A Story of Moving From Two Sides – Her Perspective

To let go allows God to mend you

To start over allows God to mold you

To move ahead allows God to mature you  

(Susan Miller, After the Boxes are Unpacked – Moving On After Moving In)

This is the second post on moving.  This one is written from “her” perspective – my wife, Melanie.  

Dave and I were married 11 years with established friends, a home church and close with family when the first BIG change happened.  We were serving happily with my parents in the ministry.  Dave was established at work.  But, I would travel to different parts of the country and would have desires to live different places.  I just never thought it would be part of our plan. But the Lord was stirring in Dave to step out in faith and be challenged.  The Lord opened doors to us quickly thereafter and presented an option that would advance Dave’s career and give our family opportunities.  It would allow us to give our girls the education we wanted them to have.  When Dave told me he thought an offer was coming that would move us to Florida, 22 hours from Duluth, Minnesota, it freaked me out.  I never thought we would move.  Immediately I began to ride an emotional roller coaster.  I would miss everyone.  How would we put together a life on the other side of the country?

But I just wasn’t ready.  In my stubbornness and my lack of faith, I put my foot down.  I said , “I cannot do this”.   So, together we decided to turn down the opportunity.  We gave it up.  We said in our hearts that if  God wanted this for us He would bring it back.  After this decision we were both very let down and felt like something great was missed.

Four months later the offer came back.  It was even better for our family.  I decided that I need to trust Him.  I realized my husband could hear from Him.  That was the turning point. It was when I began to release the plans for my life and let God do what He wanted.  Then, in unity, we decided to take the offer to move to Florida.

I have learned that the Lord doesn’t blindly pull you through life.  He is good enough to lead us and confirm His leading to comfort us.   He comforts us as we walk the path He has for us.  There were many confirmations He gave that comforted me in the move.   The greatest confirmation was in our first visit to Florida.  At Destiny Worship Center, as Pastor Steve Vaggalis spoke, the words went directly to my heart.  He spoke of  stepping into a new season, letting go of the old, moving toward the new, and trusting the Lord.   He spoke that it was time to step in to the new season with faith.  I knew that this was the Lord’s Word for me and it cut me to the heart.  It was what I needed to to move forward.

Here is a list of things that helped me move forward in a difficult season of my life, a difficult move.

  1. Realize God’s plan may be bigger than you.   God has a plan bigger than you can know.  So you will not always understand it. He wants to stretch you  to help others as He grows you up.  He will need to move you from your comfort zone to do that.  Look at the big picture and not just the current corner of your life.
  2. Realize God is good.  God has your best future in mind.  He loves you and cares for you.  He won’t lead you into evil.  It will be ok!
  3. Release your situation to God.  You need to release your situation to the Lord and follow Him.  It’s a matter of trusting what you cannot see.
  4. Release your feelings of Loss.  Release your feelings of loss to the Lord and He can begin to heal you.  In each season of life there is blessing and loss.  Release any sense of loss to Him.  To help me do this, I clung to Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me“.
  5. Believe that the Lord will protect you.  I had to trust not only the Lord, but also Dave.  Trust that the Lord can protect you even if you or your husband make a “wrong” decision.
  6. Realize you are teaching your children:  As a mother, remember your behavior will be copied by your children.  Realizing this helped me stay encouraged for them.  I wanted to model a behavior of how to hear from and follow the Lord.  Remember your words, attitudes, and actions are being watched and affect those that come after you.  Be a Mom that shows them how to step out in their life and live in God’s big plan.
  7. Don’t Fight with God:  Don’t fight God, he knows what’s best for you.
  8. Don’t Fight with your husband.  Don’t fight your husband, he wants what’s best for you
  9. Have a sense of humor – Growth is a part of the plan of your life.  Enjoy the adventure!
  10. Be Thankful.   Be thankful and embrace the opportunities the Lord brings you!

Melanie

A Story of Moving From Two Sides – His Perspective

How do you make a tough decision to move?

My wife Melanie and I wanted to write this and the following post together.  The post is how to make a tough move easier.  We each will take our turn, this post is David’s perspective. 

Deciding To Move

Months preceding the decision the pressure would build.  My wife, Melanie, and I would go for long walks and discuss what we should do.  We knew through comments made from my boss that the company wanted us to move again.  This time about 1,000 miles from Destin, Florida to the corporate headquarters in Kansas.  I had in over a decade and a half with the company and enjoyed my role.  Moving would mean another promotion and all its benefits but this wasn’t the first time we were faced with this decision.

