Thursday, February 28, 2008

Major Life Events

I have been putting off writing a post that has been simmering in my mind for weeks. This morning when I read BigMama's very honest and vulnerable post about what's really going on in her life, it kind of lit a fire under me to spill the beans. It's not that I don't want to share, because I am a pretty open person. It's just that to process what's been going on in written words is going to hurt and I'll probably cry really hard. I just haven't had the energy for that. You see, February has been extremely full. We had five major events within nine days. The first three were my sister getting married, Jackson turning two, and then having his and Ella's party.

On Friday (Day 7), Jackson had his two-year check up and shots at his pediatrician's office. That night he started getting sick and I thought it was from his shots. I mean, twelve hours earlier his doctor had checked him from head to toe and he was completely fine. Yes, we took him to his party sick the next morning, but I still thought it was from the shots. And I honestly did not know what to do. Just not show up? Maybe a better woman would have done that. By the next evening he was very sick and we ended up taking him to an urgent care clinic. Major event number four. That is a post in itself - one I tried to write but was too emotionally exhausted to produce. I only wrote about three sentences before giving up. Jackson was checked for the flu and strep and was then x-rayed for pneumonia. I was utterly shocked to find out that he did in fact have pneumonia. Wow. It hit so fast and hard. He received a very painful antibiotic shot that sent him into a cry that I have never heard out of his mouth. It lasted fifteen minutes. That, combined with the fact that this clinic must have had zero experience in dealing with a toddler and his fragile parents, caused me to melt into sobs. (We had been made to restrain him repeatedly while he was traumatized with pokes and prods and strange machines. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it was very upsetting.) I left the clinic completely drained and Curtis left furious at the workers. It was a tough night for us, but at the same time I kept thinking about parents who have chronically, gravely ill children. Oh, Lord, please be near to them. If we were that upset over a run of the mill bout with pneumonia, what must all those parents at Children's Hospital be going through?

Here's where my stomach is starting to churn, because major event number five was also a doozie. The next morning my husband was to preach the Sunday services at our church, and we were to announce his resignation from his position as student pastor. Again, this in itself is another post - one I haven't yet known how to write.

From September 2006 to July 2007, my husband had the amazing opportunity to lead a Saturday night service at our church. Since he was 17 years old, all he has wanted to do was speak and preach. The Saturday service was the fulfillment of a dream for him. He was preaching every single week and loving it. Curt had never prepared and preached a sermon on a weekly basis and it was neat to see how the Lord gave him the grace to do it every week. I would sit in my chair and listen to him, thinking, "Who is this man? Is this my husband?" God's power in him was evident to me. Seeing him operate in his gift made me praise the Lord because I knew that it was supernatural. I feel that way when I hear my mom speak, too.

We ended up learning the hard way that churches have services on Sunday mornings for a reason. It is very hard to compete with everything that gets scheduled for Saturday nights. A lot of churches have very successful Saturday services, but I'm not sure it works as well for a smaller church where the atmosphere is more affected by a handful of people not showing up. We know that God is sovereign and He knew all along it would be temporary. We will understand His plan someday. When we brought the service to a close, it was a hard loss for Curtis. I'm sure I don't need to explain why.

We began fervently asking God to open up doors for Curtis to speak and preach. He got a handful of phone calls to speak at various events, which he absolutely loves to do. It was very encouraging and exciting, but every event coincided with something we had at our own church. We realized that when God finally answered our prayers, He would probably take us away from First Baptist Irving. You can imagine the tension that created in our hearts. We wanted to walk into our calling, but we wanted to do it with our church family! And our best friends!

I am purposely not going to go into detail at this time and I appreciate your patience as I wait for the best timing, but the Lord brought us an open door a few months ago and it is time for us to walk through it.

At the conclusion of each service on Sunday, Curtis had to announce that we are leaving. I have not seen him cry since our wedding ceremony on June 15, 2002. He is not a crier. But my husband bawled like a little baby standing in front of our church members during the traditional service. I think the sweetest thing he said was, "Besides us, you were the first people to teach our son about Jesus." I'm crying right now just typing that. During the second service, he held it together pretty well until he sat back down on the front row. Then he put his head in his hands and wept. It was a sad day for us.

Again, there is a huge tension in my heart between being excited that God has answered a prayer that Curt began praying ten years ago, and being so sad to leave our church family and friends here in Irving. When you do not have family members living near by, your friends absolutely become your family. To the degree that I am joyful to be taking the next step, I am devastated at the ripping away that is about to occur. I'm not sure I can expound on that anymore right now. You might be wondering if this means Jackson won't be attending weekly Thursday playdates with Ella, Ava, and Tobey, and you are right. We will be too far away.

That morning I really needed my mama because who can you ask to babysit your child with pneumonia while you stand next to your husband and resign from a ministry you've had together for 3.5 years? I kept thinking, "Lord, what is this timing?" Janelle was sweet enough to tend to Jackson while we made our announcement. Sunni would have been there to help, too, if she didn't have to sing a solo at her church that morning. My sweet, sweet friends.

When I went to retrieve Jackson, he was in the choir room with Janelle, Krystal, Jake, and Vonda. They were all showering The Mister with attention and keeping him happy, while watching everything on a TV screen above them. There was just something sweet about walking in there and finding four people who have been so special to us for the last few years. Krystal is our middle school pastor's wife and she is every bit as involved as her husband. Vonda has grown up in our church and is one of those people who brings a double portion of light and joy with her when she walks into a room. Jake has also grown up in our church and has ministered there in more ways than I can count, taking every opportunity to serve. Janelle has served our youth and college ministry behind the scenes as Curt's secretary and she doesn't get near enough credit for her hard work. She has grieved with us over our failures and praised the Lord for our successes in the Saturday service and in the college ministry. She has loved my son almost as much as if he were her own. Sunni (there in spirit) has helped me keep a sense of humor and has gotten me out of this house when the walls were creeping in. She has been a great listener and has let us all benefit from her creativity in mothering. She has also loved my son almost as much as if he were her own. I could literally write a book about all the people who have impacted our lives in DFW. There are too many to count. God knows the gratitude in my heart for each one.

This is so very long already, but I have to share one more thing. When we moved to Irving, I had my 25th birthday nine days later. My best friends from Houston, with whom we had spent countless hours serving teenagers, and with whom we shared our newlywed years, sent me a huge box filled with birthday presents and cards. I wept as I opened it, asking myself why I just left people who loved me that much. I want to testify right now that our God is faithful and He brought me an additional circle of friends who have enriched my life and who have been so much fun to do motherhood with. Each one of those friends, from Houston and from Irving, has a specific role in my life. Not one of them is replaceable. In three weeks, as we drive away from our home in Irving, I will cry to Curtis and ask why we are leaving people who love us so much. And to me that speaks of God's goodness. He provides for all of our needs. He gently leads those who have young. And He cares about the deep needs of our hearts - like having good friends.

If anyone is still reading this, thank you again for allowing me to share details in my own timing. I look forward to chronicling much more about this journey. Hopefully in much shorter segments.

182 comments:

Heather said...

Amanda, I cried here as I read this remembering when we moved away from the place we had lived both separately and married for 14 years of my life. It was so hard but you are so right that God will provide a new circle and the bonds with those you leave will strenghten in a new way that you'll never even imagine. You and your little family of 3 will be in our prayers as you transistion through the next few weeks. It took us time but we are starting to feel at home here. We left a city and came to a new city and then had the rug swept out from under us ... all in all God was our comfort and our portion. I know he will do the same for you and your family. Know that you are in our prayers and I pray for the new endeavour as well, that God will richly bless it as well as you and Curt as you follow where he leads.

bethany said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Jackson-when my Jak had to go in for testing a couple of months ago and the doctor took like 3 vials of blood, Zak had to hold him down, he was screaming, I finally had to leave the room cause I was so upset...so I know how you feel!
As for this new opportunity-I can only say that the Lord always provides a way and a friend. When we moved here, I felt so alone-but people were quickly placed in my path that have now become incredible friends. Good luck with your new adventure-I'm excited to see where you will be going!!

debra said...

Amanda, I feel like crying. I know the feelings that you are going through. In many ways I am still feeling them daily. Please know that you are being prayed for. I promise.

God is faithful. Always.

Big Mama said...

Oh Amanda. I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks. Bless your heart for the roller coaster of emotions you've experienced in the past month. I guess that's why you never hear anyone say that a life of serving God is boring.

I'm excited and will pray for you and your man as you begin a new adventure and I'm sad as you leave behind the ones you love. Hope Jackson is feeling better.

Dori said...

Amanda,

I sat down next a friend of mine last night in choir rehearsal. I love her dearly -- one of the most godly women I know -- you know her, too! ;) We were both having an "off" night, nothing major going in life, but just LIFE. As we chatted about some really random things she said something like, "Right now I just need authentic people in my life -- a little authenticity, please."

It's been ringing in my ears ever since because it so agreed with my spirit and what God has been breathing into me lately. No more posing. No more masks. No more gettin' my game on. No more status quo. I just want REAL PEOPLE sowing into my life right and I want to be a REAL PERSON sowing into their life.

Reading Big's post and your post today just made me ever so thankful for this "blogging experience." There are a few REAL PEOPLE out there that I have met that have become quite special to me. Whether or not face to face, still just as special as someone I could walk over and borrow a cup of sugar from. :)

I will be praying for this new journey, but I'm also praying that God will bridge your journeys together for eternity. If I've learned anything from your blog it is that you love your friends and you love them with everything you have -- and they, you. It's inspiring and authentic. He will bless you for a lifetime through that kind of devotion!

Thanks for being REAL, girlfriend!

Blessings,
Dori

Richardsons of HV said...

Oh, sweet friend! I cried, too! I know this is going to be a bittersweet move for you! Whew! I love it when we can see God's provision like that!

Anonymous said...

Amanda...

The Lord really used your post to minister to me. I am so proud of you and Curtis for trusting the Lord and walking through the door... most people begin to turn the knob then walk away.

I pray blessing over you and your family....

Thanks for sharing...it was honest and genuine!

Love.
XOXO

Tore said...

Amanda,
You all will be missed dearly. I cried as I heard Curt, and I cried as I read your major life events post. God is good, and has richly blessed First Irving with your family. Thank you for the blessing of watching Jackson grow in the nursery. He is an amazing little boy and I can already see the goodness and grace of his mom & dad in him.
I pray earnestly that God ease the hard part of saying good-bye to this life to venture to a new and exciting journey that he has planned. You will be missed, but always know you are loved at FBCI! You both have left a legacy to last for generations through our student ministry.
May God richly bless your lives. I look forward to hearing about your new journeys and adventures through your blog.
God is faithful! Love, Tore' Duncan

Anonymous said...

Amanda....

May the lyrics of Hillsong United's song, "All of the Above"
bless your socks off..

