You call me out upon the water…
This post wins for the most vulnerable post ever. So much so that it has only taken me a month to write it all out. So… there is no easy way to say this so I am just going to throw it out there.
Yup! So your reaction might be something like this:
1. Oh no! Why are they leaving?
2. YES! I am so glad they are moving back here! (All of our Ohio friends and family know this is where Andrew and I met and where Chrissy grew up)
3. Shoot! (Not camera shoot, but the OH NO shoot!) I was going to book them for my wedding or senior! (We got news, you still can!)
4. YES! Now I CAN book them for my wedding! (This is for our Ohio people again. You always could have before but yes Columbus will now be our PRIMARY market and Pittsburgh will be our second.)
5. What about me? Why are they leaving? Will they still do work here? (Yup. We will go into more details!)
6. Good thing I booked them before they left! (We have weddings booked here in the Pittsburgh area until 2016 and honestly we don’t plan on stopping. We love Pittsburgh and it is only a 3 hour drive. We will be traveling back after we move 6+ times for weddings this summer alone.)
7. BUT I am just starting to get mentored by you and sad to see you go! Now what will I do?
This past week we announced this BIG news to our church here in Greensburg, PA and then traveled out to Ohio to talk to the church we will be joining yesterday. So now that everyone knows we can make it Facebook official and let all of YOU know! So let us get into more of the WHY because I know you want the rest of the story.
Andrew and I met in 2006 at a christian book store we both worked at. Andrew was a first year bible college student and I was just finishing up high school. I will skip all of the details for this post since we have more important things to talk about. We started dating that year and then in 2007 Andrew moved back to Greensburg,PA to pursue a Youth Pastor position at the church he grew up in. We got engaged in 2008, married in 2009 and became Youth Pastors at LifeSpring shortly after we got married. We always knew Greensburg was a temporary place for us and we knew that God would send us out at some point. We just weren’t sure of the “where” or even the “when”. We knew a transition would come but we also knew that we had to keep on serving our church and Greensburg well so that was our focus.
My youth pastors from the church I went to while in high school are a very important part of our life. Adam always had a connection to Andrew. Even when Andrew and I broke up for a short time in our dating years..Adam sought him out just to let him know he was there for him. On our wedding day Adam teased and said he was only letting PA borrow us. Fast forward to a couple years and Adam and his wife found themselves transitioning out of youth ministry at their church. They had a heart to plant a church and they were open to do it ANYWHERE God had said.. Well God kept them their in Pickerington, OH. A year and a half a go The Family Church (www.picktownfc.com) was born. When Adam first heard he was going to be transitioning out he immediately joked with Andrew that he was his main man and all he wanted. Over the course of the last few years we have always talked about doing ministry with them hypothetically. At least hypothetical on our part, maybe not theirs though. We had the desire to do ministry with them but we honestly didn’t know if it was something God had for us BUT we hoped! THEN when The FC launched it became more real to us. As Andrew and I would travel out to Ohio to visit family, God would strengthen our relationship with Adam and Danielle as well as build a desire and a heart for The FC within us. We found ourselves ecstatic about the vision of the church and really sent us to our knees praying.
We prayed and prayed. At one point we completely left the idea on the back burner and just had to put it to rest. The thought of moving to Columbus was a BIG thought. We love our community HERE, our business… yes we missed seeing our families BUT we knew it was only 3 hours down the road. We have built a life here in PA, had our first child, grew a business, and so much more. We hesitated to even consider it because we never wanted to move somewhere for any reason other than God saying GO. In August we took all of these feelings down to Kentucky with us to a prayer retreat. We prayed and sought God and He spoke.. CLEARLY. We left Kentucky with out a doubt that The FC was our next step to take.
Now we are here. On this side of it. We have come through over a year of processing and praying and it is so hard to believe that in just 10 weeks we will be making this happen. This move requires A LOT of sacrifices on our end. Financial sacrifices. Our comfort. We are leaving a beautiful 4 bedroom home to live in the upstairs of a retired couples house. This is a major blessing for us because we will be able to catch up on our finances, get ourselves situated to the area, and to find a house and not have to rush into something. Our position at The FC is only part time. Those of you in ministry know that there is really no such thing as part time ministry. The FC is a brand new church. We pray that people are added to the kingdom through The FC and that The FC grows to be be able to support us ONE DAY but right now… All we simply know is HE said GO. It doesn’t matter what the pay is… we know He said to go. So where He guides HE PROVIDES. I want to ask WHY? What about the business? Will it be ok out there? What is the market like? How will life look out there? How will our finances be? Where will we live? And then God just always comes back with “GO! I GOT THIS!”
As I mentioned there a ton of unknowns but here is what we CAN tell you!
1. At this point in time we are moving the second week of July. We have a crew coming out from the church in Ohio to help us load up the truck. We are in full swing packing mode now! YIKES!
2. What will we be doing at the church in Ohio? Andrew will be the Associate Pastor at The FC. Our main focus is to help get the church up off the ground and to bring some life into the ministries and “life” of the church. We are super super excited about the work and the calling God has for us at the church. We will still have a focus on Youth Ministry but we aren’t sure how everything will pan out.. We will keep you posted!
3. Andrew will have some type of part time job while the business is switching over and the church is getting settled. The plan is to get the church growing so Andrew and Adam both can go full time at the church. We can definitely use prayers for Gods provision so that Andrew gets a job that works well with the church and wedding season AND helps pay the bills! This is one reason we have to wait to buy a house until we know what our monthly income is. We are big Dave Ramsey people and we want to honor God with our finances. Once we know what our budget will be we can move forward.
4. How about the church here? God has been so faithful. Our good friends are taking over Youth Ministry and we are ecstatic about what God is going to do through them. It is so amazing to know that God already met the need before we even stepped out the door. It makes it so much easier leaving our students and church knowing that God has provided for them. Keep praying for LifeSpring through this season and pray that this would be another gear for them!
Ok so I think that about sums it up! I am sure you guys are going to have LOTS of questions and we are ready to answer them. There are still a lot of “unknowns” but we are not worried. We know He is calling us out upon the water and we are ready.
So here is the practical stuff that I know you all of you want to know!
1.We will still be booking weddings here in Pittsburgh! This year alone we are shooting weddings in 4+ states! We hope our business becomes mostly travel one day and weddings in different states don’t scare us they EXCITE us! So do not hesitate to refer us or inquire for info if you do not live near us. We will be traveling back frequently and can do in person consults or we can always FaceTime or Skype.
2. We will still be accepting senior sessions here in Greensburg until October 2015. We will be traveling back so many times for weddings that we can shoot senior sessions on Fridays and Sundays! Just contact us and we will set up a date.
3. We are going to hold one last round of mini sessions on June 6th! If you are interested in booking a portrait session with us send us an email at email@example.com! There was a recent blog you can can also check out.
Thank you so much for reading all about this BIG journey! We ask that you join us and send prayers our way. Though this is VERY exciting ..we are stepping out into the unknown where waves are crashing.. We would love your prayers just for God to reveal to us all of the steps little by little. We are trusting in God’s provision for our little family. We want to encourage you that if God is calling you to do something and you are AFRAID.. do it anyways! Obedience trumps fear any day! God doesn’t ask us to be fearless.. He asks us to follow Him. Will you go?
*Side note- Want to know what is SO CRAZY about all of this? Remember how I told you that Andrew and I met in a Christian bookstore?? Well The FC is now in the same location that Andrew and I met in (the old bookstore). So we are being called back to the same place we found each other. Tell me God isn’t a God of completion and bringing things full circle??
Sharing, serving, and celebrating,
Andrew + Chrissy