2008 – Lafayette, LA

“Seriously!  This is unbelievable.”  I murmured under my breath as I tossed my belongings into a suitcase.  I ran my hand across the glossy white doorframe Barry had installed only weeks before.  Our master bedroom was finally done.  Our house was done.  We had accomplished so much in a such a short period of time.  Our backs hurt and our hands ached from the tremendous effort that went into making our house a home.  And then we heard the news…

Hurricane Gustav was headed straight towards us.  A mandatory evacuation was declared.   Our dog Coach whimpered as the thunder clapped around us while we hastily loaded our belongings into the car.  I sat speechless as we drove away from the only home we had ever owned.    To think that months of work could be washed away in one day left me feeling uncomfortable.  We still had no idea about the ministry job in California.  They were researching a variety of options at the time.  They wanted to make sure we would be a good fit for the church.  After years of multiple youth pastors back to back, and the uncertainty of a brand new senior pastor, they decided to proceed with caution.  They called Barry periodically with questions.  They sent emails.  They conducted interviews and asked for recommendations.  They were meticulous and thorough.  And we were glad.  After living in an atmosphere of control for so long…we witnessed many church leaders hiring and firing on a whim.  We were thankful that this church was putting in the effort to assure everyone involved that this was in fact, God’s will.

The drive to my parents house in Texas was long.  The highways were already full of weary travelers, and long gas lines.  By this time we were professionals at hurricane evacuations and we found comfort in the familiarity of the process.  Pull cash. Get gas.  Buy water, snack food and magazines.  Then, prepare for several hours of red brake lights flickering in the distance.  We knew the routine and we dreaded it .  It just felt like one more punch to the gut.  I had no idea what we would return home to.  Would our house be damaged? Would we have running water or electricity? The uncertainty of the entire situation left me feeling uneasy and exhausted.

Days later we made our way back to Lafayette. I held my breath as we turned down the old road that lead to our house.  And there it was, all in one piece.  Just as perfect as it was the day we drove away.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  One miracle down, one more to go.

I was ready to move…

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