Come January 2019, I will no longer live in the wilds of Wisconsin. Instead, I will live among the cacti of Texas.
This is, obviously, a big deal for me, and there are many recurring questions that come up when people learn I’m moving. So, I’ll answer many of those questions in this post.
Because for quite some time (over a year and a half now), Jesus has been calling me to join a specific network of church-planting churches.
Luke, my older brother, helped plant a church in Texas this past summer, so as far as church planting goes, it makes the most sense for me to join him and the rest of the planters there.
The Austin area of Texas.
What will you be doing?
Trying to make disciples, working, writing, reading, coffee shop hopping, etc.—many of the same things I am doing in Wisconsin, only with a different group of people and in a different environment.
Will your parents be going too?
No. At this time, they are called to stay in Wisconsin and continue ministering at the church we’ve been a part of for the last seven and a half years.
I’m the youngest, and I’ve never lived apart from them. This will be a difficult transition for all three of us.
End of 2018, beginning of 2019. (I’ll likely be very flaky as far as my social media/internet presence during the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January.)
Do you have a place to live?
Yes! I will be sharing a four-bedroom house with three lovely girls who are a part of the church I am joining. I’ve met them and seen the house, and the way things fell into place as far as these roommates go is part of what convinced me that this is where God wants me right now.
Will this church plant pay you?
No. My service will be purely volunteer—just like all the other planters, just like in any other church.
Well, do you have a job?
Not yet, but there is a pretty good job market in the area, and I am confident that I will find a job exactly when God intends me to.
Will you (finally) be going to college?
No. I don’t think I ever will. Something might change, but the things that I am passionate about and am called to do not require a degree.
Will you keep writing?
Heck yes. It will be harder because I’ll have to work enough hours to pay for living expenses, and it may be a season where I get even slower as a writer. Or perhaps, for inexplicable reasons, I may get faster.
Regardless, by this time, I am confident in my gifting as a writer, and I believe to not write would be foolish mishandling of that gift.
Will Graham go with you?
For those of you who may not know Graham, he is my dearly beloved cat. I raised him from kittenhood, and he is my Precious. But he cannot come. Not only would he struggle to adjust to life as an indoor cat after living so much of his life outside, but housing is a problem as one of my roommates is allergic.
So Graham will remain in Wisconsin where he can continue to roam cornfields and torture sparrows like the heartless psychopath that he is. As difficult as it is to leave him, I honestly think he will be far happier in Wisconsin than he would be if I wrangled a way for him to come to Texas.
How close is the nearest library?
Oh, finally, an important question. xP Under fifteen minutes!
But what about winter?
You’d be surprised how much I get this question, but apparently a lot of people know I adore winter and snow and cold…. but I am moving to a freaking desert. I will learn to live without.
What if you’re wrong about God’s calling?
Then I am wrong, and God will redirect me as he is more than capable of doing.
Trust me, I considered and agonized over this far more than I should have. But I have received wise counsel from both my parents and another mentor, and I have come to realize that I can’t mess this up. *shrug* If I go and I’m wrong, I’ll come back or go wherever else God leads instead. Regardless, God will use this to grow me in many, many ways.
Well. That’s that.
Now you know. If you have any other questions, drop them in the comments below.
It seems like I’m not quite myself as I write this post. This announcement has been a long time coming, but I’ve been putting it off because as excited as I am and as certain I am that this is what Jesus has for me, it’s been really hard too.
I don’t want to be away from my parents; I never have. And Texas is very far away from my parents.
I don’t want to be away from Arielle, Caleb, and Janie—my other siblings. But, again, Texas is very far away from them.
I don’t want to leave the family I’ve worked with for the past two years as a nanny. I realize that the kids won’t recognize me as early as six months after I’m gone, and it will be hard to keep up with their mom and dad whom I love.
I don’t want to leave the friends that I’ve taken years to get close to. I don’t want to leave my cat or the dogs I’ve grown up with (as silly as that sounds).
But I had no peace until I decided to join this church plant. As awful as saying goodbye will be and even now as it chokes me as I realize I have less than two months left with these people whom I love, the unrest from and resistance to the Holy Spirit was eating me. I have to at least try it.
And I think that we are called to some things simply because they are hard for us.
So I’m going to Texas. May Jesus increase, and may I decrease.
p.s. – regularly scheduled Penprints will return next week, and I hope to get a High Command memo out this week.
p.p.s. – I just want to clarify: I am incredibly excited about moving to Texas. It may sound like I’m not, but that’s just because the sad aspects the move are inescapable.