A Change of Plans

So the Schubrings have had a change of plans. And if you want to read through this long post, you can hear a lot of our heart behind this decision. Most of you know that back in July 2015, we moved back to Michigan from Spokane, Washington. We moved back excited to live near family, to reconnect with friends that we have had for most of our lives, and to get plugged in back at the church we grew up at, etc. The past year and a half in Michigan has been extremely wonderful and extremely difficult in many different ways. So much of this is simply because of the stage of life that we are currently walking through. We left an amazing community in Spokane, not only through Moody but specifically through our church, Soma Communities Spokane. It was difficult to transition to Michigan without having a community to share life with, but at the same time we had our families nearby to make up for that!

Our time in Michigan has honestly been great in a lot of ways. We made some amazing friends that life would look completely different without, we had the honor of being a part of planting Detroit Church and saw some of the amazing ways that God is working through this body of believers and we know that is only beginning, we have shared many amazing memories with our families and have been extremely cared for by them, we had the opportunity to build a strong relationship with my grandpa as he generously allowed us to live with him the whole time we have been back, I was able to get my hip reconstructed by a great doctor here, we were able to start a non-profit called The Adventure Initiative and go on some great trips with awesome students (more on that later), and so much more.

The whole time that we have been back in Michigan we have continued to think about Spokane. For those of you who are close to us, you know how frequently we talked about moving back to Spokane. The main fear that I have had is that we were just idealizing that time of our lives and I felt like we just needed to move on and accept that this is just the way that normal life is outside of college. So through all of the struggles here in Michigan of finding jobs and gospel-centered community to walk through this life with, we continued to shove thoughts of Spokane aside to try to make it work here. And when I say “we”, I really mean me… because I was really trying to control most of this process. If Joe had it his way we probably wouldn’t have even moved back to Michigan in the first place.

I so badly wanted to make life work out living near our families that I created this great master plan in my mind of the type of life that we want and then I was trying so hard to make it all work out. I didn’t realize until more recently that everything that I was trying to accomplish just looked a lot like our life in Spokane but in a different location. I kept looking toward the next thing to believe that it would be the thing that would make us content – whether that was one of us finding a great job, or the perfect community (as if that’s a thing), the right place to live, the right things to do. As I look back on the past year and a half, I realize that I was just constantly striving to try to do everything right and secure everything for us so that this plan could work. It was always earn more (which is funny because we hardly earn anything haha), do more, save more, etc. But that’s how it is when we are trying to live our lives for ourselves.

I’ll just say here that the plan didn’t work. We’re giving up on this plan that I’ve created and are finally being obedient to where we feel God has been trying to lead us all along. We have finally accepted that for who knows what reason, God is leading us back to Spokane. Something Joe has been sharing is that he was afraid to say that God was leading us to a specific place in case it didn’t work out, and in a sense was trying to protect God in that way. But God doesn’t need our protection. He just needs us to be obedient.

Some of you may be confused because I have been making a pretty convincing argument that we were supposed to be in Detroit. I love Detroit a whole lot. I’ve cried about leaving this city because I was so ready to live there and be a part of what God is doing in Detroit. I’ve loved every minute that we’ve been able to spend getting to know this city & I am so thankful that we’ve had this time. But all of this was me being wrapped up in my master plan still. I was so busy trying to make everything work here (again, just so that we can be near our families) that I completely disregarded the fact that Joe has never had the same passion for Detroit and that all along he was feeling that we were supposed to be back in Spokane. I was so close to getting my way – but that ultimately wouldn’t have been a good thing for our marriage and our future family. We have looked at houses & apartments and we finally had a lease signed and were all packed up, ready to move the next day to Detroit! We found a six-month lease and I believed that if we finally just moved then maybe Joe would finally love Detroit the way that I do. But as Joe packed up that day, he continued to feel like he was just going along with this move to get it over with before we could finally move to Spokane. So we together, with our stuff all packed in boxes, finally made a final decision about where we’re going to live – and we both knew deep down that all along God’s been trying to get us to move back across the country. I’m now learning a lot about what it looks like for a husband and wife to make decisions together and to be on the same page. I’m learning a lot about what it means to trust that God is going to lead me through my husband as he seeks to do what’s best for our family.

So we made this decision with no jobs in Spokane, no place to live, but just trusting that God is going to continue to lead us and provide for us. I mentioned before that this time in Michigan has been filled with me trying to secure everything for us – pretending that I was really trusting God along the way (and sometimes was), but really just trying to make everything work the way that I wanted. It has been interesting how much my perspective has changed in this move to Spokane. With no jobs and no place to live, there’s no way to secure all of these things for ourselves anymore. But I feel so free. I honestly don’t feel worried at all because I finally know that we are going where God is leading and I trust that He is going to be the one securing everything for us now and I can simply rest, knowing that I have everything that I need in Him. And He has already been providing. A week after we made this decision, God provided Joe with a job at The Arc of Spokane. It’s amazing how hard we have tried to find secure jobs here in Michigan, with no success. God has been so generous as He has still provided more than we need as we have tried to live this life in our own power here. But as soon as we finally decided to be obedient, God quickly provided a job for Joe that he is going to love. We are so thankful.

So wow… there is a big chunk of our heart regarding this move. There’s actually so much more I could share if you want to get together either before we leave or once we reach Spokane (depending on where you live!). I am finishing my job here at The Salvation Army that ends on February 3 and then we will be driving both of our cars over to Spokane beginning on February 4. Please be praying with us through this moving process – be praying for our marriage, our friendships, our families, a place for us to live, and a job for me.

We are so thankful for those of you who share this life with us and have walked with us through all of these transitions. You mean more to us than you know. Thank you for encouraging us to draw near to Jesus and to live our lives fully for Him.

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