The Beginning of the Story.

There is always more to the story than what social media and text messages can say, and I wanted to write it down in all its glory so that I may never forget how the Lord called us back to America.bluestipes-4081870048-1501507551450.png

It all began one unassuming morning.  I was in bed, sick with a migraine, when Cameron came in and said that Pastor Kirt (the pastor at our church in San Angelo, Texas) had called.  He looked a little shell-shocked as he told me, so I immediately asked what he wanted.  It wasn’t unusual for Kirt to call as the church was partnering with us to open a coffee shop on the island, but this seemed like more than that.  Then Cameron dropped the bomb that changed our lives, “He offered me a job.”

If you know me well at all, you know that being in China didn’t always come easy to me.  I have always had a deep soul longing to live near my family again one day, but I have also always been willing to lay down that desire in order to be in the center of Gods plan.  I want His plan for our lives much more than I want to be near family, and I honestly never thought He would move us back to our hometown.  Ever.  So when my brain began to process what Cameron had just said, my first thought was, “NO.”  This can’t be what God wants.

Let me make a side note here and get real with you.

  • Sixteen years ago, when Chloe died, I started to believe the lie that God doesn’t give me the things my heart wants.  I earnestly prayed for Him to breathe life back into her body, and He told me no.  That was the beginning of me allowing Satan to fill my heart with lies.  I still battle it.
  • Ten years ago, God asked us to move to Fort Worth for schooling.  I knew without a doubt that He wanted this for us, but nothing in me wanted to go.  We had just bought a house on the same street as my best friend, and we had big plans for a happy life of homeschooling and living life together.  This was just another brick on the wall I was building that said God didn’t want me to like my life.  I began to pray then that someday God would allow us to move back to San Angelo to live near our family.  Near my grandparents.  My parents.  My brother and sister-in-law.  My nieces and nephews.  My friends.  TEN years I have prayed.
  •  Five years ago, He asked us to get on a plane that would take us as far from family as we could physically get.  Then He asked me to give up homeschooling.  For the first time in 12 years, I wasn’t a stay at home mom.  I felt like He was always going to ask me to do the things I didn’t want to do.

I basically adopted an attitude and belief that if I weighed out what I wanted in one hand and the other option in the other hand, God was always going to choose the option that wasn’t what I wanted.  So, I battled.  I fought with Satan’s lies that God wasn’t actually a good father, that He didn’t love me or care about me.  And I fought hard, y’all.  Sometimes Satan won the battle, but most of the time, after some doubting, I would see it all for what it was…lies.  God is always faithful.  He is always good.  He always wants the best for my life that will give Him the most glory.  God has never let me down.  Not even once.  Not when He wouldn’t let my baby live or when He moved me away from my family or when He sent me to China.  He has proven over and over His faithfulness and goodness to me.  He is turning my life into a beautiful piece of art, and that is going to take some pain in the making, but I will accept it.  And hopefully I will accept it with joy, because He has taught me that He loves me more than life, and all the examples I was keeping track of that said He didn’t love me, those were actually the opposite.  He was taking the “me” away so that I could look fully into His face and recognize that HE is God, and that He has mighty plans for my life that will reveal His glory to the nations.

So, back to the bomb.  Cameron is pretty unwavering.  When He is confident in what God is telling him to do, he doesn’t waver.  He is able to stand firm.  {Thank the Lord that one of us is able to!}  So when he stood before me, uncertain, I knew.  I knew this was big.  I knew God was already softening Cameron’s heart.

Another side note.

Man, the rabbit trails!

A little before the phone call that changed our world, Cam and I were talking about life and our hopes and dreams and all that.  We were dreaming about what life would look like when we were in China alone, when our girls were all grown and living in America.  It was a marvelous dream!  Oh the traveling we would have done!  But we also talked about what it would take to call us back to America.  I told Cameron that I thought it would be the hardest decision we would ever have to make.  {I wasn’t wrong.} I may also have told him that I didn’t think he would ever make it.  That I thought God would have to knock him upside the head to get him to believe that God actually wanted us to leave China.  Cam agreed that it would have to be VERY clear, but told me that he always wants to live where God calls us, and if that is in America, then that is where he wants to be.  He won’t hesitate to do what God tells him to do.

What a gift that conversation was to my heart in the weeks to come!

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