As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane somewhere over Ohio…going home.
‘Home’ - somewhere you feel comfortable. Where you are understood. It’s where you live your life in full. Where you eat your favorite foods and visit your favorite coffee houses. It’s where you belong. (I wonder if I got where or were right!?)
I’ve put off writing this blog entry for about a month because I’ve been struggling with where home is. These last 6 months, it’s been a variety of places.
For all my Northern Irish roots, I will proudly say that Northern Ireland is my real home. My family and dear friends live there. It’s somewhere we called home from 26 years! Then like a shifting wind New York City became home - an opportunity sent from God for us to live life to its fullest. To pour deeply into people who became family. NY became somewhere that we grew up, as a couple in Christ. It is where really allowed many people to come alongside us, and live life with us.
In October 2018, both Craig and I felt God press on our hearts to do a new thing…to do something different. I ignored it to the fullest! I did not want to hear what God was asking or doing. I buried my head in the sand. I realize now, God was moving me from a situation that was stripping me of my passions - and I knew at the time I was praying constantly that God would fix it - but fix it where I was…on my terms.
One of the biggest ‘perks of my job’ is leading people in worship. I’m honored to be able to do this each Sunday morning and there are many times I’ve crumbled under the weight of this responsibility. But I’m grateful to God for giving me a voice and the ability to play the piano - for giving me words to share and songs to sing so that I can help others remain closer to Him and have freedom of worship in His presence. I adored worshiping in White Plains, NY with our worship team. Charlie and Mark on the guitar - Cashus on the keys - my Craiggers on the bass - our Pastor on the drums and my people David, Anny and Carmy standing either side of me praising and worshiping God…supporting each other…arms held high in worship together. Unity. My people. Not ‘my people’ because they belonged to me… but that I belonged to them.
One Sunday in the middle of October, I had a throat infection and couldn’t sing so I sat back and played the piano. I watched this team rise up, the teens and young adults lead on there own as I realized I had unintentionally been training them to do this…without me. God spoke to me as I sat at the piano that morning and said clearly…
”they can do this…you need to do something new…somewhere else.”
I’m not joking when I say I laughed out loud and then chose to ignore Gods voice again.
“I’ll do something new here Lord where I am…I’ll plant new seeds…tell me what you want me to do…I’ll do it right here.”
The next week I received a job offer in San Francisco. Again. What??!?!! We where New Yorkers now, through and through…loved the city…loved the people. Move to the West Coast?! Hilarious! Not happening!!!
As I googled SF, I fell in love - different city with a cool vibe…I thought it would be a good fit for us. So Craig and I prayed and pursued moving to San Francisco. We believed this was of God because the door had opened shortly after we’d heard the call to do something new. When the door shut, and didn’t quite work out…we couldn’t believe it. We had prepared our minds, our hearts for a new land…we had said “Yes Lord”…and it didn’t work out! What was going on!!!
A week later - one of my mentors was in town and shared a devotion on ‘expanding our territory’. Pray boldly - ask God to disturb you - expand your ministry.
With all my heart I prayed this bold prayer. I prayed that God would do a new thing in us as a couple, in our ministry, in our lives - wherever it may be. I thought God was asking me to sit still where we were, invest more, dig deeper into spiritual relationships with the people He’d placed around us as I surrendered in prayer and gave everything in the last few years over to Him.
1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to God, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." and God granted his request.
The next week, I got a phone call alerting me to a job that would fit my skills in St. Louis, Missouri. I swear to goodness…I had just prayed for peace where I am…I had surrendered to Gods plan…I thought that meant in NY, where home was.
Fast forwarding throw one of the most difficult transitions I’ve had to make in my life. (I’m not ready to write about the transition just yet.) But we live in St Louis, Missouri now. We asked God to expand our territory and he laid a table in front of us that we could not refuse. We have been welcomed and instantly loved by our new family.
He is faithful.
You’ll know that 'connection' is important for me to thrive, for any of us really? God has prepared a place, with people who will become family, who will walk this journey with us, and who need us as much as we need them. I know God knows what He is doing and I’ll forever boldly walk in His path as He continues to work on me.
I’m going to see my people this week in New York - I’m going to adore them and love on them for this snippet of time that we have together.
We all walk this journey together…we support and strengthen each other when it’s needed…we step in and step up when God tells us to go somewhere and do something. I can assure you…its not easy…but it’s worth it.