You hold the future in your hands
You know my dreams and you have a plan
And as you light my way, I'll follow you

My eyes on all of the above
My soul secure in all you've done
My minds made up
And you are the only one for me

Jesus, savior, in my life you are everything
My future decided, I will praise your name
And I know that I am, I am yours
Yeah, I know that that I am, I am yours

Deidre said...

Reading this immediately reminded me of Acts 20 (vs. 37) when the apostle Paul is leaving his friends because the Spirit of God was leading him to another place. I cry everytime I read that story. It's such an honor and privilege to serve Jesus Christ and sometimes that takes us away from what we know love. But, God prepares the way and He greets us at our 'new home' and surrounds us with love. He knows we'll need it.

I am most certainly praying for you, Curt and precious little Jackson. May God richly bless you and your family for your obedience to follow Him (even when doing so takes you away from friends). You are such a blessing!

Oh, by the way - pneumonia is no 'run-of-the-mill' illness and you were justified in being upset. Nothing tears at a Mama's heart more than our babies being sick. I pray he feels better soon!

Honea Household said...

I hope Jackson is feeling better.

My heart is so heavy for you. I've moved a jillion times in my life being a missionary kid overseas and furloughing every 4 years in the states. The last 8 years have been the longest amount of time I've lived in one place (and my husband still move from house to house). But moving is hard. And leaving the people you love and that love you is difficult. But I know as well as you do that our Lord is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. He will bless you with new friends and people who you learn to love. And praise God for blogs, and email, and phones to keep in touch with friends far away. It will be an adventure! I will pray for a smooth transition!
~Ashley

P.S. Do we know where you're going yet?

Sister Honey Bunch said...

Thank you for sharing. Your post and Big Mamas really affected me today.

I'm doing the Believing God study right now and boy is it shaking my world up. Both of these posts just make me feel more peaceful and excited about all God will do in our lives.

Ashley said...

Oh my sweet dear friend, I began to cry (yes, here at my office) reading your story. Although Brant and I have begun a new chapter in our lives, we hold First Irving very, very dear to our hearts and we will cry them the day you leave. I have so many fond memories of you and Curtis, and babysitting little Jackson; of house-sitting and playing with Beckham...so many memories flood my mind. But i know the God's calling on you and Curtis is one of greatness and I am so excited for you and this new chapter in your life.

So before you go, I insist on one last Benihana's lunch, so call me soon and let's plan it. Know that I have missed seeing you on a regular basis these past many months, and I miss your wisdom. You are an amazing woman of the Lord and I have been so blessed to know your and Curtis.

Praying blessings on you,
Ashley

Ang baylis said...

I'm praying for you an Curtis right now! Thank you for your honesty. I am going to go over to read Big Mama. A friend of mine already told me today that I need to read it.

Love you,
Angie xoxo

Serah said...

I can't imagine dealing with all of this on your heart plus your sister's wedding. Your heart's definitely getting a workout this year, isn't it?

I'll be praying for you all as you start this new chapter in your lives, an exciting chapter as you follow God's will. He never lets us be bored, does He? May He bless you more than you can imagine in your new home and church.

(((Amanda)))

jamie b said...

I want to cry with you! My husband is not in the ministry (I am a ok though) and we are leaving our friends and family members in 3 weeks as well. He has accepted another job in another state. It won't be too far from my family (2 hours) but its still a scary time. Growing up my family moved more times than I can count, but it seems to be harder this time since we have an 18 month old. I am praying for yall during this time of transition.

jamie b said...

I want to cry with you! My husband is not in the ministry (I am a ok though) and we are leaving our friends and family members in 3 weeks as well. He has accepted another job in another state. It won't be too far from my family (2 hours) but its still a scary time. Growing up my family moved more times than I can count, but it seems to be harder this time since we have an 18 month old. I am praying for yall during this time of transition.

Abby said...

will be praying for ya'll...moving, no matter how great in the end, is always hard...thanks for sharing your blessings with us. your friends sound amazing :)

ps..i had the chicken quesadillas (sp?) (one of the avalon members had the fajitas though i think) with a side order of a screaming baby in my lap...however, i think you are quite more seasoned than i in the screaming department ;)

Anonymous said...

Amanda...

HOW EXCITING! A new place means new friends, new adventures, loads of new memories.... and hopefully.... tons of new restaurants and shopping malls!!!

CONGRATULATIONS GIRL!

Hillary said...

Amanda,
Thank you for sharing this! It's very personal to me! I started really reading your blog about the same time I started dating my soon to be husband. He is a youth pastor and that was a life I wasn't sure about! Especially since he also felt God calling him to be a pastor one day. Satan really battled me in my mind about being a pastor's wife! I took (and still do) took so much encouragement from you! You just don't even know! my fiance has just recently relocated to another church. It was very hard on him to leave the church he's been at the last 5 years. I'm so blessed though b/c his new church is actually in my parent's home town. I know it might not be like that forever but I praise God for it now. And it's still hard for me to leave my home!! Oh your faith in all of this is astounding! Thanks again for being so real!! What a testimony that is. I WILL be praying for you and your family!

Joni said...

Your post brought back all the feelings I experienced around 7 months ago when we moved to a different state. My children were 7,5 and 3, and very confused as to why they were leaving everything they had known.Our church, our friends,my husband's practice - all the memories made together as a family would not be made anymore in that place we knew as home. Heartbreaking.

We KNEW God was directing our steps, and had confidence that we were in the middle of His will, but it still hurt like the dickens. Still does sometimes.

I don't yet have all the answers surrounding our move, but I have learned an enormous amount about holding onto things with open hands. I have become even more dependent on Christ during this transition and in my loneliness, have experienced Him in a way I never have before, which is precisely His point.

I am praying for you. The move will be difficult. And you will miss your friends. But the blessings God has in store for your family for your obedience will be more than you can imagine.

mamabygrace said...

I have been reading behind the scenes for awhile now, Amanda you are such a blessing and a dose of reality. I just finished Stepping Up, and your Mama's words of "God is the God of timing" have been stuck in my mind lately. I know you must be excited and scared of what lies ahead. And watching your child go through pain like that is hard. We want to keep them away from pain, not hold them down so that someone can poke them. Thanks for spilling the beans. I pray God gives you a big hug today!

~Marny

My Dear Family said...

I totally understand about moving away from friends and family. Every move (we're a pastor's family as well) we have made is further from my family. But I have realized every move we have made with God, He is there to take care of us and put friends in our path to love us.

We are currently 10-12 hr away from family and I cannot imagine being anywhere else. God has blessed us with friends and "family" beyond what I can ever think of.

Thank the Lord for internet and cell phones!!

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I wish you the very best in your move. Having moved from my hometown, I understand your feelings and know how difficult this is. God is good (as you well know) and His plan is perfect, even when we can't yet see/understand it. Your new town will be very fortunate to have your family there!
Blessings, Kim

Vicki Courtney said...

Oh girl, I wish I were there to give you a big mama hug...and a Starbucks. Thank you for sharing your heart. You've had a bunch to deal with and each of those issues is huge in and of itself. I will pray that you and your sweet family will feel the mighty presences of God in the days/weeks/months to come as He prepares you for this new, and exciting chapter. It's always tough when other chapters come to a close...

Love you!

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart and your struggles. I will be praying for you and your little family.

elaine olsen said...

Amanda:
He is faithful and will bring you into your next place of ministry with peace. Transition is always hard. We, too, had a similar experience when we left our last pastorate. I remember the first Sunday in our new church, feeling oddly displaced and out of touch. We knew we were in God's will, but letting go can be painfully hard and right all in the same breath. Four years down the road...I can say that I wouldn't have missed this ride for the world.

God has graced our lives with new friends and new ministries. Nothing can ever replace your ministry at your current appointment, but when allowed, God will replace your pain and tears with his songs of joy.

Take a leap, my friend. Some of the best growth you will ever have will be in these moments of faith. Settle for nothing less.

peace~elaine olsen

The Millsaps said...

Amanda-
I have "lurked" on your blog for a while now, but I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. I can't imagine the emotions you are going through. You guys are going to be blessed over and over.

Dionna said...

Oh, Amanda. My heart is full of so many things after reading your post. I am glad you finally felt God's prompting to unload your heart. I hope it's a healing release for you.

I remember when my daughter Kamica had to have some blood drawn when she was just 1. Her little arms were too chubby so they had to try from her foot to see if she had this certain "ailment" (She didn't.) They were having a hard time,I was having to hold her down, she was crying and squirming - and like you - I left and just bawled. It's so hard.

And like you, we have absolutely no family here in Idaho. Our nearest family is in Oregon. So I understand the value placed upon friendships.

I can only imagine the bittersweet feelings for both you and your husband at this "shift" in your life. I have no doubts that God will enfold all 3 of you in His arms and bring blessings you never thought possible into your lives.
If I could, I would give you a big hug as you navigate all these changes in your life. Any one of those situations would be enough to adjust to - but all of them in a short span of time is a lot.

Allow yourself the room to feel what you're feeling and maybe cry unprovoked from time to time. You deserve to feel it all....

Anonymous said...

Noodle,

I'm so proud of your honest heart felt post. I'm bawlin' like a little doodle in my cubicle.
much love to y'all

Cathy Davis said...

mmm mmm mmm I can just feel your pain, Amanda. ::hugs::

(When my oldest daughter was 7 weeks old, she got a cold, but had to endure a multitude of tests to make sure. It was one of the most painful experiences I've had as a mommy. I hope Mister is doing better.)

Tabaitha Kaye said...

Amanda,

Though we have never met, we have mutual friends. I recently came across your blog and love reading about your life and how God has used you and your family in so many ways to minister to others.

I cried as read about having to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. It is obviously easier said than done.

I have grown up in Houston my entire life, outside of my years away at college, and recently made the journey out to California. My husband received a new job, which we had been praying for. It was everything we had asked God for and it also meant leaving all of our familiarity of family, friends and our church home behind. Not to mention that we have a 7 month old boy, who would no longer have the pleasure of seeing both sides of grandparents and aunts & uncles on a weekly basis.

I personally don't like change, I'm not sure many people do. But God has already been showing me the fruits of following His will. We have found a great church and I can't wait to get more involved and fellowship with other couples our age and for our son, Mason, to make new friends. I still get homesick, but I know it's only a phone call or email away.

I will be praying for all of you as you embrace this new chapter in your lives. Thank you for sharing your hardships. Remember, without suffering, there is no joy.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Oh Amanda. Thank you so much for sharing. So, so much.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Sweet Amanda, I loved this post. I, like many others, can relate. My hubs is a minister, too, and some of our most hearbreaking moments have been realizing we were saying goodbye to incredible circles of people who loved us and loved our babies.

I posted today about my own recent heartache and struggle, and quoted your mom a couple times. Her sentence in Stepping Up, "Every ending, everything we believe to be the death of us is instead a hand-engraved invitation to a new beginning" came to my mind again while reading your post.

