So, for the last few months, Nicole and I have been soul searching and discerning what God may have for us in the near future. As you might know, last July I made a departure from our full time ministry position. A position that made us a decent living with benefits and a pension. We stepped out in faith and it’s been much harder than we expected and now I am currently working three days a week at a local Verizon store (no I can’t give you a free iPhone) for a fraction of what I used to make.
The truth is, we fully expected to be in a new ministry by now, and have come close several times but nothing has come through. This can be really daunting at times, and quite honestly discouraging, but this is teaching me a few things:
1. God’s ways are not as our ways. I’ve said this many times before and counseled people with this thought but the reality of it is that we cannot always see the plan or even make sense of what God does or calls us to do.
2. God’s timing is not our timing. Again, this one is pretty obvious but when we start complaining about God not doing a work in our lives within a few months or a few weeks we are truly missing that point all together.
3. When God says ‘humble yourself’ he means it. In the last year I have gone from counseling youth about their life’s struggles to helping them upgrade to a new iPhone and I have gone from leading in a church’s programming and leadership to changing the filters in that church’s basement on my knees (while the young janitor who is now making more than me snickers). This was not just humbling but humiliating and I think that is what God needed to do in my heart.
So for right now, Nicole and I are still interviewing with multiple churches across the country but we are praying about what God would have us do today, not tomorrow. Sometimes even when we know what we need to do in life it isn’t easy but we trust and know in the Spirit that our lives will bring God glory and we will be used in spite of our weakness. I will post more on this site to let you know what things we will be doing locally. We have hosted a concert recently and plan on doing more of that as well as possibly hosting our own prayer retreat.
We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have-for their usefulness. -Thomas Merton
So my wife and I decided that we were going to pack up our home and move into an apartment that my parents own about a month ago. Nicole and I don’t make rash decisions as a team, we tend to pray, discuss, sleep-on, and contemplate ideas like this fully. The truth is that Nicole and I both fully felt that God was leading us to pack up and move to get out of the house. The idea has been to sell our inexpensive (less than 100K) home and get back into renting so that we are more flexible and aren’t faced with a 45 minute commute two times a day with multiple vehicles.
Needless to say, we’ve already moved out and are plugged into my parents’ apartment. We have known this whole time that the market for real estate is extremely poor and folks everywhere are upside down on their mortgages, but we figured we couldn’t be, because we purchased the home for so little 6 years ago. This week came with some harsh realities. After speaking with some friends from church who have been in local realty for quite a while, we found that our home would most likely appraise for MAYBE 55K less that we owe on it. Wow. Didn’t really expect that one coming. We knew it would be a miracle but we thought that the only properties that were losing value were the ones that were inflated to begin with.
So, we have a few choices:
1) We can put the house on the market for way more than it’s worth. If by some miracle it did get a buyer, they would have to get an appraisal and they would face the same harsh reality we have and the sale would be lost.
2) Short Sale. This really would be almost impossible for us. we’ve worked hard at keeping current on our mortgage, which in a short sale is a minus…the bank wants to see that you really cannot afford squat.
3) Deed in lieu of foreclosure. This one is tough because I feel we need to make good on our debt. This would entail just giving the bank our home back. We would get a major hit to our credit (credit=crap anyways, plus we don’t use credit to buy anymore, thanks Ramsey) and not be able to buy a home for at least 18 months.
4) Move back into the house and stay there for however long it takes to get the economy back up and real estate climbing. This is the least risky, and yet the most bothersome to me. Somehow we felt like God was getting us ready for something and I feel that moving back in would just be a lack of faith. I rarely if ever see God using people who play it safe and are afraid to take risks. Jesus told people to sell or leave their possessions. I cannot think of a time in scripture where He said to play it safe, can you?
That’s it. That’s what we are facing. Your thoughts, comments, prayers…