On August 28, 2009, we unloaded the U-Haul and moved into our temporary home in Brighton, Michigan. One August 28, 2010, we loaded up the trucks and moved out of our home in Brighton, and into our new temporary apartment but permanent home in the Waterford/Clarkston area of Michigan.
That’s right, exactly 365 days later. We spent exactly one year in Brighton. So what was that year all about? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. But following are a few thoughts on what I think it was about:
- It was about waiting. Sometimes patiently, more often impatiently. It was about wondering where God was and what He was up to. It was about wrestling with our faith and just hoping that God was growing it – because it seemed so puny most of the time.
- It was about growing. We faced new challenges, unfamiliar situations, overwhelming circumstances, but also new opportunities. The kids had to adjust to new school settings – and learned to survive. I took a job as a hospice chaplain – and learned how to minister to the dying. Eight times I conducted funerals for my patients. Twice they were just children. I learned how to mourn with those who mourn. I don’t think I’m the same person I was. Hopefully, I care more.
- It was about getting tougher. We jumped off a cliff in faith – and hoped for exhilaration. But it felt more like a thud. But we survived. And we realized that we had experienced what we had feared – and we still made it through. God didn’t seem to be concerned about making our lives easier; He seemed to be more determined to make our lives stronger.
- It was about bonding as a family. We spent a lot of time together. We didn’t have much choice. The girls had to share a room again. We didn’t have our old friends, so we became better friends as a family. For that, I’m grateful.
- It was about building new relationships. When we first moved to Brighton I met a pastor of a local church who prayed for us – and prayed that God would surround us with people to care for us. And God answered that prayer.
- It was about contentment and gratitude – because in spite of all of the challenges of the year our lives were still incredibly blessed. We were sufficiently housed and clothed and fed and then some.
- It was about providence. Even though I struggled to see God’s hand, He still protected me. I drove 40,000 miles in less that nine months with my job – many days driving into the worst neighborhoods of Detroit – without incident. And less than two weeks after I left that job my car blew its engine. In a very safe place. At a very fortuitous time.
- It was about hope. We always believed God wanted us in ministry – even when it seemed like it would never happen. But I hope that God was just getting us ready – in accord with His wisdom (because it didn’t make much sense to me).
365 days. Days that I may never understand – but days that God ordained for me.
Now we are in the early stages of a new adventure. Waterford/Clarkston is our new home. Waterford Community Church is our new ministry. And the people of the church are our new family. It took us a year to get here – but we’re glad to finally be home.
Filed under: Personal