I'm excited for you and Curtis. Whoever gets you will be mightily blessed. And I am sure that all the incredible emotions and ups and downs (I want to kick someone for making you restrain that tiny boy) will wear on you; I'll be praying for strength and the peace that passes understanding for you.

Kelly said...

I have read your blog for a while and just wanted to comment. My husband, too, is on a church staff and we often have said ministry is one long goodbye. It is so hard leaving a place that has honored God's call in your life by their love and support. We are at a place now that is such a blessing to serve at and with people who love us and more importantly, our kids! May you be richly blessed in the next weeks.
Kelly

Marla Taviano said...

I've been praying for you, Amanda. I won't stop. Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Amanda. The tears are dropping with each new line I read. It is such a hard choice to step out in faith when excitement and heartache both come from it. God is so gracious to give you the blessings of the memories you've had with the friends you've made along the way. It's bittersweet when you've prayed for this kind of opportunity to come and God has delivered. I will be praying for the weeks ahead for your family.

I hope Jackson is doing better now. My 4 year old had pneumonia for a week and the dr couldn't figure out what it was. We had to go through the same testing and it was heartbreaking to see them hurt so badly. Praying that smile is back in play!
Praying for you,
Amy in OK

Connie said...

Transitions are hard, but it sounds like you are confident in the Lord's leading. Keep pursuing Him and He will continue to bless. Thanks for sharing your heart....praying for peace and rest as you prepare for the days to come.

Cheri-Beri said...

Well, just don't listen to Michael W. Smith sing "Friends" and maybe you'll be okay.

Last year my husband, children and I moved away from the place I had called home since birth. I had myriads of friends, wonderful connections, you get the picture. But, as you have learned, God can and will bless you where ever you are, especially being in His path for your life.

Three weeks - yikes! I'll pray for your move and all the craziness that accompanies that. And precious Jackson. Both of my kids have had pneumonia. And guess what? I'd have gone to the party, too. I probably just removed myself from the running for "Mother of the Year," but it's the truth.

Sweet Amanda - I look forward to the blogs about God's supernatural provision for all your needs. You know He's gonna do it!!!

connorcolesmom said...

Amanda,
I will be praying for you as you and your little family step out in obedience to God's direction in your life.

I moved 4 yrs ago with a newborn baby and a 4yr old. I moved away from family and life long friends. I was so nervous but wrapped in God's peace.

God has totally given us more than we ever could have imagined. We have the BEST friends, church home and relationship ever. There have been hard times but overall God's blessings have been abundant.

I will pray for immediate peace and lasting friendships.
I am also glad that Jackson is feeling better!
I look forward to the details of where God is sending you!
Much love,
Kim

Fran said...

Amanda,
I am praying for you friend. Praying for every ounce of God's love and peace to take hold of your mind and heart.

I know the emotions in moving. I hope you know how much we all love you and your precious family. We are covering you with His love and provision as you take these next steps in moving.

May your faith and trust be strengthened. You are a beautiful woman of God. He's got glorious people in store for you. They have no idea the great things Jesus is about to do through your family!

Blessings~
Fran

Kelly said...

Amanda - thanks for sharing. You have really had quite a last 2 weeks. I can't imagine how scared you were with Jackson - I hope he is okay now.
It makes me sad to think about you leaving your friends. I know how sad I would be to leave mine. Plus I have been reading their blogs too and feel like I know them and they just seem so sweet.
But I KNOW God will bless you and Curt as you follow His will and I KNOW he will give you another awesome circle of friends. I can't wait to read about what He is going to do and your new adventures.
I'll be praying for you over the next few weeks. I know it's going to be a hard time and an exciting time.

boomama said...

Well, I'm sitting here in Alabama crying right along with you. I will hold all of you close in my prayers.

Jessica said...

It is tough when God calls you away to a new place, but you are right... He is faithful! It has taken me 2 years to realize that as I have just started opening up and making new friends. It is awesome to see Him working in and through you and your husband and it will be neat to see what He will do in the upcoming months! Thanks for being vulnerable with all of us out here. It helps to know that we are not alone in our feelings sometimes. I am so sorry about little Jackson and I hope that he is feeling better! It's so tough when the little ones are sick!

Jake said...

You guys are so amazing and are going to be missed so much! But I cannot wait to see what Curtis is going to do, well mostly what God is going to do through Curt. I love you guys! Thanks for all you did here! I can't wait to come visit.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Bless your heart, Amanda! (Imagine me saying that with a Texas accent.) You've been wrung right through with emotions lately, haven't you?

I will be praying for all y'all (again with the Texas accent) as you navigate this bittersweet transition.

And I can testify, as another woman who's moved away from great, loving, God-centered friends more times than I care to count, that God's cup runneth over in that department. He is faithful in each place, in each season.

Longmeadow Mama said...

Every emotion there is, all rolled up into one...that's what you must be experiencing.
It's going to be an incredible journey for your family as you watch God work in ways you can't even imagine. His power will rest upon you, and when you feel at your worst, He will be at His best! When we're weak, that's when really we are strong! See 2 Cor. 12:9-10. (Can you tell what my quiet time revolved around today?!)
Many prayers to you during a time of your life you will never forget!

Rose said...

Dearest Amanda, please know you will be in my prayers, I have learned that when God opens a door he closes another one and even though we don't necessarly understand why both doors can't remain open, God is God, he is in control and my word to you is BE STILL my cyber friend, he has you in the palm of his hand. I admire you, you are such a godly example of a Titus women and wife to me, I have been married 16 years, but in the last 7 we have been walking with Christ and the hardest thing I've ever done in my life ever is submit to my husband, you do it with such grace!!! Thank you, I look forward to reading more about your endeavors, and will be praying for God's favor to chase and overtake you especially in the area of friends :)
Much love and JOY!

wetherell said...

Amanda, your words could have not been more perfect.

kellyr said...

Holding you in my prayers. You are a brave woman of God...and such an encouraging warrior for sharing it with the rest of us. Your honesty is such a gift. Go weeping for you loved much. Your home, your church family, your college girls, you will feel pain in leaving it all but you are so blessed because you trust where He is leading. I don't know you but I as a sister in Christ, I am so proud of you.

Teri said...

Precious girl. Grieve however you need to grieve and know you have an army going to the throne for you.
Much love going your way,
Teri

jeni said...

Oh Amanda! I cried along with you. It's so hard sometimes when God ends a season in life and starts a new one. I just bawled my eyes out about a week ago when I realized that's what God is doing in my life too. It's so sad to let such a sweet season go, especially when you weren't expecting it. I'm doing your mom's study, Stepping Up, right now, and it really spoke to me. Your mom says, "everything we believe to be the death of us is intead a hand-engraved invitation to a new beginning." She talks about Psalm 126 in the words of James Limburg of "a people who are living between the times, between a good time remembered and another good time hoped for." And your mom says later, "On this mysterious pilgrimage we will find that when we do meet difficulties and sorrows, they were not meant to stop us but to form the character required for our great harvest in the coming season. Step into your future, Precious One. Something wonderful awaits you." I so hope this ministers to your soul as it did mine. Let your tears water the ground from which our God plans to bring great harvest!

Angela said...

We will be praying for you. If you are moving further away from your Mom, I'm sure she is having a hard time with all of this. But God is in control. Good luck as you pack and prepare for your new adventure.

Lauren said...

Hey Amanda,
Your note on Facebook popped up on my newsfeed the other day, so I had a bit of a heads up about this. It sounds like you're going someplace wonderful where Curtis will be able to use his giftedness, which will bring him (and you) so much joy. But my goodness, how hard it will be to put such a special time in your life behind you. I can totally relate to moving away from your family and growing attached to a new place. But, as you say, the Lord has a purpose, and dwelling in that purpose will not only benefit the kingdom but will bring you joy upon joy, as well, amen?

As for all the other big events this month, holy cow, woman. I hope that once things settle down you can take a breather. And poor Jackson. I'll say a prayer that the little dude starts feeling better asap. Stinky clinic people.

Best,
Lauren

jeni said...

Oh....and I forgot one more thing!!! God really blessed me with this verse, and I wanted to share it with you....

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." -- Isaiah 43:19

Anonymous said...

Amanda,
I found your blog from another - not sure which one it was - but I have read the LPM blog for a very long time now and was thrilled to find you here too! Your family has ministered to me through the internet many times over. Having been in your shoes (but different profession - my hubby is an Army veteran)I know how hard it is to put down roots and then have to "uproot" after a few short years. God definitely will provide for all your needs - most likely in ways you never dreamed he would. Treasure each place you have lived and the people there and think about what an awesome reunion you will have in Heaven!

Having been where you are - both with a sick child and an upcoming move - I know how hard it can be sometimes to "keep it all together". I just want to say good for you for being open, honest, and real about your feelings and what is going on in your life. Too many times we try to put on our so-called "happy" face and give the impression that we Christians never face trials or struggles. I think we are so much more a witness to the world when we are honest (without being whiny) about what is going on in our lives and yet we continue to trust and believe God amidst our "everyday life struggles".

May God bless you and your family as this new chapter in your life unfolds.

jovin said...

Praying for you today Amanda!

I love how God makes himself real even in our transitions.
The Lord overwhelm you with His peace !

Taylor said...

I'll be praying Amanda...obedience is so good, but sometimes it hurts.

I've been asking my own set of "hurting why's?" and inspite of needing to ask the question, knowing that above all else, i want want He wants--even when I dont know the answer, or why it has to hurt so bad, and why it has to hurt others...but He knows. He knows. And because of that--we trust; we obey; and our joy, is complete.

Love you in Jesus, Taylor

Also, I'm not sure if this sounds weird, but it was so good to hear your voice on the videos you posted! your voice fits you perfectly, and well, of course it does..God knew what He was doing. :) have a great day, and i praying for Jackson and Curtis too.

Lydia said...

We will definitely be praying for your family. I'm a PK, so I completely understand what's it like to leave everything and everyone you know, but God always provided us with a great church family and wonderful friends every time we moved.
As for your experience at the urgent care clinic, been there done that my friend. My son was 16 months old last Christmas Eve and he started running 105 fever and was not acting normal, so off we went to the local urgent care clinic. They had zero experience with toddlers! We had to hold our son down for a catheter multiple times because he was dehydrated so they weren't getting anything and just kept trying again and again. It was awful. Not to mention the x-rays, shots, blood work, etc. It's like they have a checklist and they don't stray from it no matter how old or young the patient is. I really feel for you and know exactly how hard that experience was. My husband was also fuming when we left because of their incompetence with dealing with a small child. I hope Jackson is feeling better, poor baby.
I look forward to reading where you'll be going and everything that goes along with it. God Bless!

Marc and Charity said...

