solely because of who Jesus is and all of us allowing him to work through us. It is incredible.
And, I'm just grateful to be on this journey!