For the past several months we have been thinking and praying about the next step in our lives. We have known for a little while now, but we were waiting for the perfect time to make this announcement. We are moving!
It was back in May of last year while on a road trip (we always have our best conversations on road trips) that we started talking about what was next. We knew that Jeremy was nearing the end of his time in Seminary, and we both just sensed God moving us, and telling us that it was time to enter the ministry. Seminary has been a 5 year journey where we completed one Masters degree together and Jeremy has been working on his second. It has been a season of preparation that we are so grateful for. We have learned so much and been taught and mentored by some amazing believers. But, as we talked on that long car ride we both expressed that we individually felt that God was showing us that it was almost time to move on to the next chapter.
It was an exciting conversation, but we didn’t really know what it meant. We left the conversation saying that we would continue to pray about it, and be in Scripture, and we would look for the Lord to open doors. Over the next few months we continued to pray and talk things over periodically. We saw some opportunities for ministry positions and even started pursuing a few of them, but in the end…we didn’t sense God leading to any of them.
Rewind to the months shortly after we got married almost five years ago, and our hearts have been led towards church planting in an area of the country without many churches. God placed a strong burden in Jeremy’s heart for this shortly after we got married and he felt the call to pastor. I grew up in the northeast, in an area where there are not many churches at all, and for a good part of my life my family drove an hour to church. Jeremy grew up in a highly churched area and then we lived in the South so he was shocked to realize how few churches are in some parts of the country. When we first got married we knew that church planting was the long term goal, but we did not know when it would be, or where it would be.
October is when we started talking more about the “when” as we realized that Jeremy was almost finished with his degree. During a random phone call with my parents they mentioned the fact that they did not have a church to attend, and for some reason after that conversation we started thinking about the possibility of moving back to Pennsylvania, where I am from to plant a church. It was kind of funny that the place that had opened Jeremy’s eyes to the need for churches in the United States was one of the only places we had never really considered when thinking about where we would plant a church. We began praying and talking about it a lot and even asked for prayer from some godly counsel.
Over the next few months God continued to open doors, and we soon found ourselves telling our families that we felt that this was the direction that God was leading. One of the doors that was opened was with a man that came through Jeremy’s school that works for NAMB (North American Mission Board) specifically in Pennsylvania. Jeremy listened to him speak, and even got a flyer that he handed out that listed some towns that needed churches in PA. Jeremy was disappointed when all the towns were over an hour from where we were looking at, but decided to talk to him anyway. When Jeremy mentioned the name of the city that we had been praying about the man started to cry,and told Jeremy that he had been praying about that exact town for over a year. He asked Jeremy to come with him over to his briefcase and handed Jeremy a CD of over 70 pages of demographic information about the tiny town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania that we thought no one knew about. We asked God to make things clear, and He has done just that, in so many ways.
When will we be moving?
We will be moving in the middle of August, after Jeremy finishes his summer classes. Jeremy will finish his remaining eight credits online this fall and he will graduate in December.
Will we still be shooting weddings?
Yes. We have a few weddings that we will be flying back to DFW to shoot, and we will continue to book a limited number of weddings in TX, because we have family and friends here. Our Associate Photographers, Michele + Hope, will continue shooting weddings in DFW as they already previously have. We will also begin booking weddings in Pennsylvania, though we are not sure yet how many weddings we will take on each year.
Can you take our family pictures before you move?
Though we usually only do family sessions once a year, we will be taking a limited number of family sessions before we move because we know that many have shown interest in this. We will also be returning in the fall to do mini sessions. If you are interested in a session feel free to email us for details so we can get it scheduled.
When will the church start?
We are not 100% sure. We will begin leading a Bible study and focus on evangelism and discipleship, and wait for God’s timing in showing us when that first service should be.
The truth is, leaving is bittersweet. We are so excited about where God is moving us, but there are people here in TX that we will miss. Some of the sweetest moments of our lives have happened here in TX. Both of our sweet daughters were born here, and one went to Jesus while we were here. But, the truth is that we know that this world is not our home, Heaven is. And because Heaven is our home, the gospel is our purpose, and we feel blessed that God has chosen us to make the gospel known.