I want to pick up where an earlier post left off. A couple of blogs ago I described how Allison and I felt called to Northern California and how an interesting set of providences led us to Valley Springs Presbyterian Church. In this post I'd like to tell the story of some earlier events in our life together that first turned our hearts toward the west coast. Allison and I married nearly ten years ago. For our honeymoon we spent three nights in San Francisco, one night in Napa Valley, and three nights in Carmel. We even hiked at Big Sur. We loved the area and when we got back to Florida, I half-jokingingly told my pastor at the time that we needed to plant a church in Carmel! That sentiment was mostly selfish - Carmel is beautiful.
Towards the end of 2005, however, a very serious opportunity arose and Allison and I thought we might be moving to Berkeley, CA. In January of 2006 we spent several days with a church planter and his family in Berkeley and really developed a heart for the city and a growing desire to live in and be a part of the culture of Northern California.
For a variety of reasons, that opportunity did not materialize, and Allison and I were left with a number of unresolved questions and emotions. We weren't sure why God would give us a vision for an area and lead us so close to something, only to leave things feeling unresolved.
Fast forward to April of 2008. When David George and I met at the Worship of God conference in Franklin, TN, and I visited the church in May, everything found resolution. Allison and I began to realize why things didn't pan out the way we thought things would. We found ourselves feeling very confident that the Lord wanted us to be at Valley Springs Church.
It was with this strong sense of calling that we were able to live for several months with a number of large "question marks" in our lives. We put our house on the market, but we didn't know when it would sell. We didn't know where we were going to live once we made it out to California. We didn't know exactly how we would get there, nor did we know where and how we would store our belongings. These were just some of the questions we had - all this on top of trying to console parents; purge, clean, consolidate, pack, and show our house; pray for offers, prepare to leave, say goodbye, book flights, and plan a road trip!
I'll be honest, not everyone was excited as we were about our move and everyone had an opinion about how to do it. Our theme was simply to keep "forward progress," knowing that God had called us to California, trusting that he was big enough to take care of the details.
Interestingly, we had our first offer on our home within a week or so of it being on the market. We thought we had a great deal, but it fell through at the ninth hour. We were left a bit discouraged, but we kept trusting that it would sell. At some point we had decided that we would go ahead and move to Roseville the first of September so that Laura Camille could start preschool. We moved out west on faith, trusting that the Lord would provide a buyer for our home.
I arrived in Roseville on Monday, September 1; picked the girls up from the Sacramento airport on Tuesday; took Laura Camille to her first day of school on Wednesday; and had an offer on our home on Friday. The Lord is good. After we passed our inspection with a few minor repairs, our realtor told me verbatim, "You guys got a one-in-a-thousand deal on this house." God takes care of his children. He can sell a house in a bad market.
So, we've been living in Jon and Karen Peterson's garage apartment since September, and we love it! Jon, Karen, and Kylie (their youngest daughter) feel like family and our girls are having a blast!
We did officially close on our home on October 27. Currently, we are looking and making offers, waiting for God to provide us with our new home in California.
Though it often involves playing chords without resolution; making decisions without all the answers; and moving ahead without the full picture, walking with the Lord is a faith-filled adventure!