Oh Amanda, I hope you don't mind that I comment frequently here. Your heart is so tender. I was tearing up for you while reading. I know how hard it is to leave. Ugh. I don't remember the background, but about a year ago you wrote about someone leaving your church and how your husband spoke about going to the ship with them- does that sound right? I can't remember exactly, but that was right at the time we were preparing to leave our family/friends once more to return overseas and I had a 2 year old and a 6 month old and I thought my heart was going to rip right out of my chest. After reading that post, it just spoke to me in such a tender way. So thank you. Thanks for sharing this tough journey. I look forward to hearing where y'all are going and what God is up to! Blessings on y'all!

Suzi said...

Oh Amanda,
I am praying for your little family! Praying Jackson will heal quickly and that move goes smoothly.

I just cried reading this post. I can so relate to the emotions you are going through right now. The Lord brought our little family to Texas almost a year ago now. As excited as we were to go where he was leading my heart was torn for all the loved ones we were leaving behind.

The Lord will continue to be faithful, you know you can count on that...just as He was when you moved to Irvin!

In the short time we have lived here He has provided me with friends that are like family, He is so good!

Blessings,
Suzi

CrownLaidDown said...

Aw, sweet-hearted Amanda. I am praying for you and your family. I am praying that God will take that huge heart of yours and fill it to overspilling. I am praying that He will give you a richness of relationships in each place He sends you. Your family is precious to ours and we will pray for you as you walk on with purpose and power. May, as my friend Dori prayed for Chris the other day, Curtis make the Name of God famous. And may He richly bless you in each step of the process.

Our oldest had a time with shots like Jackson. The doctor in Shreveport (a huge practice) remembered Noah every time we came and remembered Noah's response to shots! Aye! We just cried with Noah...and at age 10, he is not scarred from it.

Love you and your family!
holly

mer said...

Hi Amanda,

I am so sorry that Jackson has been sick. That alone is enough to stir a huge range of emotions in a mother!

I honestly know exactly what you're going through. My husband was a pastor for a long time, and we've said good-bye to three different churches. It is heartbreaking to say good-bye to people that you love dearly, and believe me, I've cried some "ugly" cries. And at the same time, it's fun to look forward to what the Lord is moving you into. It's truly bittersweet.

I will be praying for you in the days ahead. I know that the Lord will bring new friends into your lives that will bless you more than you could have imagined.

I loved what you said about watching your husband operate "in his gift". I feel the same when my husband preaches and isn't it the best feeling? My heart is just full of praise when I experience that.

Blessings to you and your sweet family!

Kathleen in TX said...

I will keep you in prayer during this time of change.

Kristen said...

I hope Jackson is feeling better. My babe had pneumonia over Christmas and it came on super fast as well. She was fine one day (at a dr appt) and two days later we were in urgent care with a sick little one. She had to get the shot too - not fun!

I will be praying for you and your family as you move through this time of transition. When we felt the pull to move away from our home and our family - it was so hard but God has been so good. He provided friends who are like family and a church family who has embraced us and our kids. The good byes are hard but the hellos and new friendships will be sweet as well.

Anonymous said...

Amanda,
I have been reading your blog for a while now and love to see what the Lord is doing in your life.
Moving is hard,I'm originally a Cali girl who moved to TN 5 years ago. The Lord is good though, he will provide friends, who will become like family sooner than you think. Can't wait to see how he is going to use you in the new chapter of life.

dreamingBIGdreams said...

Thanks for sharing this.
I too remember when Aaron and I left our first church that he was on staff at. I had come back to the Lord in that church, we had met in that church, fell in love in that church, and gotten married in that church. so many wonderful memories!
Like you said, God is always faithful to provide us what we need and I'm confident that wherever you guys are headed he will have already prepared ahead of you wonderful friends and places for you guys to connect to.
I'm very excited as to finding out the rest of this story!

Heather said...

Amanda,
I had just written a post on Tuesday titled "Seasons." I'm always amazed at how God shows himself to us through each and every season of life, whether it's a sunny time or a dreadfully cold time in our lives. I will pray for you, Curt, and sweet little Jackson as you make this transition into a new "season" of life. And I'm trusting He will provide you with everything you need in the coming weeks and months...including a new group of loving friends who will welcome you into your new place of service.

Alana said...

I've been in that place. It is terrifying and exciting at the same time. God will bless you for following His lead. Of that I am sure.

spiritmom said...

I'm boo-hooing with you. In 13 years of being a military wife I've said goodbye to countless friends. I just ache everytime. It makes me think of a song we sang in Brownies when I was a little girl "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." Honestly, Amanda, when we're lucky enough to get together with friends from our past, time seems to have stood still. You are a good wife.

Pam said...

My heart is heavy and jubilant at once as I know how hard it is to leave someplace as well as how exciting it is to follow God in the next step of the journey.

Did Jackson happen to get a shot of Rocefin for the pneumonia?

That's what the doctor gave me today for a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ear infection that has taken me out of commission pretty much all week. I hope he's well on his way to being healed now and will have no memories of that painful shot. Yes, it hurts when you're a grown up too! Bless his little heart!

Much prayer going before the throne on your behalf. Thanks for sharing!

Beau, Melissa, & Brynne said...

I'm going to miss you sweet sister. As each move has proved, we'll always be close no matter the distance. I love you sweet girl. We're oraying for you guys!

valerie said...

Amanda,
I am sitting her with tears in my eyes reading this. I know you love your church so much and hate leaving all of your friends and Jackson's little friends.
God has such a perfect plan for Curtis and the ministry of preaching that he is passionate about. He will provide His perfect peace during this move.
You know you've got friends in Christ praying for you and your family.
I'm sorry to hear about Jackson. Several kids (and adults) in my area have had with pneumonia.
Love you and praying for you!
Valerie

Anonymous said...

Amanda-
I have read your blog forever and have even commented before...and as I have done so, I have often thought to myself..."What is going to happen to her when God calls her away from the place she's in...asking her to leave a great church, friends, etc.". You are where I was years ago. It is not an easy road. Even the best intentions of trying to stay in touch with "relationships of the past" will be difficult. HOWEVER, God DOES know your every need. And He will be there to meet it/them and provide for you. He knows things you don't even know. :-) It will not be easy. But, it will be OF HIM. And that's all that matters. Can't wait to see where God takes your fam. :-)

Three Fold Cord said...

So much for one sister to bear at one time...but thank Jesus you are not alone and you have strong support from family and friends!!
Emotions and thoughts run through my mind as I reflect on things the Lord has allowed us to go through over the years that were hard, different, and sometimes just downright wrong!
By the way I am prego-and my 2 yr old is sitting on my lap while my 3 yr old is cloimbing all over the chair and playing with the mouse while I attem,pt to have some contact with the outside world because my 2 yr old has been sick for three days and we have been home. My 3 yr old is running, literally, around the kitchen to a timer because I told her she needed exercise.
Anyway, back to you! Girl I will be praying and especially more as the transition of moving to another place comes. Your honesty reminds all of us again that we need HIm and each other more then we like to admit and it is vital to reach out and share our hearts that are so precious to the Lord and friends that can help bear our burdens through prayer and hands on support like Janelle.
Hugs to you!!

Three Fold Cord said...

Oh and I forgot about telling you how my son had to have a stitch about 6 months agao and the pain my heart went through as i saw them strap him down and stitch him up. It is a TERRIBLE feeling. so emotional and I had to do it alone. I am so glad Curt was able to be there with you!!

Laura said...

Mercy. My kids keep coming in here and asking why I am crying. Sweet Amanda, life in the ministry can be so rewarding, yet hard. I will pray for you on this journey. As you already know, our God is faithful when He calls you.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Amanda,

As we prepared for our move to Atlanta almost 2 years ago, one of my dearest girlfriends handed me a card with instructions not to read it until I was alone. In it she to me, "I know your heart's desire is to be obedient to God's plan. But I also know that you are torn about leaving the relationships you hold so dear. BUT, I am already thanking God for the friends that are already there, waiting on you. They are chosen friends, handpicked by our Abba Daddy. Go ~ anticipating them!"

I am praying for you and your family as you make this move. As a Preacher's Kid, I remember those heart wrenching Sundays. They are so hard. And to have to do that after a run to the quick care! My goodness, you need a day at a spa! :)

I can't wait to hear what God has up his sleeve for you all!

Anticipating HIM!!!!

steph.

Jenna said...

Amanda, I cried throughout this entire post. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I am praying for all of y'all--your sweet fam as y'all make this huge step and continue to follow God's plan for your life, that precious little guy to feel better, and for your sweet friends who I know will miss you just as much as you will miss them.

Thinking of you...

Julie said...

Amanda,
I have been reading your blog for some time but have never posted a comment. I have felt that I connected with you in that I am also a youth pastor's wife. (I didn't even know who your mom was until I had been reading your blog for a while and you mentioned her!) Anyway, I have been married nearly 15 years and have experienced a couple major moves in ministry. Feel free to email me if you need someone to talk to! It's an emotional time, but God can use even this for His Glory!
Best Wishes!
Julie

BethAnne said...

One of my favorite quotes is from Oswald Chambers. He says "Have you ever heard the Master say something very difficult to you? If you haven't I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at all". You guys have heard from the Master and He is telling you something difficult. He is going to bless your family abundantly because you are willing to obey.
It's scary, exciting, and sad all at the same time, but I know that He has big plans for you guys. Our pastor always says "Where God guides, He provides".....I pray He will provide close friends, a wonderful church, and great ministry opportunities for you all.

ncmama said...

Amanda,

I can just feel the heaviness of the emotions that are weighing on your heart. My situation is certainly not the same as yours, but I can so relate to that experience of leaving and moving. Just this week I've wished I had family nearby to watch my sick little boys while I had to take care of something else.

I will lift your family in prayer during this time of transition. Please do keep us updated about your journey, for we know that God is faithful and He will provide for you!

Mariel said...

amanda~
I just want to pray for you...

Oh, Father, in the mighty and healing Name of Jesus I pray complete healing over Jackson. I pray he would return to complete health quickly, Father!
I lift up Amanda to You, Lord and ask that You fill her full of Your strength through Your Spirit. Thank you that You are surrounding her and covering her with your wing as she goes through all these trials (good and bad) in her life right now. Thank You that because of Your son we can rejoice in tribulations knowing that they ultimately produce a hope within us (romans 5), causing us to look solely to You! Go before this precious family , Lord as they follow Your cloudy pillar to the next chapter of their life. In Jesus mighty and present Name, Amen.


Blessings, dear one! mariel

Ben and Kristen said...

Amanda,
I too have been where you are. Leaving our first place of ministry was harder than when we left our families to go there in the first place.
Moving is hard. The grocery stores are not the same, the restaraunts are not the same, the traffic is not the same. The list goes on and on.
In all of that, the Lord warned me strongly after that hard move that if I was not careful, I, just like Lot's wife, would turn into a pillar of salt by continually looking back at the home I loved so much and had left behind. Be careful as you move forward that you do so whole-heartedly. Grieve the loss of your home, keep in touch regularly with your wonderful friends, but be careful not to let your heart turn into a pillar of salt.
I love reading your blog! You are such an inspiration to me as I also support my husband in ministry and spend my days with my precious toddler boy. I am excited to see what God has for you next. Thanks for sharing!

