71 Weeks Later…

Pssst, Knox has some “beary” exciting news to share with you…

photo-1

finished

71 weeks ago, Stuart and I began a journey that completely changed our lives. We uprooted ourselves, put all our belongings in his parents basement, became nomads, and began raising support for our new ministry with Athletes in Action. 

Before we starting raising funds, we attended a training conference where we met some amazing other people who were also beginning their journey of raising support. Through bi-weekly conference calls, we have walked through this journey together, and it’s been so encouraging to have a community of other people all in this with us.

AIA fam

At that conference, we also found out where our first placement, and future home would be: Dayton, OH. If you followed my blog back then, you might remember from this post, that I went through vast range of differing emotions when we received this news. For no rational reason, I really didn’t want to live in Dayton, and therefore was really upset at first. But after an angry conversation with God, a lot of tears, encouraging conversations with friends, and some help from Jonah, I realized it was God’s plan. And if I knew anything about God’s plans, it’s that they are always better than we think or imagine. Especially when we’re imagining them to be horrible. 

Over the past year, Stuart and I have had a few opportunities to spend time in Dayton, (more specifically, Xenia) and get to know some of the other Athletes in Action staff we’ll be working with. And let me tell you, I was completely correct about God’s plans being better than our plans. Now that we’ve gotten a taste of the community we are entering into, I couldn’t be more excited to live and work in Dayton. The team we’ll be working with is awesome, and there is amazing community of staff members in the area, due to AIA headquarters being right in Xenia. We’ve already been contacted by staff there welcoming us into the community, asking if they can provide meals for us, and offering help in any other form needed. 

This support raising journey has been a long road, filled with ups and downs, encouragement and discouragement, laughter and tears, happiness and sorrow. But through it all God remained faithful to us, and provided for our every need. Within those 71 weeks, we lived in 3 different homes, fell in love with CrossFit, said goodbye to my grandmother, drove back and forth between Indiana and Philadelphia 6 times, spent the night in the hospital twice when I had kidney stones, and most excitingly, welcomed our son, Knox into the world. 

I know I’ve probably used this verse a lot on this blog, but Jeremiah 29:11 describes our journey so perfectly, I want to share it again: 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This journey has definitely not always been easy. There were many times I grew so weary that I wanted to give up, but thankfully, I had the support of my amazing husband, who encouraged me to press on, that God would be faithful to follow through with His calling on our lives. I learned many new levels of perseverance, and I’m so glad I stuck with it. God is so good, and now that we’re at the end of this road, I can honestly say every difficult day was worth it, because it taught me so much and strengthened my faith in deeper ways. 

Last week, after our support coach checked our support off as complete, Stuart flew out to Indiana, and drove down to Xenia with his Dad to find us a place to live. Again, God proved Himself as provider for us, and directed Stuart to the most perfect rental house ever!! All along, we hoped for a home that could be a ministry in and of itself. We hope to keep our door open to the students we serve, as a home away from home, and provide a safe place for them if they need to process life. We also hope as Knox’s first home, it is one filled with love, laughter, happiness and an early understanding of who Jesus is. 

Xenia house

It has 3 bedrooms, so if any of you who are reading this want to come visit, you will always have a place to stay with us!