Adam and I (and our puppies, of course) are moving…to Albuquerque, NM! I know for many of you reading this, this news sounds crazy and rash and out of the blue. However, for us, this has been a long time coming. Let me explain…
A few years ago (about 3), Adam and I started to feel lead outside the Bible belt. We really wanted to share the Gospel where it is less common, so we started to prayerfully look for places that might be a good fit for us. We originally landed on Santa Fe, NM (1 hour North of Albuquerque), and honestly, it was mainly because they offered coffee and chocolate tours, which sold me on the place. So, we booked a “scouting trip” to Santa Fe to see if we liked the area and could see ourselves living out there.
Now, here is where the first “God thing”/confirmation comes in. The morning after we booked our trip, I was talking to one of our prayer warriors on the phone on my way to work, and out of nowhere, they asked me what Adam and I planned to do after he graduated from seminary in a few years. I didn’t want to tell them anything about moving outside the Bible Belt because nothing was definitive yet, so I just said, “I don’t really know”. Their response was, “I just feel like you all might do really well moving out west, maybe Colorado or New Mexico”. Ya’ll, I swear I about swerved off the road! Immediately, I was bawling, “Oh my gosh! How did you know?!”
Now, while that was weird enough, a couple of weeks later we were out eating and ran into our old campus minister. We told him we were thinking about moving out west, and without missing a beat he said, “ya’ll should look into the New Mexico area. I could really see you guys fitting in well out there.” We hadn’t even told him we had booked a trip there or that we were looking at New Mexico.
So, with that confirmation that we were at least on the right track, we went on our trip to Santa Fe. Forty-two hours round trip…fantastic road trip, I would highly recommend it. We were out there for a week, and we tried to do mainly local stuff to really get a feel for what life would be like in that area. And we loved it! We really just fell in love with the area.
After that week, we returned to KY with our minds and our hearts full. We had so much to think and pray about it. So, we did…we prayed about it for a long time, two plus years to be exact.
I’m going to pause here for a second and just be real. I think this is the part that so many people in the middle of answered prayers don’t talk about. We didn’t just pray about this once or twice and then miraculously everything fell into our lap. We petitioned God for years, on a daily basis, for him to guide us to our next step, wherever that may be. We felt like it might be New Mexico, but we didn’t want to assume to know His will for our lives just because of one trip and a few conversations, so we prayed…and prayed…and prayed some more. And to be honest, there were quite a few times that our hope wavered. It started out so strong with so much confirmation, and then nothing for a LONG time. I’m not going to say we didn’t waver in our faith about this calling, because we did. We doubted if we had heard God correctly, whether we could actually move that far away from our families, and pretty much every other possible doubt entered our minds at some point during the process.. Three years is a long time to wait on an answer! However, we always came back to the confirmation we received in the beginning, not to mention the heart that God had developed in both of us, simultaneously, for the west and living outside the Bible Belt. There were little things along the way that God used to give us encouragement and remind us. For example, we went to the Catalyst conference last year and on the opening day they talked about Joseph and how God gave him a vision for his future, but it didn’t come to fruition immediately. Joseph had to wait years for God to develop the vision. That was so encouraging to me! I remember sitting in the room, fervently writing down notes and quotes from the speakers, with tears streaming down my face in awe of God’s goodness.
So, Adam’s last semester of seminary rolled around, and it came time to begin to apply for jobs. Our hearts were still out west, but again, we didn’t want to assume we knew God’s plan for us. Maybe there was a journey we needed to go on before we made it out west. We took the mindset of casting our lot and letting God place us. So, he applied to places across the United States, including places in Kentucky. He had written and phone interviews, plus two in person interviews. One with a church in VA where Adam was in the final two, but they chose the local person and one with a church in PA where we chose not to accept the job offer due to God’s leading.
In the middle of all these interviews and all the road trips, there was always this church in New Mexico that we would talk about. At one point the pastor did call Adam and talk to him to let him know he was in the running, and we were encouraged by that, but then it was a while before we heard anything else, so we weren’t sure what God was doing. And, again, we prayed, “God we really feel like this NM church could be the right fit, but we’re not sure, so please just guide us and guide them,” and we waited.
In the end, Del Norte Baptist Church in Albuquerque (took me a while to spell that correctly on a regular basis), NM went through a lengthy interview process that included phone interviews, Skype interviews, and multiple in person interviewish meet and greet sessions and extended Adam the job offer. We accepted, and we will be moving out there mid September. This blog is already getting quite lengthy, so I will end it for now, but will write another one shortly to share more about our experience because it has been fantastically wonderful. We love the church and the area, and I can’t wait to share more about it. However, this is not all sunshine and roses, we are moving very far away from our families, my work, our friends, and everything we know. We have a fantastic support system that makes this move easier and more difficult at the same time. Tears have been intermingled with the joy, and I will share about that as well. However, for now, just know that we are moving out west, God is at work, it is all a part of His plan, and we are thrilled and humbled to be a part of it.