.......................Honeycutt Family said...

Wow Amanda--what a month for y'all!
Thank you for sharing your heart with us all. I am praying for you and your family as you follow the path God has for you. I know that it is so difficult to leave such wonderful friends that are like family.
Love,
Jen
P.S. If, by chance, you are moving to Littleton, Colorado I know that we will all welcome you here with wide open arms. :)

Shelly said...

Oh girl...

My heart is just swelling for you.

I don't know what to say, but I'm glad you could process before the Lord this whirlwind of an emotionally time. I trust Him for you.

Kim said...

Oh Amanda, my heart is broken for you! I couldn't help but cry right along with you. I know you must be scared but aren't you so glad God has a plan so much bigger and better than anything you can imagine?! We are in a much smaller scale, similar situation with having some dear friends move from us and it is so hard on my heart. But I can testify that the things in my life that have been the hardest, have been the ones that He has used to shape me most. I pray that over you and I will be praying for a circle of friends in this new place you move as well. And for sweet Jackson, oh, poor baby. Covering him in prayers too. Don't know you, but love you all the same!

Kim

Amy said...

Amanda, thank you for pouring out your heart to us. I grieve AND rejoice with you! Your sharing and blog in general give me courage to express my deep emotions in the different seasons and joys and trials of life. Praying for you!

~Amy7634

jamie b said...

I said I was a pk but my phone made it say ok...oops :)

Momma-of-5 said...

Amanda, I only know you "vertually", but I pray God's compassion and mercies on you each and every morning. Church is family...that's what God intended. But try to rest in knowing that we're spending eternity with them. Look forward to that, maybe it'll help a little...a very little...sorry.

As for your little man: My daughter had stiches in her lip the day before she turned one. The plastic surgeon, who did the stitches, said to me (before they put her in a papoose) that she'll "forget this in 20 minutes...but you'll remember it for life..." boy was he right!

Barr Family said...

Amanda: Your post brought tears to my eyes...first as I read about your experience at the Doctor's office...I don't think that was a little thing at all. When Gracie was about 18 months old she had an unexplained fever so they wanted to check for a urinary tract infection. It took my husband and I both as they did a catheter on her and we were all three sobbing by the time it was over.
I was so moved by your transparency in this post over your decision to follow God's leading. We have had to make some hard decisions as well lately and it was so hard, but God has brought us through. He will bring you, Curtis, and Jackson through as well. You have never met me, but I love your blog and feel like I know you...especially since I went to HS with Curtis. You will truly be in my prayers during this transition! Love, Amanda

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Dear Amanda,

Praying for your sweet little family as you step out into something new. So often, I think we think of something new as exciting, but it often means leaving something we love too. Such a mixed-bag of emotions.

But what a gift to see that God did indeed prepare a place for you where you are now and to know that he is even now preparing a place for you in your new venture.

Joanne

twinkle said...

That is so sad...Jackson and Curtis crying. It made me cry. I know you are so wise and this opportunity has been much in prayer. It will be a sweet time...just a sweet time...one door closing and another opening. Savor these moments and enjoy the great adventure of following hard after The Holy Spirit. He is AMAZING!

su said...

Amanda, what a tough time. I remember sick kids like it was yesterday. And then this major change on top of it. All I can think is - come to CO and let's be friends. I'll love Jackson. Guaranteed.

I am also proud of you and Curt for doing what needs to be done. There are hungry people waiting for his teachings. Blessings on both of you.

Laura said...

I just love your heart....so real...

Toknowhim said...

By the time I got back to respond I see that you received a lot of bloggy love and support :) Although, we are strangers for the most part, we are sisters in Christ. I moved from my childhood home about 4 years ago, and it was the most amazing work God has done in my life (so many miracles) up until this point in my walk. As I can see you know our God is faithful to take care of you in the next season, but I hope the peace of God just washes over your family anew everyday while you are transitioning. Blessings and thanks for keeping it real..

Ginger said...

Amanda, I have wept with you...feeling your anguish...but I know it is awesome to see God's hand in it all and his blessings upon you and Curt's life. I will be praying for a smooth transition for you guys and for Jackson!

Anonymous said...

I know that God will wrap His loving arms around you during these next few weeks as you cry and laugh and have a myriad of emotions. It is beatiful to see how God uses your family.

Susan

Anonymous said...

Sweet Amanda:
My heart is aching for you (and Curt). I will ponder you life events in my prayers.

I left my family, and college early married frineds to find a new home in a new state. Bitter and Sweet - The friends are always friends and we pick up where we left off - But it is sad not to live the everday with them.

Then after the toddler years - God moved us 90 miles away - too much distant to live life everyday with playgroup etc. And again - God provided the Bitter and the Sweet.

He will provide in unthinkable ways for you, Jackson and Curt. The real stuff - the connected stuff remains through it all. God is blazing that road ahead for you - you can fully trust it.

Your friends will miss the everday with you as much as you will with them. Your blog will be so beneficial, and save up for road trips - it will always be a precious homecoming!!

Terry in Tucson

Denise said...

Bless you, child! Sweet Amanda,
you have grown up in the last few weeks! It hurts, but it is good!

What an amazing young lady you have become! I have been keeping up with you (and praying for you)since I first heard your Mom at Ridgecrest about 15 years ago! I was a young pastor's wife who knew God had an even greater purpose for your family. What a joy it is to pray for you all!

"Trust and obey. There is no other way!" God will honor your obedience in ways you cannot even imagine!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

I love you!

Denise said...

Bless you, child! Sweet Amanda,
you have grown up in the last few weeks! It hurts, but it is good!

What an amazing young lady you have become! I have been keeping up with you (and praying for you)since I first heard your Mom at Ridgecrest about 15 years ago! I was a young pastor's wife who knew God had an even greater purpose for your family. What a joy it is to pray for you all!

"Trust and obey. There is no other way!" God will honor your obedience in ways you cannot even imagine!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Prov. 3:5-6

I love you!

jen said...

Crying with and praying for you sweet girl.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I just started reading your blog here. I am one of your moms Houston girls. I have just fallen in love with her and your family. I felt your pain as I read your blog. I am praying for you and Curtis and Jackson as you move on to your next step in life. May GOD keep you and Bless you.
Ashley

Anonymous said...

Amanda-
Thank you for your transparency and honesty - you can tell through your writing what a tender heart you have, you remind me of my sister. I, like many others whe have commented, can relate because we moved from my hometown just 6 months ago. I was on staff at my church, had so many good friends, my parents lived 10 minutes away... I had a very "comfortable" life. God began to show me he didn't call me to a comfortable life, but an obedient one.
I will be praying for your family and Curt especially in this new opportunity God has given him. I am excited to hear how He's working in your lives.
God Bless,
Beverly

Deborah said...

Praying with & for youall, Amanda...and will continue to.
{v}
~Deborah

courtney said...

I look forward to hearing where you guys will be, and I'll definitely be praying for you as you move to a new home with a toddler. That is my greatest fear right now, and my fella keeps threatening to move...

Bev Brandon said...

Wow! That's a whole lot Amanda in the past weeks. And your baby has pneumonia on top of all of that. I so hope he heals quickly. And I see courage and strength rising up in you. You've given so much to your college girls from what I hear even in the midst of a full life. So sad to close this chapter. We've only left one church after being there 27 years. We loved those people so much! We were terminated because of lack of church growth. Broke my heart. But, God orchestrated it and it's been one of the best things that ever happened to me. Hosea 2:14 God is wooing you and there's an open door of hope in front of you. And I just love how you guys are walking right through it with heads lifted high to HIM. Psalm 3:3. You will be loved wherever you go because you do Deut 6:6. You're precious and we're praying for you as God writes a new chapter for you three. Malachi 3:16, 17. You have given so much already and you will keep on giving because of HIM no matter where you are. You so honor your husband!

beckyjomama said...

Amanda, My heart and my prayers go out to you. We moved from Arizona (my family) to Michigan (my man's family) right after my daughter's second birthday. We not only left my family behind but our fRamily as well (friends as close as family, famnily you would choose as friends) and it was the hardest, scariest thing I have ever done. My mom was heartbroken and kept asking if I was ok with it or if I was urting too. I knew admitting my pain would just intensify hers so I kept telling her it was an "adventure" for me ... and I think I told myself that enough times that I started to believe it. We eventuall found a new church home and I made new friends but it was so hard to not have my AZ buddies there - especially when my new daughter arrived and my parents and siblings and friends weren;t there to share my joy, or when my Grandma passed away in Nov. and they weren't there to share my pain... but ya know what? My new fRamily WAS there! Everytime!
The other day I got a card from one of my Michigan buddies and she said "I am so glad you moved to Michigan" and for the first time, I looked at my life here and I thought "so am I"!
All this to say, enjoy the adventure and all of the Blessings it will bring! God is so good - which you already know - an dhas it all planned out. He knows what you need and will meet those needs sufficiently!
God Bless you and your family. I am also praying for Jackson to feel better soon!
Becky Jo

life with the wisners said...

sweet amanda. raw. that's how i like it. it's hard. but wow...you talk about getting loved on by your friends and family and letting God work through you. i have no doubt that He's smiling so big right now because of your honesty.

praying tonight, as i go nighty-night. praying that Peace fills your home and your heart. and what i pray with big h every night seems appropriate for you guys tonight. "build a wall of protection around our home, our beds, our bodies, and our hearts."

The Van Fam said...

I've thought about you so much here recently and my heart breaks for I know how tough this must be! You have had quite the emotional month sister! Both wonderful emotions and tough ones at the same time!! I am so sorry to hear that Jackson was sick. It's so hard to watch them hurt and I too have been there when it feels like no one understands they are treating a toddler. A toddler with parents who don't want to hear such big scary words!!

I will be praying for y'all as you pack up your house and drive away from dear friends. It's tough already, but the bonds between mothers are so sacred that I can only imagine how tough it will be! Just think of the amazing new mommies and friends God must be bringing into your life. I am sure there is a group in such dire need of a spiritual awakening just waiting for Curt! He has got some awesome tings planned for your sweet family!!

May God bless you in the coming months as y'all embark on a whole new adventure!!

Profbaugh said...

You know, Amanda one of the reasons your blog resonates so much with others is because you're willing to step up to the computer with an open and honest heart. The authenticity in your life and transparency are so compelling. My friend, do you realize what a gift you are to all of us (and of course to the King of Kings!!) GLORY!!!

Know that I will be praying for you, Curtis and Jackson during this very tender time!! Stay strong, stay connected, and most of all stay (rest) in the shadow of His wing.

Much love,
~Cheryl

Rachel said...

