It is always worth it {Personal Update}

worthit

The big question is “How is Ohio going?” followed by “Are you settled?”. I wanted to take some time to try and answer these but let me warn you this is no small talk. I haven’t blogged in awhile from my heart because honestly my heart has been hard for ME to even decipher. The last two months seem like a blur. They are hard to explain. I have so many thoughts and feelings.. so much has happened.

I knew moving to Ohio was going to be a sacrifice and challenging for us BUT the ways it has been challenging has been the most surprising to me. As most of you know we left PA and moved to Ohio to join a church in Pickerington,OH. The FC is a church plant and is still getting up off the ground. This means that it is smaller and also financially limited. We knew God was calling us here to serve and help build the church. We also knew this would require Andrew to be bi-vocational or technically tri-vocational. We were up for the sacrifice! The only challenging part right now is we are slammed in wedding season and my husband can not get a full time job (he would have to ask for every Friday off) until November. We decided that after wedding season he could pursue a full time job. For now he has been working at my parents pizza shop Monday-Wednesday evenings and then most Thursdays we leave for weddings in PA. It has been NUTS! That was the first surprise… I thought the traveling back and forth would be a little easier on me but I have quickly learned different. I SUPER miss Emlyn while we are gone. That is challenge number one that struck me as surprising. And adjusting to Andrew being gone in the evenings has been challenging. Since Emlyn was born we have always put her to bed together. Some of the small things like this have really took me by surprise.

Also, let me remind you that we moved in with an AWESOME host family here in Ohio that we pay ZERO dollars too. We have been bombarded with my dental debt, business expenses, school loans.. you name it all at once and living with our host family is allowing us to snow ball some of the debt that has hit us. What a blessing to have! It also has allowed us to focus on getting adjusted to the area and not worry about buying a house or finding a place right away. As much as it has been a TOTAL blessing to live in a home that we have no bills.. Here is surprising challenge number two.. It has been emotionally difficult to not be able to nest my little family. My heart is so focused on fixing our financial stress so that we can get a home and I can make Emmy a pretty room just for her and have a cozy living room and cook in a kitchen of my own. I rooted for this option and I still am.. I just didn’t know I would mourn not having a house of our own in this way.

So despite the discomfort of not having a home of our own, the adjustment in traveling back and forth every weekend, Andrew being gone in the evenings and the list goes on… We still find ourselves confident. We may have moments or even days that we swell up with frustration or even fear but there is something we can’t shake. His promises. We cling to the promises. I often wrestle with myself and I have even been told that I shouldn’t be so transparent.. especially on our business page. But when I look at this place.. this tiny little platform we have.. I look at it as an obstacle to live out the faith we so deeply cling to. Our business would be nothing with out Jesus. We do this for Him and that is the cold hard truth. Our hearts are to reach people and to reach them in whatever way He has called us to. In this season, I may have discomfort and struggles.. but I am not giving a real example of faith if I am only sharing the good and easy times. It is easy to praise and trust God when things are going good but most people want to know how or why you praise God when it is not so easy.

I have asked God “Why?” I think about 1000 times since we have been here. Our business was building quickly in PA, we loved our little house, we were set in a routine and we were comfortable… And that is just it. We were comfortable. Now 95% of our belongings are in storage, our finances are not so fun, we have a business that is up in the air because of relocating and we aren’t even sure what tomorrow looks like let alone having a set routine. Here.. this is a stretch. This is where we will grow. If life was always easy and comfortable we would never grow.

So, how is Ohio? It really isn’t about moving to Ohio at all. I am not even sure we LIVE in Ohio yet.. HAHA! We really live in PA 3 days a week and OH four days. This isn’t about moving locations. This about God moving US. Moving our hearts. Moving our minds. Moving our COMFORT. This is about CONQUERING our FEARS. This is about stepping out into the complete unknown. When you ask, are you settled? No… I am not sure I ever want to be “settled” again. I don’t want to get comfortable. If there is anything I have learned in this season.. Settling does not equate contentment. We can’t unpack our belongings, we can’t decorate, we can’t really “settle” but it has shown me that just because I don’t have a place to “settle” doesn’t change a thing. It doesn’t change anything about Jesus. We still have have our relationship with Jesus. Our very foundation can never be taken away from us. I find comfort in the fact that the SAME Jesus I talked to in my house in PA is the same one I talk to on our three hour drives, in my new office, in my host homes second floor.. He is still the same. He never changes.

Ohio has been challenging, like I said earlier. It has been full of change. It has been FULL of resistance and struggles. But it has been FULL of growth. Change. Revelation. I have a choice on how to respond. We all do. In the middle of your frustration and struggle.. You can become the person you were meant to be.  The change and the discomfort will produce fruits in you that can only happen by allowing the change to happen. At the end of my life I want our children to look back and see that we weren’t afraid to let it all go. That we weren’t afraid to change and move with Him when He said “go”. That we were willing to chase after His heart more than money, possessions, or titles. If I want to leave anything behind I want people to know that earthly things will come and go but what has been done in love will always last. The legacy I want to leave behind is love. Selfless love. Man.. that is a hard one but that is what we want to strive for.

I know in my heart of hearts that we made this move with our whole hearts laid down. It wasn’t the best decision on paper and probably looked like a step back. Actually, I am positive it did. I also know that this season of transition isn’t forever but is a necessary season to prepare us for what comes later. My heart clings to hope. We have a choice every day to let fear cripple us or to choose hope and trust that everything will work for our good. The truth is being fearful of the future does not produce anything but more chaos. So, as we continue on saying yes to the things He is calling us to..and we say yes to the hope that comes from Jesus. His example of laying His life down is the example we choose to live by. To serve. To love. Whatever the cost it is always worth it.

Sharing, serving, and celebrating,

Andrew + Chrissy