Life has certainly been an adventure for the StewCrew these last four and a half years. To recap a few highlights….
We brought Judson home from Ethiopia in January 2012.
And God began to reveal how much of our identity was built on shifting sands instead of the solid Rock.
Judson had a seizure in April of 2012.
And in a moment, God gave us a glimpse of how quickly life can change.
Emery’s Appendix ruptured in May of 2012, followed by a massive infection and 10 day hospital stay.
And intimacy with God in prayer and the belief in His power became more real by the side of our child’s hospital bed.
As part of Jason’s role at LifePoint, we moved cross-country to Seattle, Washington to be a part of the LifePoint Seattle campus for a year in August of 2012.
And the place that was so new different and new, became the place that God used to heal us in ways we didn’t know need healing.
Our kids started a brand new school in September of 2012.
And God reminded us that our carefully constructed plans for our children were more about our desire to manage our own fears, than a belief in His perfect will for using them to bring glory to Himself.
We began to sense God leading us to step out of LifePoint in March of 2013.
And we felt God ask us to step out in faith like never before.
We sold our beloved rancher in Smyrna in May of 2013.
And we began to see the things of this world growing dim, in light of God’s glory and grace.
We finished up our time in Seattle, moved back across country and moved in with my parents in August 2013.
And God continued to reveal places in our hearts that needed to be laid before Him.
We were called to a new role at Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin, California in August 2013.
And the step of faith God had led us to take finally had a place to land.
I embarked on homeschooling the big 3 in September of 2013.
And I saw that God really does have a sense of humor and guaranteed at least one of my kids will need therapy.
We trekked cross-country….again….in October 2013.
And God gave us some great moments of memories to have as family.
The kids started school in California in November of 2013.
And God reminded us again that sometimes the story we write for our kiddos is not necessarily the one He has chosen to write, but it is the one He is going to use to build His Kingdom.
Our church hit some rough days in January 2014.
And God gave us a deeper understanding of what He meant when He said He works ALL things for His good, even the hard and difficult and really sad things.
We visited Tennessee in July of 2014 and December 2014, July 2015 and December 2015….and each time our kiddos had gut-wrenching goodbyes with their family and friends.
And God met us in our sadness and allowed us to understand our wiring, our hearts and our calling to a different depth.
The kids started at a new charter school in August of 2014. (their fourth new start in 5 years)
And God brought some new friendships, amazing teachers and a rich education into the lives of our kids.
In June 2015 we moved to another home in the area with a pool, a fabulous neighborhood and the plan to rent for a couple more years.
And God simply blessed us because who doesn’t love a pool?
In December 2015 we began to sense again that God was beginning to stir something in us again.
And God began to loosen and pry open some places in our hearts and minds.
In March of 2016 we found out our home was being sold and we would have to move….again.
And just like that God set our world spinning.
In the Spring of 2016, Jason and I struggled, prayed, and had many late night discussions over what God was leading us to do. There were many moments where we were not sure, we were not on the same page, and we were not clear on how to move forward. But we were unified on seeking the Lord, inviting in some trusted voices, and doing our best to discern what the next right step could be.
And God was not offended by our questions, He was not dismayed by our emotions and He was nowhere near startled at our lack of understanding.
In the Spring of 2016, our precious girls, Parker and Emery, sat their parents down for a very real, raw and honest conversation about the state of their hearts, their desires and their need to be rooted. They asked us some VERY hard questions and we had a chance to see their strength, their grace and also their fears. We listened deeply and saw their emotions in a very authentic and honest way. It was one of those powerful moments as parents.
And God allowed us to see fourteen years of parenting culminate in one conversation.
In the Spring of 2016, we sensed the Lord giving us a short window to pursue an opportunity to move back to Tennessee to be closer to family and allow our oldest to start high school in a place where we knew we would be long term. So we began to pursue some things in the Nashville area, fully trusting that if God was at work, He would make it clear to us.
And God was at work and He made is very clear to us.
After much prayer and discernment, we have felt the Lord leading us to move our family back to the Nashville area.
As with any move, we have mixed emotions. We have loved so much about our time in California. We have met some of the most amazing people we have the privilege to call friends. We have seen the Lord do some pretty remarkable things at Bridgeway. We have seen people embrace us, our kids and the vision to live on mission. We have been able to see Kingdom movements begin in the hearts of families that will change neighborhoods, schools and the Sacramento region we have no doubt.
And we are reminded again that there is something powerful and effective when the Body of Christ IS the Body of Christ.
We have been loved and we have loved this place. We say thank you, Bridgeway, for allowing us to be a part of your lives for almost three years. We thank you for trusting us, encouraging us, embracing us and speaking life over us. Our prayer is that we have been used by our Father to bring glory to His name and have spread His fame.
As for what is next for us…..that is another post….
Because God is not done with us yet.
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