Please let me share a bit of our story with you…
Several years ago the Lord began to allow a stirring within Joyce and me. Our life within Corporate America became very uncomfortable. Our ministry was fully funded through my business to business sales and marketing career. God's continued favor over our business life allowed us to endure tough economic times and competition, yet all the while, an unrest seemed to settle over all that we called normal life. We sensed that God was requiring us to look beyond the security of our present circumstances, and acknowledge that life as we knew it was about to change. We spent the next 5 years knowing we were in transition, but when it finally came, it came suddenly. God told us to go - leave jobs, our beautiful home, all our family, and head to Waco, Texas. Though it came swiftly, the Father had prepared us with a resolve to serve Him wherever His Spirit led us to go, and to fulfill all that He had for us to do. (I am so blessed to have a wife who is a pioneer and sojourner with me on His journey.) In my mind, I had it all figured out. God was going to take us to the Promised Land - the land of milk and honey, and prosper us financially in the course of helping with a friend’s business start-up; all for His purposes.
So we went to Texas with the hopes of success and funding for the journey the Lord would send us on. We began to settle in. Our house in Washington was up for sale, and we had a buyer within weeks, the business concept (children's academy of movement, sports, and character training) was unique, viable, and in great demand. We had a dear godly friend and NFL veteran coach as a partner, along with a famous football player, and it was going to impact communities for Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
The Promised Land began to quickly become the backside of the desert for us. The house did not sell (it fell through 2 days before closing), the finances that went into the business was depleted, along with our life's savings and retirement, all within a matter of 9 months. Our friends also put everything they had into this adventure. What happened to the promise? Did we hear wrong? Being human, we admit we all made some mistakes, but where was the Lord in all of this? A friend said to me, "God is unsettling you to resettle you." The Lord was removing everything that stood between us and Him, so that He would be our only source.
By this time we were desperate to hear from the Lord for direction. Did the Lord want us to go back, stay, or move elsewhere? Many were praying for us and the Lord responded through His messengers. Many times through those that were not even aware of the petitions we had before the Lord, and many times through those who knew nothing about us. One passage given to Joyce was confirmed over and over in unique ways. Hebrews 11: 8, “It was by faith that Abraham…went out without knowing where he was going.” We felt we were to continue forward even if we did not have answers to all our questions. It was confirmed over and over again that we were not to go back by the way in which we came, and if we stayed on this faith journey with Him, the Lord would show us His best for our life. In the end, we felt God telling us to go east. This was not an easy decision - by any means; because many good things (but now in hindsight - not God things) seemed to open up that would allow us to return to our comfort zone. But in the end, after turning down job offers in San Diego and Seattle, with our house still empty and waiting for our return, family beckoning, and finances depleted, all the indicators still pointed East. And, in God-like fashion, as we were stretched, we became stronger in our faith like never before, (Mettle).
Many things that have come up unexpectedly have kept us on this narrow path from month to month, but the Lord has been so faithful. Had many of the things happened along the way that we “expected” to happen, we would have missed seeing the Lord intervene on our behalf, again and again. From two people who had been taught “to make it happen”, we are learning to be content in the place we find ourselves and not lean on our own understanding. We have become accustomed to, and even comfortable with “going without knowing”.
We believe God has more for us, and we are not pretending to think that we have done all the right things, or, that we have not missed His voice from time to time. We are thankful for those dear friends who have loved us, believed in us, and listened to the Father on our behalf, helping us to go and do His bidding. We are thankful for a roof over our heads, a vehicle, and our health. We are still standing. We have had divine opportunities to coach and consult, along with obedient givers to get us through each month. Our journey would send the financial prosperity message in a tailspin, but the prosperity of faith and favor has soared tremendously over us.
• Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added to you for the journey ahead, to the glory of God.
• There is no cookie cutter way or method to the things God may have specifically planned for you.
• Be ready to be unsettled, resettled, and go through some repeat cycles.
• Be ready to be tested severely, but the pay off in obedience more than makes up for the pain you had to endure.
• Nothing is permanent; Christ is the only rock we can be assured of now and for all time.
• Your pain and suffering will end. There is an end and for us it is a very good end. The end of the matter is always greater than the beginning in Christ.
• All things work together for good.
• Many are the plans of man, but the Lord's purposes prevail.
• Going without knowing, is the only way to go.
• God is our only source.
Many of you have been receiving these articles for the past 8 years. Thank you for your prayers and for your love. We know the Father has heard those prayers, and each have lent strength to help us endure the path He has us on. We love you...