I am a military spouse and that, of course, means plenty of moving. I really resisted our last move and even though I had no where near the great attitude you have, God has been abundantly faithful to provide wonderful, Godly friendships.

Unlike you, our moving schedule is a bit more set which is both good and bad, I suppose. Last week my husband brought home a copy of the schedule because I think he thought that would help me prepare and deal with it all. I started to look at but then just put it down and told him it doesn't matter because everything that happens to us has been ordained by God since the beginning. He will provide for us and go there with us. How can I be anxious?

Lynn said...

Dear Amanda,

Be assured of our prayers as you being this new piece of your journey in Christ. God cannot be outdone in generosity - so know that your and Curtis' YES to him will be rewarded 100fold. Though the pain of separation will be very real - God will bless that too.

Hope Jackson is on the mend.

blessings,
Sister Lynn

The Preacher's Wife said...

Oh Amanda,

All I can tell you is that I know the emotions you speak of well. What God has taught me about them all?

There is a hello that will trump every goodbye.

It's just so hard to remember that when you feel you are leaving your heart behind.

I'm praying for you, friend.

Lisa

Sara said...

Amanda,as a military wife of almost 12 years we have made numerous moves. Our 9 year old has already lived in 4 different houses and our 6 year old three. Each and every time we have left a place I have felt as though my heart was being ripped out. But God has been faithful in each and every case to surround me with new friends that I absolutely can not imagine not having met. They've enriched my life in a million ways.
There is some loneliness ahead, no doubt. It is hard to start over. But t will be worth it. God certainly has your new friends ready and waiting for you. What a blessing they will be to you. And what a blessing you will be to them.

Tracy C said...

Amanda,
I have read your blog for quite a while. Found you thru Bigmama and Boomama. Didn't even know who your mama was until I saw a pic of your lil mister on the LPM blog and thought he looked familiar.
I appreciate your deep honesty and your faithfulness to follow where you are led by the hand of God. I cried with you as I read your post as I understand the starting over and making new freinds etc. I know that everytime God has always provided with someone who loves me and I am always amazed at His timing and His gracious love for me in sending me someone exactly when I need them. God has a plan and a prupose for you and Curt and Jackson and you are faithfully following His call and He will honor your family for that.
Blessings and hugs to you,
Tracy in Illinois

taralous said...

It's hard when God pulls you from the people you've grown so close to. We did this a year ago and I cried several time throughout the leaving and even once moved wondering why He would take people who drew me so close to Him away. He has a plan and a purpose and you are right, he will put more special ladies and people in your life and you will look back in 3.5 years and say, "Wow. You amaze me again Lord." :)Praying that God will wrap His sweet loving arms around you and give you the comfort He alone can give...

amberburger said...

love you more than words friend. I am crying like a baby...you and your sweet boys will be missed. we love you friend.

Nicole said...

Amanda, bless your heart. Just bless you. I've prayed for you today.

Amy T said...

Thank you so much for being honest with your pain Amanda. I know it was written through tears (as it was read by us!). That must be so hard. But how awesome that you and Curt trust God enough to go through that door. Praying that it goes smoothly. And praying that Jackson is now better. What a month you've had!

willblogforshoes said...

As a pastor's kid, we moved several times when I was growing up. It was never easy. But God always provided new friends... even for the introverted, wallflower of a youngest child (me)!

I am so excited for you guys & the next step you're about to take. I cannot wait to hear all about it!

Misslisslee said...

Amanda, I'm praying for you. We've done this three times in fifteen years, all after we were parents. Each time it was incredibly difficult for a while, but so clear that God was leading. He is so faithful! I'm praying that He will bring you a new circle of friends who will love your family and soothe your heart. We've always lived where our friends had to double as family, and God has always provided, although not always in my timing (isn't he just like that?) Blessings to you!

Katie said...

My prayers are with you. We moved 1 1/2 years ago. Although we knew our move was God's will, it was still so difficult to leave friends who had become family. Even though God immediately surrounded me with new, loving, Christian friends I was sad at times. Once through tears to my Bible study group (Daniel) I laughed that God was probably throwing up His hands asking, "What more can you want, I gave you more than you asked for?" May God bless your move and comfort your heart.

Anonymous said...

Praying every day that God would give you HIS roadmap for the journey ahead. He is so faithful. Brenda

Nicki said...

Amanda, my heart hurt for you as I read this......I know having a sick child is very hard, especially when it's your first and everything is new x-rays, shots, needles, and the whole deal became overwhelming for me as well with our oldest when she was admitted to the hospital with urinary reflux. While there I watched other moms whose children were sick for the long haul, not just a few days. I had to leave the room each time they would come to take our daughter's blood because I was ready to jump down many throats for not handling my innocent sick child so carefully, when in reality I see now, they were just trying to do their jobs! It's so painful to see your child sick and in more pain!! I'm so sorry you had to go through it!

I'm excited to see where God leads you on this new journey! I know God is going to use you and your hubby in great ways!! Thanks for be willing to share your hearts hopes, frustrations and joys on here, it touched my heart today. I'm praying for you!

Mocha with Linda said...

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. And what I wish I could do across the blogway is give you a hug and cry with you. Though I've never met you I feel your heartache.

I know God is pleased with your sweet trust in Him.

Take time to take care of yourself physically these next few weeks - easy to say and hard to do when there's a mountain of tasks to be done.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Oh, sis, I am not "right" right now. My face is tear-stained, and I'm going to ask Ava to open-handed slap me so I can get on with my day, and not speed to your house and go hide all your moving boxes. And then maybe go order 3 orders of cheese fries at Snuffers and drown my tears in ranch.

I love you, and already have detailed plans of fun days in your new town when we show up at your door step. And have visions of how utterly blessed you, Curtis, and Jackson will be in this next ministry. God is excited to see the future He planned for you & your family.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Amanda. Praying for you and your sweet family to have peace during your move, and many wonderful new friends to surround you when you arrive in your new town!

Love, Sarah, TN

LauraG said...

Amanda, your news reminded me immediately of your All the Way to the Ship devotional that you wrote awhile back. That devotional just touched me so much, making me just ball (which I probably really needed to do at that time). I have been "accompanying" one of my best friends as she slowly fades from a rare form of dementia at much too young an age (another form of moving on that might not have been in your head when you wrote it, but one that God put in my mind immediately). Your words were such a blessing to me, and now I'm praying that all these responses you've been getting are a blessing to you as you go to your ship. Please know that you are so loved, even by those of us who have never met you. I will definitely be praying for you and Curt and all the people affected by this move.

Gayle said...

Sweet Amanda, I haven't the time to read thru the other comments, but I am sure they are full of testimonies of others saying that you *will* build up amazing relationships whereever you go.
We have had to move 3 excruciating times living in 4 different states, but God has blessed us tremendously everywhere we go.
I have a trail of friends (you certainly don't lose them), and an amazing life experience.
Hang in there, dear...and I know of some awesome friends here in Sweet Home Alabama. ;)

Tracy said...

I had written in my journal "Lord, I want to follow you even if it hurts..." and when He had has move a few years ago it ripped my heart out. But He was there, and He was with us, and our hearts are stronger because of it. I'll hurt for you Amanda and so will He.

MTW said...

I will be praying for you and your family. Change is hard, but I am so happy to see that God has given you the desire to be obedient and trust in Him. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and life will all of us. You entries bless my heart!

Melissa said...

Amanda, your post brought tears to my eyes, occasionally in empathy but often in praise to our God because I know He will see you through this. I was listening to Travis Cottrell's song "Your Word Is Life to Me" this morning and meditating on the line "Refine me in Your holy blaze/
If that is what it takes to know You more" and it was the first thing I thought of while reading this. I'm so grateful that Curt is able to see his calling made real and that you are able to support and encourage him. I know I'm a stranger, but please know that my prayers are with and for you - and for Jackson's renewed health! - in these days and weeks ahead. Isn't Blogville a crazy blessing like that?!

The Preacher's Wife said...

Oooh. I feel your pain/excitement. I totally understand that feeling, we went through it a couple of years ago when my husband was called into full time ministry. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

Becca said...

Oh Amanda, Bryan and I will miss you and Curtis and little Jackson like crazy! Bummer. I don't even know what to say, except that I am going to give you a big 'ol hug and I can't wait to see the great things ahead for your precious little family! FBCI was so blessed to have the Joneses serve for 3 years. I'm so glad to have been there. And, what will we do without you at Bunco? :(

Anonymous said...

Amanda, so many bible versebits went through my mind as i read your post along with one of your Mother's oft-repeated and so loved sayings: HANG ON FOR THE RIDE!!! the Wild ride is what she calls it...the ride of a lifetime..and it is SO MUCH LIFE!!!! Both Curtis and Jackson are so blessed to have you and Christ holding onto to them so tightly that all they feel is your sweet love...Your tears in this post were for them more than for you..you probably didn't see that though your own sadness their tears touched your heart more....it's that two edged sword i've heard about somewhere....."Be
Strong and of Good Courage" " You (truly) are the salt of the earth and if......" Much Love and Many Blessings on your WILD RIDE! in love, jellybean's cousin xoxoxo

mitzi said...

Sweet Amanda, I'm crying with you. I've grown to love your friends and Jackson's too. My prayers are with you and Curt. Talk as long as you want on your posts. We will be there with you. Considered yourself hugged by Grandmamitz.

Elizabeth said...

I could have written this exact post a year ago. We left our home of 10 years to move to a place where we knew no one, but we knew it was God's plan for us. It is still hard all this time later, but God continues to comfort and keep us. I know He will you, too. I pray God's peace over you as you prepare your heart and mind to leave all the wonderful friends you are blessed to have. For me it was definitely a grieving process, but one I have learned so much from. Like you are already so good at, turn to the One who loves you most, minute by minute if you have to. I look forward to hearing more of your story.

mitzi said...

Amanda, I must add too: My husband and I too had to hold our little guy down (he's 32 yrs now)when he was in emergency so the doctors and nurses could do their thing. It is torture!

Stephanie said...

Amanda, I can totally understand what you are going through, as I'm sure many others can. And I was glad to read at the end of your post that you realize that God will provide friends and support in your next location. I had such a hard time when I quit my teaching job to become a stay-at-home mom. The day we loaded up my stuff (my husband had to come with his truck!) from the school, I just cried and cried. So much that my husband said I didn't have to quit if I didn't want to! I knew it was the best thing for our family, but I loved my job and particularly all the other teachers on the staff. But God has blessed me with so many new friends since then, and of course I still keep in touch with everyone else! I will be thinking about you guys as you transition!

Susan said...

Praying for you, Sweet Siesta.

~Jodi~ said...

