Evans’ Summer Whirlwind: Part 1
Whew!!! This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind for our family. It’s been exiting, exhausting, exhilarating and terrifying (sorry couldn’t continue the alliteration there😁). We’ve been in prep mode the last few years, trying to follow God’s leading as we go. It’s been full of ups and downs and twists and turns. Some things planned, some unexpected. If you’ve kept up with us you probably already know a lot of this, but for those who haven’t here’s a quick snapshot of our first few years. We got married back in 2014, fairly young, but with the desire to work together on what God was calling us to in life. You see Ben gave up his whole life down in Alabama to pursue this relationship we have now! We really felt God was calling us to be each other’s help mate, but we both had dreams and plans of our own too. Ben decided to put his on hold so that we could begin building a life together first. After we got married it was time to start pursuing the dreams God had placed on Ben’s heart….a big one of those being vocational ministry. So, not long after we got married, Ben had the opportunity to start school to prepare himself for that. And he did it. He got through the four years of school (all while working full-time👍🏻)! We even got through paying off the bills from it! What a blessing it was that we were able to pay for it as we went through the process (I know that’s not the case for so many...special thanks to all those who have given us a place to stay to make saving for that possible!!!).
That was a little over a year ago. So what was next for us??? That’s been where we kinda got stuck the last little while. We began pursuing jobs at some local churches, because we thought that was the next logical step in the process. God blesses you with the opportunity to get a degree in Christian ministry, you start using that degree to work in the church right away…right?🤷🏼♀️ Well that’s what we thought...but we were reminded that we don’t just serve the body of Christ when it’s our vocation...we are called, each one of us, to do that. I’m glad God reminded us of that and gave us opportunities to get plugged in where we were. I will say though that after a few “no, you’re not quite qualified for this”, a few “you don’t have enough experience”, and lots of “do you have an advanced degree too????” comments we did get a little discouraged. Honestly we felt kinda stuck and confused for a couple months last summer. We weren’t sure what the next step for us was. We tried to figure out what exactly God was calling us to next...pursuing a few different things to see if He made it clear what we should do. More schooling? Pursue adoption? Relocate? Nothing was really clear, and until the last two months we had no clue what God was doing or where we’d end up.
As I mentioned before...we knew, whether vocationally or not, that God wanted us serving in His church and sharing His gospel, with whomever it was He would have us encounter. I had already been serving with AWANA in my local church for the past 5 years, so Ben jumped in and began serving alongside me there. We sort of just started pursuing each dream we had in a small way all at one time, seeing if maybe God would make it clear which door He wanted us to walk through. All of them went hand in hand and were kinda connected so we didn’t really know where to start. You need lots of money for school and adoption...and then where were we gonna live in the meantime. Buy a house only to move quickly, if we were called to another job or city??? We knew God had placed these desires in our heart and that He had a plan…we just had no clue what that looked like. And I think God really used this past year to teach me, personally, that it’s ok that I don’t know exactly what it looks like. I don’t have to know every step of the journey, before I take it. It’s called faith right?!?😉 I just need to trust that He DOES know every step, and that if I’m seeking Him first, He will be sure to guide me in each one of them.
So one of those steps was to share our heart for adoption with those around us, and begin preparing ourselves in whatever way we could. We began researching options and saving up for the many expenses associated with adopting. Talking with agencies about certain programs and next steps we need to take. Attending classes. Whatever we could do while we waited, we tried to do. And you probably know by now, that’s how this little shop came to be. It was a way we could prepare as we waited for our next clear direction. We also began researching seminaries and next steps as far as more education. Ben visited a few schools we narrowed down a few options. We actually narrowed it all the way down to one that seemed to best suit our goals and dreams and began pursuing that. Ben started an application we started looking into how to pay for more schooling. We even talked about moving closer to be school and me finding a new job. At the beginning of summer we honestly thought we were gonna start the school process this August.
But God…… He had a slightly different plan for us…and we are sooo excited and grateful for this door that He’s led us to. I promise I’ll fill you in in another post real soon (like later this week soon) so don’t worry there’s more to this story! Come back to find out.