Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big changes!

For the past month I have written at least a dozen more blogs in my head, but have not yet had the chance to sit down and actually write them out. There is always SOMETHING that needs to be done, like child care, homework, cleaning . . . you know the list.

But, it's about time we shared our big news!

No, we are not having another baby. Not that we know of. :)

Tuesday, June 7, Rusty Allen called Lee and asked him if he would be interested in being the Director of Enrollment at Tabor College.


Yes, we had previously looked at other options to pursue in a number of places across the United States, but God opened no doors, and we were content to settle in for another year at Reedley--happy to do so. In fact, God was opening doors here for Lee to become the High School youth pastor (he has been the junior high director). We were very excited about this opportunity and didn't understand why right in the middle of such a big transition at the church (Starting a new college ministry, moving Jason to take over that, moving Lee up to high school, and searching for a new jr high guy...) would He open doors for us to go elsewhere?

So... back on track... it is Tuesday and we have been presented with a huge and flattering opportunity for Lee's career. Not to mention, one that has potential for me as well, as my dream is to teach at the college level and I finish my masters the first week of December. Can I get a "woo-hoo"? We had three days to make a decision. Sign the new contract with the church or accept the position at Tabor. Both had short time-lines.

The next 48 hours from being offered this position are some of the most emotional, prayerful days I have had in a while. What did God want us to do? How could we leave all of the people here who have loved us so much? Did Lee really want to be Director of Enrollment?

Every free moment I had was spent, literally, on my knees seeking The Lord. I kept thinking, "God, the church needs us. People will be so angry if we leave them in the midst of all of these changes."

I felt the opposite of what I thought I would feel at the opportunity to be closer to my family... I felt afraid.

Afraid of the unkowns...
the uncertainties...
the questions...
the details...
the response from the church...
the response from Lee's family...

But God had already been answering many of my questions. The Friday before Rusty called about the position, he had called Lee to see if Lee was even interested in a position at Tabor at all. Lee & I both thought he wanted something like an admission's counselor from Lee. We both said that isn't something we would want to do. During this time, I was in Kansas and Lee was back home. I told him we'd talk about it when I got back. Meanwhile, that weekend in Kansas, I said to my sister, "For us to move, it would have to be some kind of director position, and I just don't think they will offer that to Lee."

Well, what do you know, that's exactly what Rusty called to offer Lee on Tuesday morning, less than 12 hours after I had returned to California. Not to mention, the whole contract thing with the church had taken much longer than expected. We had anticipated signing that and closing the deal more than three weeks earlier. Had God post-poned that with His plans in mind?

Then I start thinking about the specifics... and doing laundry Wednesday  morning, I say in conversation with the Lord, "Father, we cannot move to Kansas for anything less than (this amount of money)". Wednesday afternoon, Rusty calls and gives Lee that specific number (which would later be raised the next week).

Thursday Lee & I went to meet with Jason (high school/college pastor/dear friend/pastor who married us/family, etc.) & Dennis (senior pastor, also dear friend and mentor). This was a difficult meeting. We laid everything out there and asked for their wisdom. Then Dennis did something I didn't realize I needed... He freed us to do whatever God called us to do.

Deep sigh.

Moment of Relief.

He also said it sounded like we had done everything we could to open our minds and hearts before the Lord and give him opportunities to speak to us, and that either we may just be getting a choice to do what we really want to do or that God would reveal it to us soon that same day.

I cried a lot at the meeting. I had been crying for 48 hours really. I don't know why I was so emotional--I guess I was just overwhelmed with the decision at hand and the pressure to make it so quickly. The only way to release the pressure was to cry a river I suppose.

Lee and I walked home in silence where we sat on the couch and didn't say a word.
After several minutes of quiet, Lee finally said, "I feel like I Know. . . but I am scared to say it."

"Me, too, just say it."

"I think we're supposed to go."

"Me, too."

This was followed by even more quiet, because even though we felt relief knowing what we were supposed to do, there were still many unknowns and still many people to tell. It wasn't going to be an easy few days. In fact, after notifying leaders at the church it was best for the church to make the announcement that Sunday, so we really only had 1 day to tell people before it was made public at church (because we were going to be gone all day saturday with our 8th graders at the beach). But we told everyone, and we survived a few very difficult days, and we were met with mostly lots of love, understanding, and support. Praise Jesus!

Then on Friday June 17th we made an offer on a house (after my family looked at some for us). By Wed June 22 it was ours.

God flew so many doors wide open and continued, as he still continutes to, affirm our decision.

We leave July 27 and Lee starts his new position at Tabor on Aug 1.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and love and encouragement. We love you all.


  1. Sara! I almost started crying reading your story. It is so beautiful to see God work and answer when we work for Him and not our own selves.

    I can't believe you bought a house without even being here. That's crazy but I suppose your family is qualified to pick something out!

    Welcome back to Kansas friend! We will have to get together some time and share life.

  2. Sounds like an exciting opportunity for both of you! You will be missed in CA, but I am sure your family is ecstatic to have you near.

  3. I love this blog Sara Jo and I love you all! I am so excited for how God has worked and what all He has planned! I am especially looking forward to more time with you!