Amanda,
Thank you so much for sharing your heart and being opened and vulverable to the things that are so heavily on it right now. wow- that's all i can say you have had so much going on in these last few weeks. I know i don't know you personally but i pray for you and your family in this time and all those who this move and time of change will effect. I know God has wonderful plans for your sweet family wherever he is taking you. As you step out in obedience and follow His lead He will bless and guide you all in many rich ways. I pray you feel welcomed in to your new "home" area with a little extra touch from Him. I am sure the coming days will be filled with many emotions, and i will be praying for you.
blessings to you jackson and curtis

Praise and Coffee said...

Amanda,
I have a lump in my throat as I read that.

I will never forget that YOU left me a comment when we stepped away from our church by the direction of the Holy Spirit too.
You said that you couldn't imagine how hard it would be to leave your church family. As someone in ministry you completely understood how hard it was and that meant the world to me that you cared.

I can tell you, as it has been almost a year now, that God has brought us through all the hurts of goodbye and changes. He is of course so faithful.

God has amazing and wonderful things planned for you and your family.
This time, my love goes out to you in this season of your life.
Love and hugs,
Sue

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I sorely feel your pain but just remember; You get to take ALL of us with you no matter where the Lord is leading you! You have our love, our admiration and our heartfelt friendship and prayers to carry with you no matter where you go. I'm confident that God has much to teach both of you along the way....new growth and life experiences are just around the corner and as we all know, life doing the will of God (no matter the pain) is the center core of true soul satisfaction. Be blessed in your leaving and your new adventure in Him!

Mommy Dot Com said...

Amanda,
I feel like I am moving, too. Crying right with you. I feel for all your friends who are going to miss you and your men so much. Also, my son Jackson was also diagnosed with pneumonia on Wednesday. He had to go the hospital b/c he couldn't breath. That was his only symptom. No fever, cold or anything else. He too got a shot but since he is 10 it wasn't so bad.
Thanks for sharing with all your blogging buddies. Your in our prayers and we can't wait to see what God does in this next chapter of your life.
Eyes on Him,
Kara

one of four said...

I don't know if this went through so I'll try again. I have just been reading in my Tabernacle Bible study that God gives us each enough grace for one day. I'm praying for ya'll.

Teresa said...

Bless your heart! That's a whole lot of character building in such a short period of time! My prayers (and tears) are with you.

I Timothy 1:12
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

jenmom said...

Amanda,
Life as a minister's wife does have these times that seem unbearable. My husband and I have made several moves in the ministry and each one gets a little harder! I so can empathize with you! It's a pain no one else can understand to leave precious friends you have made away from family! You are right these people become your family! Take heart and yes God is preparing a special group of folks to welcome you into this new position. I would be privileged as a fellow minister's wife to pray for you and your husband! Email me if you desire. jenmom1707@yahoo.com

connorcolesmom said...

Amanda,
Man 127 comments - WOW!
Ok God has really been laying you on my heart so I have been praying constantly for you.
I also learned from my hubby today that we might be moving again soon as well. I am NOT wanting to go.

It is funny how my words to you are haunting me now (I think I said walking in obedience with God brings many blessings)
Head knowledge that my heart doesn't want to follow - so we will see.
BTW: if you need an ear (not that you do) feel free to e-mail me :)
connorcolesmom@gmail.com
HAve a great weekend!
Kim

For His Name said...

Dear LORD,
Please strengthen Amanda as she moves
May it not be long till she feels back in the groove
Please carry Amanda & her family as they move on
And be their Ever Present Song
Raise faith to be the shield
As in this new venture, to You they yield
Yes, You have opened a new door
Keep them grounded in You and protected from the enemy's roar
Give new friends, laughter and words to cheer
Show in tangible ways, You are so, so near
As Amanda is filled with moving emotions
Reveal to her more of Your tender hearted devotion
The nearness of God is for Curtis, Amanda & Jackson's good
Thank you Lord, that they are moving with You, as they should
Pour out Your favor, Your blessing, Your grace
Wipe every sorrow from each tear stained face
Give them joy after their moving sorrow
Praise You God - You are the Lord of our unknown tomorrow!
Plant them firmly in this season to grow
Your will and grace, in each step abundantly show
You've written the Jones' life plan, before their days on earth even began
So continue Lord, to keep them and hold them, even though moving, in Your hand
And remind us all Lord to not grow stagnant in the *what* that we do
But to continue moving, each step in time, with You.
Amen.

Mary C said...

Oh, Amanda this made me cry for you, thinking about how hard it will be for you to leave your freinds you've written about so often. But, you are so right! If God provided you with those awesome bonds, think whose waiting to love you at your next stop!

MamaCass said...

Oh Amanda. We are going to miss all three of you so much especially Thursday playdates which have meant so much to me and have "gotten me out of the house when the walls were creeping in". Your faithful walk with the Lord has been inspiring and encouraging to me. You are one sweet lady my friend. That being said I am very excited for this next journey for you and Curtis and Jackson!

Maggie said...

Big news! I am so excited for you and your sweet family!

Panda-Mom said...

Oh Amanda. You don't know me from Adam. You visited my blog once when I had a pic of your mom and I, but because I read you and adore growing with your whole family so much it feels like I know you. I have been married to my minister husband for over 15 years and we have served at several churches. Some good, others awful. At every one the Lord provided me with DEEP relationships, some of which I still have today and will always have. I seriously feel your pain over leaving friends, but there is excitement in what the Lord has in store. Everything happening all at once???...oh yeah, that's how EVERY move has been for us. It sounds cliche, but "when it rains, it pours". There isn't room here for all the drama we have gone through each time the Lord called us onto some new place. On the last move, my heart ached so badly over leaving our precious Monday playgroup of little girls adopted from China. We had met every Mon. for two years and saying goodbye was so hard! God blessed us where we are now in different ways. I know it's hard, but having friends to support you and making a network of other minister's wives goes a long way. Blessings on you and your family. You will only grow stronger and deeper in your faith.
PandaMom

Rose said...

Just came back to check on you, We're praying for you, His peace will envelope you and his Will be done, you are being led by the spirit!! :)

Patty said...

Amanda,
I was in shock as I read this post. In reading your blog one can quickly learn how much you love your friends and the closeness that exists between your group. The stories about your home, your new door, Jackson and his little friends, it really breaks my heart for you. As you know this happened to me almost 5 months ago when God led us away from our family (both of my parents have cancer) and a church that my boys and myself attended for 9 years. I told God to me this didn't make sense. I was teaching a ladies Sunday School class and we were very close and yet God was asking me to take a step of faith. At the same time of my sadness and wondering the whys to all of this I was excited for the new journey with God. I felt out of place for a few months but God has helped me through it all. This place feels like home now and God led us to a great church who have a heart to serve others. The women's study group is so special. I want you to know I will be praying for you and your family and God will bless Curtis and you for your obedience. One verse that really helped me was Joshua 1:9, God is with you wherever you go.! I will also pray for your friends you are leaving behind!
Love You,
Patty

Li'l Rae said...

Amanda,
Bless your heart honey child! I do so feel for you and your sweet baby. One of the most traumatic experiences my husband and I ever had was when our precious little one had to be hospitalized for a severe case of tonsillitis and we were right smack dab in the middle of a major move! I don't know how we would have survived without precious friends and family to help us out. I am praying that Jackson is all better now. I am also praying that God will provide you and Curt with many special friends and Jackson with special playmates wherever y'all wind up. God bless you and keep you!

Jenn said...

I'm sure one more comment doesn't make a huge difference, but I just had to say, Praise God for his faithfulness. Four years ago my engineer husband came home and told me he wanted to be a pastor and plant a church! Not what I was expecting, but God has moved me from despair to enjoyment. That life change also meant leaving friends that were like sisters and moving to the barren world of Montana. Oh, I kid, but at the kid it felt like a barren waste-land. Now God has once again proven His faithfulness to the unfaithful daughter. He will never leave you - He has wonderful plans for you and you hubby!

Lindsee said...

Amanda-

You have certainly been showered with much bloggy love!

But, I just wanted to echo everyone else's comments.

Change is hard, but so good. Leaving friends behind is something I so struggle with. I'm always afraid that I'll never find that "one good friend" anywhere I go. But the Lord has proved to be SO faithful and has blessed me with MULTIPLE good friends everywhere I go. No, my BFF's will never be replaced, but then again, they each hold a different and special place in my heart! (And my life still. Praise the Lord!)

Know that I will be praying for y'alls quick exit. 3 weeks girl, whew! I hate moving, hate packing, and wait till the last minute. I'll pray the opposite for you!

Many hugs-

Lindsee

Janelle & Ella said...

Have you had that "big" cry yet? It's a darn good thing I have this keyboard memorized, otherwise I would have some serious problems typing through these tears. You think my eyes would have said "enough already". But I'm afraid they still have major cries to sustain. Words could never tell you how much your friendship has meant to me. I will try to find the words soon though. My heart is breaking.
Your new home is not that far, your new home is not that far. That's my new mantra. :-)
I love you!

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I know you are sad to see good friends go, but I hope you are very excited about the new opportunities God has in store for you.

Kristin said...

Oh Sweet Amanda...to hear all that you have been dealing with lately sounds so hard. Thanks for being willing to share your heart with all of us. Praying for you and your sweet family during this hard time of saying good-bye and looking forward to hearing about all the blessings He has in store for you!
~Kristin

Shelley said...

All I can think is how sweet and brave you are. Thank you for sharing your journey and how God is blessing your faithfulness. It has helped me so much as I begin my own journey in a strange city with no friends. Hearing how He has blessed you, gives me much needed hope.

I look forward to hearing of your future blessings as you follow our Lord's plan for your life.

Anonymous said...

Amanda - I have been there. My husband resigned from our first church after we had been there for 5 years. We had a little boy who had just turned two. It was painful. All my worries about the move were unfounded and God blessed.

Shooter said...

I will be praying for peace and grace as you move forward into this next stage of your life. I thank you for sharing it with us and for being as transparent as possible.

May Jackson be well soon and your heart be made lighter by each coming day.

Emmy : ) said...

Oh Amanda... my heart aches with your heart... you really have had some "Major Life Events" I pray that you all will be able to feel God's presence in the midst of all of this... that when you are overwhelmed you could just crawl up in His lap and feel His robes on your sweet cheek and rest in His embrace!

We have had an awful week here too... lost a precious woman in our church to cancer, a dear friend had to leave her family to go get some help, and my brothers child was in a horrible skiing accident and in a coma... (if anyone reads this please pray for Chas! Thank you!)

You will be on my heart sweet Amanda!

God Bless- Emmy : )

ashley alsbury said...

amanda you and curt have done some AMAZING things while at first irving and although i will looking forward to having curt as my college pastor i am greatful for his calling for you guys in this great new opportunituy!!

with tons of love and admiration,
ashley alsbury

THE SMITHS said...

Hugs to you Amanda.

Becoming Me said...

Dear Amanda,

I just discovered your blog this morning and your post touched my heart. I am comment 164, so I am not even sure if you will read this comment, but I couldn't resist sharing a note of encouragement and a sigh of "I'm so sorry girl, I have been there and couldn't have survived it without God's truth."

