|Courtney & her husband, Brian, in front of their old home on moving day|
Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and I blog over at dress up & twirl . I am so flattered that Allie asked me to be apart of this series she is doing. I just love reading about all of her adventures and our mutual love for glitter and ministry to young girls. :)
This is a very timely series for me as the Lord has just moved my husband, Brian, and me to a new city. We moved from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Toledo, Ohio, for youth ministry. When the opportunity came up, I did not want to move here. I was actually very defiant about coming here... my heart just kept saying “No!” My home was Cincinnati... it has everything I love: my family, awesome girlfriends, a new church we had just become a part of, the snuggly labrador retrievers I grew up with, sassy coffee shops & cafes, great shopping... you name it. I love Cincinnati! I just did not want to move to Toledo.
But it happened and we moved. Although my feelings about moving didn’t change when we agreed to come here, the Lord gave me a peace about it. Sometimes the portions of things God gives us in a turmoil of fear, dread, and the unknown is all we can hold on to. So I am holding on to this peace that God has given Brian and me. I am choosing to believe that God has a great purpose for this move... and that His purposes are better than mine. After all, my life really isn’t my own, is it? Who am I to decide what I want to do with the life that Christ bought with His blood for me? I am trusting that if I am walking with Him, my joy will come from Him fulfilling His purpose for me.
Even though this transition has been extremely difficult, God has blessed Brian and me tremendously:
- We have learned to rely on each other in a way we haven’t yet before. “Teamwork” has a new meaning and revelation. I love my husband so much more because of doing this new thing together.
- Brian is overseeing middle school, high school, and young adults. I work alongside him and want to pour into the girls. I have loved getting to know some of the girls and seeing their hearts. God is going to raise up some mighty women here in good old Toledo and it will be amazing being a part of that!
- We have discovered a new culture with really admirable attributes. One attribute that we’ve loved seeing is the culture of service within our church. There are so many wonderful people with servant’s hearts. People are constantly pouring themselves out into different ministries and asking each other how they can serve... cheerfully! This is really cool and humbling to see. The culture also seems to be a bit more laid back here, which I truly appreciate.
- I have met some AMAZING women. Women who have gone out of their way to love me and help me get settled. One sweet lady made me a scrapbook of different things to do around the area with room to add pictures for when each thing is done. She put so much time into this and has one of the best hearts I have ever met. I have also met some other ladies around my age in the education field and love talking about their classroom adventures. The women here have been so good to me.
- I get a free pass to the YMCA... can’t complain about this one!! This might seem small, but I feel that it’s a huge blessing to being here.
A few key things have really helped my heart in being pulled away from “home:”
- Seeing how God has blessed me, big and small, in my new “home”
- Seeing the opportunity in my new “home”
- Knowing that my true home and citizenship is in Heaven
- Knowing that my life belongs to Christ and that my joy will ultimately come out of doing His will for me
I want to have a heart that will follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads. If I can recommend a song, it would be “Into Life” by Kevan Duke and The Canvas Band. This song is all about having a life governed by the Holy Spirit. It can be downloaded on iTunes. I am already seeing some of the blessings from following the Lord, even in the midst of the pain that comes with it. I know there are so many more blessings to come, in this life and ultimately when I stand before my Savior and the lover of my soul. Who knows the things that the Lord can do?! He is able to do more than we can ask for or imagine. I am ringing in this new year and my new home with this hope.