Well, our time as proud, life long Midwesterners is coming to a close as we begin a new chapter in our family's story. We are officially picking up our lives here in Rockford and planting roots in Orange County.
As word has trickled out in recent weeks, we have been overwhelmed by great friends the globe over messaging us with their prayers and encouragement.
They've also had a ton of questions. Why? When? What?
Here is our attempt at catching you up to speed on what's going on in our lives...from my perspective. Natalie may give her side as well. :)
For as long as I can remember (I have a really bad memory but go with me on this), I have had this very clear picture in my heart about living in Southern California. It was always about more than weather. Even when it rained in Cali and it was beautiful in Rockford, any trips westward felt like I was going home. Whether I was driving down the street or running errands at Walgreens, my heart always felt at home in SoCal.
Ask people that have known me for decades and they'll tell you that I have always talked about moving there one day, pastoring, and doing ministry there. The food, the culture, the pace, and the people have always resonated with me.
The tension was that I have always felt called to stay in Rockford. I had always felt like I had so much still to do here. Like it would be disobedient to leave. I felt that way strongly. I did, until recently. The best way I can describe it is that I sense a release that is affirmed by my wife, my spiritual counsel and close friends.
It's like God texted me the thumbs up emoji and said "It's all good. Go for it."
Our time in Rockford has meant the world to me and my family and always will. This is where I found faith in Christ, where I was mentored, given opportunities to lead, developed my spiritual gifts, cultivated life long friendships and will forever be my spiritual homeland.
Now, this will also be the place that sends me on to the next chapter.
We are wrapping up details with our home. Please join us in prayer that it all goes well. Any of you that have sold a home and moved knows the endless list of things that have to be done.
If everything goes according to plan, we will be leaving Rockford in Mid-March.
So the big question is, what will you be doing next? We know for sure that we are moving to the Irvine area to join the incredible church family at Newsong. We have developed relationships with the team there for years and have on more than one occasion felt God whispering in our hearts "you'll be there one day." Well, one day has now become this day and it's time to take the leap.
How can you help? Please pray for us. Pray for our family. The girls' have their days when they are excited, but they also have their moments of being sad to leave the only life they've known. The only friends they've ever known. The only church family they've ever known. The only school they've ever known.
We are doing lots of play dates and sleep overs, but we want to do this as a team. God has a calling on their lives too. He wants to use them in California too. Pray that they see that.
I'll keep you updated through the blog and social media of what we're doing and what we're learning in the process.
I believe that tension has the great ability to introduce you to yourself and I don't intend to waste this season of learning.
To be continued...
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