When my four-year-old daughter was 13 months-old I woke up in the middle of the night to hear her gasping for air. I rushed to her crib, screamed for my husband and all the rest is a blur before we arrived at the emergency room. She underwent breathing treatments, etc and after lots of painful tests, being restrained and being placed in an enclosed X-ray machine her diagnosis was Asthma. My heart ached for you as I so remember that scary time of seeing my precious baby in distress. I also cringed when I read about your husband's job. In our 8 years of marriage, my husband and I have moved 8 times and lived in 6 different cities in 4 different states. There was much pain, but the beauty that has come from it is amazing. I know you know all of this already and may not need to hear it again from a total stranger...but sometimes it is encouraging to know how the Lord works in the lives of others and we are never alone...not in the body of Christ and not with our Savior. Blessings to you. Angela

CrownLaidDown said...

Been praying for your things and stuff today...asking God to bless you all.
Love,
holly

Jai said...

Thank you for praying for the families like mine who spend time at Children's hospitals around the country .. it means a lot, BUT that does NOT undermine or lessen what you went through with Jackson. I never have understood people who don't have good "bedside" manner with children or their parents. We have encountered more than a few.

Praying Jackson is feeling and doing better and that God would heal the hurt feelings you and Curt have about the whole experience. It is not easy to see your child hurting and people who don't seem to care.

You prayed, God answered, God is moving and now so are you :), but God is ALWAYS with you and I pray for ease in your transition, friends in your new place, and much success in Curt's new position.

What will happen to the red door? Take it with you, take it with you! :)

Anonymous said...

Your experiences sound so much like my SIL and her family. Her husband is also a college/youth pastor in Georgia and stepped down recently to plant a church in San Diego. They move in 2 months, 3 young kids in tow. Pray that their house sells QUICKLY to relieve that burden.

You'll look back on this time with such fondness as you see how God provided and your faith unwaivered. You've got an AWESOME support system in place, and you will be fine! Jackson too!

Kelli said...

Amanda,

I can truly say I have walked this road. Leaving my church of 14 years for my husband to take his first pastorate was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But it was also one of the best. I can tell you that God was faithful. I wouldn't change a thing. I am thrilled for you both, because serving the Lord in the exact place he wants you to be is worth everything. You are in my prayers. Keep following hard.

Kelli

Allison said...

Amanda,

You are such a sweet soul. We too relocate often and I must question why? You are fabulous and will find your way. God Bless You, you sweet soul.

Love ya,
azt

Jan said...

Amanda,

I've read some of the 163 posts. All I can think about is how much farther along you and Curtis are than hubs and I were at your age. If I could do it all over again, I would do so many things differently.

Grab hold of this blessing that God has given you! You don't know how rare it is to have such a grasp oh HIM at your age.

It goes by in the blink of an eye!
Treasure every minute, every tear.

I will pray for you and your sweet family.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Amanda,

I have read your blog for awhile now, but have never posted anything. I hope it's ok to write this as I know it's probably really wierd since you don't know me. I am a sister in Christ and after reading what you're going through my heart is just so tender for you.

My husband and I decided to step out in faith three years ago with his job. We really felt that the Lord was taking us to another school (my husband is a middle-school principal). After leaving all of our friends behind and settling in our new home I was lonely and confused for awhile. However, after a few months, my children were playing up the street and making new friends when we realized that a very good friend of mine from years past was living at the top of the street! She and I taught Sunday School together in our former church before her husband's job took them across the state. We lost touch, unfortunately, but found each other again. It was the sweetest time ever. She invited me to a Bible study at her church where they were offering one of your mom's studies. This was my first time taking one and, along with everything going on in my life at that time, your mom's studies were life-changing for me. I realized then, sitting beside my friend, that it was not a mistake that I was there and that God had orchestrated all of it...every last detail.

After spending two years there, we went through a very difficult time and realized that we were going to have to look at the possibility of moving again. Even though that time was difficult, God seasoned it with many blessings...three huge ones, to be exact. All of my children accepted Christ during the last year that we were there. I cry every time I think about it. Shortly after they made their decisions and were baptized, a new job surfaced for my husband. Timing...

We moved last October and are now trying to find our way in the little community that we are in. I feel a little lost and confused again, but know that God has something great planned for us here as well if we just keep our eyes set on him.

You are in a different phase of your life than I am, as I am about ten years older than you, but I want you to know that you are so wise for your age. I wish I could've been more like you when I was in my twenties. If I could go back and do things over, I would do some things differently. You and your mom have been such huge blessings to me.

One piece of advice I'd offer is to get "unlimited long-distance" on your phone so that you can talk to your friends whenever you want! It does help, especially right after you move. Please know that I'll be praying for you as you go through this time.

Many blessings,
Anne

The Silva's said...

I sit her after reading that, knowing all too well how it feels to move from the only place that feels like home. I pray that God brings peace to you and your family and you know that with each change comes growth. I pray that the transition is a smooth one and the doors that He opens for you and your family will lead to greatness for you all in the future!!
God bless you and your family,
Megan

Sherry said...

Dearest Amanda:

I have been out of town which explains why I am just now responding to your “Major Life Events” post.

I feel your heart. My husband and I have been in fulltime ministry for over 36 years. One thing I have learned in ministry is the ability to love and let go. Not letting go in the sense of losing, but letting go of the current norm to find a new norm that includes new places, people and things. I'm sure you will continue your current friendships even though you may be separated by miles. I can relate to how you are feeling at the thought of leaving your best friends -- friends who have shared so many precious memories and highlights of your life. I have been in your shoes several times. I know that it’s the day-to-day events that you are going to miss. But as you allow Him, God will prepare your heart for the new changes coming for you and your family. God will move you throughout your life in ministry but when He does He is so faithful to give you what you need.

We have always looked for the “peace” in every situation and every new door God opened for us. I Corinthians 14:33 says “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace … (KJV). Sometimes there is peace even when all the details don’t line up the way we think they should. Then there are times when all the details seem just perfect (in our way of thinking) but we do not have peace. God knows the future and as you are well aware, He does all things well. Never venture out without His peace. If there is peace, He will be there, too. He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) He is perfect. He is good. He keeps his promises. He does not fail. He cannot lie. He is love.

I completely understand what it is like to live far from family. We have lived as far as 800 miles from our families. I know what it’s like to have the church members feel like real family. The Lord always provided a helping hand for us when we needed it in times of sickness, childbirth, babysitting, etc. Our only child, a son, had many “aunts, uncles and grandparents” in the church.

Fortunately, we have only pastored three churches. Our son, Brent, was born while we were at our 2nd church. When God moved us to where we are now, he was 14 ½ and we moved in January. Yes, in the middle of his freshman year. We knew that the move could be very devastating to him, especially at this age. We also knew that this place could be the place where he might meet his wife and we had better know for sure that this was God’s plan – not ours – not man’s. I remember so clearly giving him to the Lord. I told God that even though I was his mother and loved him so dearly, I realized that He loved Brent and knew his heart better I did. So in faith I placed Brent is God’s hands and asked God to minister to him and help him adjust to a new state, new town, new home, new church, new school, and new friends. God was more than faithful. Brent’s hardest moment was the night we accepted the position here, but before the night was over, he told his Dad and me that he was okay and that God had ministered to him. He did not cry another tear – even at our farewell service. Six months after our move, he told us that if he were given the opportunity to go back “home” to live, he would not want to go. He had new wonderful friends and life was good.

Did he meet his wife here? You bet he did. She’s the best. We could not have picked better for him. They will celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary in July. (The day they were married was their 6th anniversary as a couple.) They have given us a beautiful granddaughter and in June, a little grandson will join our family.

And our friends? They are like flowers in a beautiful bouquet. Our bouquet is getting quite large and the friendships are just as sweet. My husband and I have always left a church on the “up” so that we can go back to visit our friends. The reunions are wonderful! We have seen many people who sat under our ministry go into fulltime ministry themselves and that has given us a special relationship with them.

Of course there have been trials and hardships along the way. God doesn’t promise a rose garden all the time but He does promise to be there by our side. I have so many wonderful stories – some miraculous – of how He heard our cries and came to our rescue and brought His light to our darkest situations.

I just wanted to share with you from our experience in fulltime ministry and how faithful God is to reward obedience. His Word is truth and we can rely on it for answers to all our concerns and needs. Through Paul’s example, we too can learn to be content wherever God calls us to go. As long as God goes with us, there is nothing to fear. He promises to make the crooked places straight doesn’t He?

Amanda, you have a sweet heart and have much to offer in the ministry. You are blessed to have a wise husband and parents who understand ministry. You have a wonderful life in Christ ahead of you. Continue to trust Him, and as your mother would say, “It will be the wildest ride you’ll ever have!”

I love you Siesta. I will be praying for you. Keep us posted in your blog.


(This is long so I do not expect you to post this. I would have emailed but didn’t see a place on your blog for that.)

Kelli said...

So many prayers going to you, Curtis, and Jackson as you prepare for this new journey he has paved for you. We just moved recently and I know the pain of leaving new friends but also the blessings that God provides in a new place! May he bless you in your new place and I will continue to pray that you meet wonderful friends in your new town as I do the same for us in our new town!

Darlene R. said...

Dear Amanda,
I am late commenting on this because we were on vacation last week. I know how you feel, as we are looking to relocate very soon. We are so excited, but at the same time sad to leave friends and family.

The future looks so bright and we are looking forward to what the Lord has for us.

I will be praying for your family.

babystepstoChina said...

Hi Amanda,
I read this post a while back, but haven't had a chance to comment. Just wanted you to know that many others understand what you are going through and will be praying you through it. I am going through the same thing but on a different end. My dear friend is far moving away. I mean it will take me two days just to "drop in". I have tried not to be selfish as I know she is the one moving and starting over, but I am so broken hearted and will miss her and her family greatly. My little girl and her little girl are good friends as well. All this to say that the pain you feel as you leave is also being felt by the ones left behind, and while they have the same familar surrondings, it is just not the same without you there. I pray all the best in your move to your new season of life and I know those friendships you made at that church will bless your life and you will have lots of prayer warriors there spurring you on!
Blessings,
Robyn

Amy Sullins said...

Amanda,

I have just found your blog for the first time and it couldn't be more perfect timing! My husband is a Minister of Music. We had served on a part-time basis for several years. Five years ago my husband was able to go into full-time ministry at a church in our hometown of Rome, Georgia. It was a blessing. Three weeks ago we had packers come in to our home that we loved so much, pack up our whole life and move us to Northwest Arkansas. I have cried those same tears but I wanted to let you know that your blog has encouraged me this evening! Thank you for being faithful and for also sharing your heart! You have helped mine! I know God will bless us here and calm my fears. He keeps doing that by using people like you!

In His Love,

Amy Sullins