And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
When I look back on all that happened in 2018 I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I want to write a reflective blog post, but where do I begin? What happened in 2018 is so significant to us that I am literally writing a book about the past 7 years. With that being said I don’t think I need to go into all of the details, but let’s look back at some of the highlights.
First of all, in January J left his computer programming job which he loved and had gone back to school for and he became a full-time staff member at our church. I wrote all about this milestone in “Our 2017 Miracle”
I recently stumbled upon this photo is from 2011.
It was our last Christmas in Texas right before we moved and these missionaries that we really respect and admire were in town. They were saying a prayer over Jeremy who was about to leave to follow some vague calling.
The other side of the story is our pastors here in Ohio also lived and ministered in that same small town in Texas! In 2011 the Lord called them to start a church in Ohio. We never knew them. We may have crossed paths because they had even been to the coffee shop that we helped start, but we definitely never met or knew that each other existed.
Now here we are seven years after both of our families felt called to leave Texas and follow some divine appointment.
And these two kids right here (the pastor’s son is on the right and SJ on the left) were both born in Waxahachie Texas 5 months apart! Now they both are pastors kids in Milford Ohio!? What are the odds?
I don’t want to lead you to believe that stepping back into ministry has been this dream come true and now our lives are complete. It’s been a really intense roller coaster ride. As soon as J came on staff we moved from our church building to a school. When the school shut down for the summer we got the boot. That’s when we started meeting in a tent! That was a real test of faith let me tell you. I am a 1980s-Pentecostal-tent-revival hippie girl so I wasn’t phased one bit personally.
However, when you are in ministry you carry the weight of the congregation’s well being kind of like you do your own children. If your family is sick or hurting you feel it too. It was tough.
J was working around the clock along with plenty of other people doing construction and trying desperately to get us into the new building. I don’t even want to think about how challenging that was so let’s talk about how in the middle of all that we were gifted a trip to Chicago to see U2 in concert!
It felt like bad time timing because there was so much going on but I’m gonna preach for second here- IT WAS PERFECT TIMING BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH GOING ON. J and I had tickets and were forced to go be alone together and take a break and have the time of our lives.
We needed that! Every married couple needs to be forced into doing something like that every once in a well. The timing probably isn’t going to be perfect but get over it. The world will still function without you balancing it all. I know running off with your spouse isn’t always an option (believe me I know) but sometimes it is an options and we are the ones standing in our own way. Okay, I’m done with my exhortation, but I know someone needs to hear that.
The most significant milestone of 2018 came right after Chicago and that was when SJ graduated from Ohio Valley Voices. I can’t even type that without tearing up. My deaf daughter can talk.
Instead of crying through another emotional post about how miraculous this is I will just give a few links about SJ’s growth from 2018.
Our two littlest kiddos had their own milestones. Ezie has started going to Kindergarten and is at the same school as his older siblings and Elle is 100% potty trained praise the Lord.
In August of 2018 we were finally able to meet as a church in our new building. Also at the beginning of the school year Mandy Harvey the deaf singer came to our church and I found myself in a whole new role as ASL worship interpreter and sign language coordinator. Ever since that Sunday in August we have had regular attendees at our church who are deaf and I could tell you one miraculous testimony after the other of how God has orchestrated everything. My ASL is still very rusty but now that I have friends who are deaf and sign I have been able to become so much more comfortable with sign language. The relationships I have formed and the things that I have learned are one of my
most unexpected but favorite parts of 2018!
Last but not least J and I celebrated 18 years of marriage which was extra special because I got married at 18 and so I have officially been married over half of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s my best friend and we were meant to be.
So that’s 2018. A lot happened and I will never forget it.