These past few months have been a roller-coaster of emotions. As I talked to my friend Dede on the phone today, I told her that I felt like every time I talked to her I was going in a completely different direction or feeling so different than the last time we talked. We reflected on how cool it is that even though our last conversation was filled with a lot of tough things and us feeling low, now just a few weeks later we are both feeling way better & much more content. I am sharing this snippet because I want to praise God and the way that He is always working for our good. He knew that as we had those tough conversations, we would be talking about our contentment just a few weeks later. He is always at work. Anyway, here is an update of some of the hard & some of the good:
I feel like a lot of my crazy emotions began when some friends from Spokane came to town about a month ago for another friend’s wedding. It was SO good to have our friends here. It reminded us so much of the community we had at Moody and made me question why we would ever choose to leave such a great group of people. For a few days after they left I just sobbed every time I would think of them or think of Spokane (okay, I might cry now, I just really miss that place!) Even Joe started talking about how he felt like he just missed Spokane and our missional community from church there more and more as time went on. We wondered why we couldn’t just get over it and move on. We kind of pushed these Spokane feelings aside because we so badly wanted to be near our families here in Michigan, and we have loved being back and sharing life with them. The thought of picking up and moving back seemed ridiculous. We also pushed these feelings aside because there was a job that Joe was pursuing here, so we wanted to see what would happen with that.
We continued to move forward with the church plant we’ve been a part of, Detroit Church, serving on middle school youth group staff at Oak Pointe Church (the church that we grew up at) and continued to spend time with family and friends here. Being at Detroit Church was one thing that always kept us excited about being back in Michigan. We could tell that God was doing something really cool through this group of people in the city we love. So we continued to try to be content here in Michigan.
At the beginning of April, Joe found out that he did not get the job that he was pursuing. He has been really sad about this, and I have been sad for him and have been trying to figure out how to best support him as his wife when he is struggling. We really do know and fully trust that God has another purpose for Joe next year, but it is hard during this season of waiting when there is no clear direction. We are learning a lot during this time, though! All of that to say, once Joe didn’t get that job, we felt like we should just go for it and move back to Spokane. We discussed how we felt like we were growing so much in Spokane through our gospel-centered community and wanted to be a part of that again.
So as we were still processing through all of the emotions and decisions and the COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING idea of adulthood and everything that comes along with that, we still continued to excitedly pursue what was happening at Detroit Church. The night before the church had its first service, we went to a gathering with some of the leaders and some people from Stadia, which is the church planting organization that has been guiding Detroit Church as we get going. On the way there Joe and I were discussing how it would be so much easier to head back to Spokane and live in a great missional community group, but how at the same time we feel equipped and that we are here for a reason. While it is easier to stay comfortable, we eventually need to be sent out to new places to accomplish things to make Jesus’ name known. After hearing what the guys from Stadia had to say, we both felt like we are supposed to be at Detroit Church right now. We would maybe rather be in the mountains at times or be in a missional community group through church that is already established, but even more importantly, we always want to be exactly where God has purpose for us. And right now, we feel confident that that is at Detroit Church.
I recognize now that God has given us such a deep longing for that community that we had in Spokane so that we can try to implement great community groups through Detroit Church. We have been helping out with coordinating small groups and sharing anything that we learned from our missional community in Spokane. We have SO MUCH more to learn, but it has been great to be pushed out of our comfort zone and have to figure out how great gospel-centered communities are established, rather than just being a part of one.
All of that to say, we still dream of possibly living out west again one day, but for now and hopefully for a while, we are so happy to be here in Detroit and sharing the good news of Jesus to a city that has been broken, but is becoming new as God continues to make all things new!
PS: I am always all about transparency (if you haven’t noticed). What I’ve learned through this season is that figuring out life when you have lack of direction is really, really hard. I have felt really low and Joe has also. Life trying is overwhelming when you’re trying to figure it all out. I share that because I hope you know that I am always open to talking with anybody through all of the crazy emotions of this life and processing it together. Nobody should walk through it alone! And better than talking to me, lift it all up to Jesus in prayer because He is walking through all of the hardship with you and is always there.