We had moved from Wisconsin to Florida to open up a new office four years earlier.  The startup was a great success. A phenomenal team was built after we came to Destin by faith not knowing anyone.  We started in Florida on a cardboard desk with 1 laptop and the office grew to 10 staff and a $10M contribution per year to the company. But it was also one of the most difficult personal decisions we had ever made together.  Both our families, support structure, and grandparents to our three girls were in Wisconsin when we moved 22 hours away to Destin.

Now, four years later it looked like it may happen all over again. We had great friends in Florida.  We were very involved in ministry.  I wondered how a move would affect our girls?  How would it affect our marriage?  How would it affect our extended family?  What would happen to the team?  On what basis should we make this decision to move or not move?  How should we make this decision?

How To Make Tough Decisions

How do you make the toughest decisions in life?  It seems that every few years we are faced with extraordinarily tough decisions.  Perhaps you are too.  Tough decisions seem to have equally weighted benefits and costs making the path forward uncertain.

Barry Perez, leader of Harvestime Ministries gave me this advice as I asked him how I decide between two very difficult paths.  He said to use the analogy of the “The Three Harbor Lights” to make tough decisions.  It guided me through the decision to move.

There are lights along the channel as a ship comes into harbor. If the ship is on course the lights will line up behind one another and appear to be one. If you see multiple lights, you’re off target. The ship’s captain will then re-position the ship so that the lights appear to be one. In decision-making, if we can get “three lights” lining up, we may in fact know God’s will for our decision.  Below are the three lights to line up when weighing your tough decision.  If they line up you may be on target with your direction:

The Light of God’s Word.  Your decision should not contradict God’s Word or His promises.  If the decision involves a change that would make you compromise your integrity, your faith, or your obedience to the Lord it may be an indication it is not the right decision.

The Light of the Holy Spirit.  Your decision should have a peace or excitement within you. This is an indication of your inner witness from the Holy Spirit.

The Light of Circumstances.  The circumstances of your life should point to the need for the decision. God will work through us and speak to us through our circumstances.

Lining up your decision with these three lights may help you identify what is the right decision for you and your family. Do these three lights make sense to you?  Have you based a decision upon “The Three Lights”.

Trust Releases Control – 5 Steps to Victory

Trust requires releasing control to another

I prepared.  I opened my heart to constructive criticism and opened the door to the performance review. It had been 7 years of trying to get along with a boss that clearly did not like me.  Sure, I had a lot to learn when I first joined the company but after several years there just seemed to be nothing I could do to grow the professional relationship.  First, I was too maverick.  Then, later, as I gave my life to Christ, and learned to submit wholly to authority, it was something much deeper that made this boss angry with me.

The performance review suddenly turned an ugly corner.  “You’re just a maverick Dave”.  It was followed by a 10 minute emotional rant.  I am not even sure of the words anymore but I do remember the viper eyes and the curl on her upper lip as she spewed venom and ripped me.  I was floored.  I was in total submission to her authority, was making my utilization goals, and just brought a half million dollar account in the door.  I will be honest with you.  I opened up my heart thinking it would help me learn.  Instead, it made me extraordinarily vulnerable and I was completely undone. How should I now respond?

Still emotional, I prayed, “Lord, I have done well and supported the leadership.  I will not get angry with her.  Instead, I give this situation to you.  I trust you to deal with this”.  Soon after, my family and I began to pray 2 Thessalonians 3:2, “that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men”.  I was shaken for weeks not really sure where I stood at my job.  Wondering if I would be released.

The breakthrough came suddenly one morning 7 weeks later.  Someone from the corporate office flew into town.  Within hours, even though I had not said one word to anyone in the company, my boss was let go and I was given the leadership position.  Our office moved locations too, from skanky to swanky. It would be the beginning of turning the  office around and tripling revenue and profit.  It taught me that relinquishing control to the Lord is a powerful response to injustice.  David wrote in Psalm 37, ” And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him“.

Something powerful happens when we fully trust the Lord.  There seems to be a line in the sand when we encounter a situation in which we are helpless.  We must cross the line and come to a place where we say, “I give this situation to You”.

Is there an injustice in your life that is beyond your control?  Here are some steps that have helped me trust, step back, and relax while the Lord moves:

1.  Stop Trying To Fix It:  You must cease from your laboring and worrying.  It is evidence that you are not trusting but rather controlling.

2.  Understand that Trust is more powerful than Control:  Realize that He is more powerful than you.  So, as you let go a more powerful Team is on the scene.

3.  Ask the Lord to Take Care of the Problem:   This is where it all begins.  Until you do this you still own the problem.

4.  Relinquish Control:  Tell yourself that you have drawn a line in the sand.  It is no longer your problem to fix.

5.  Stand in Faith:  It takes time to move mountains.  Spend the time waiting being more productive.

What things do you need in your life that are beyond your control?  What would be the result if you took your situation through these steps?  Would you add any other steps?

 

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