Two years ago today (on Aug 12, 2008), we loaded all of our possessions into a moving van and left IL. We left the small, rural church in Illinois where Paul was the pastor.
- Paul's parents needed help on their farm, and we were driving down here weekly to help put up hay
- We were in debt, and he had just finished preaching through the qualifications of an elder. And, he felt like he was not qualified on account of our debt
- I had just had a huge spiritual awakening in my life, and I was a totally new person. I wanted to be near his family, whereas before I did not care to be around them at all
- And, while we never admitted it to the church at the time, we were terribly lonely. The congregation was much older than us. And, while we LOVE (not past tense, but still do love) all the folks there, it did not fulfill our desire for peers and friendship
In retrospect (refuting point by point):
- We moved here to help Paul's parents, BUT we took such a huge cut in income that Paul has to work SO many hours that we rarely get to help them at all! And, when we do, Paul is dead on his feet before we even get there! I end up becoming bitter at my in-laws for expecting Paul to work for them (for no pay or very little pay) after such a long day of work... yet, that is why we came here (yes I know that the Bible speaks of bitter roots. And, I am praying that God would change me)
-We were in debt... true... but nothing like we would become in the following year after the move. In IL, we were making a very good income, and lived in a free-to-us parsonage. We were only occasionally late on van payments. We did fairly well at keeping our payment arrangements with other creditors. We were even able to eat out (a lot), keep a gym membership, order Netflix, and buy other luxury items (CDs, movies, decorations, new clothes, new shoes, life insurance, etc). Why did I think I was so poor then?! Why do we have to get in a worse position before we see how good we really have it?!
- God did truly move on my heart in May of 2008, no denying that. But, once we moved here - to live near in-laws who hate me - and encountered many other troubles... well, the old Bethany came back over time.
- As for our desire for peers/friends - moving away from my parents, my extended family, and the loving church members, put me in a very lonely place! Before we moved, I sincerely thought that I would make new friends and everything would be great. Two years later = no friends nearby. We still don't even have a church we go to regularly. I have never been so lonely in my life! (And, I thought I was lonely then.)
Paul and I are scared to move again!!! We don't want to make the same mistakes again!!! So, we are waiting, waiting until God makes things perfectly clear. (OK, so I personally feel like God made it clear that we need to move out of this house... but "to where?" is the question). I do NOT want to write a post exactly like this two years from now!!! If/when we move again, we want it to be a step up, not a step back.
Y'all can keep praying for us. We need wisdom from the Lord. And, I need a lot of peace, patience, and contentment! I want to be able to say this:
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.(Phil 4:11-13 NASB emphasis mine)Added 09-28-2011: I had to laugh when I read the part of this post about maybe someday regretting our move from the moldy house. NO, NO, NO!!! We will never regret moving from the moldy house. And, then I wrote that God would have to make things perfectly clear... well, He did. Our landlord kicked us out (in a fit of drunkenness or dementia, we still do not know which!)