Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When Your Heart Wants to Jump Out of Your Body

So yesterday was quite a day! I haven't been very good at keeping everyone up to date on this thing as to what exactly has been going on in our lives and I promise I will get better soon. We're currently working on blog videos of Jon and I.

Anyway, Jon and I have made some very drastic changes in our lives and it will all soon be disclosed to everyone else. Probably sometime after 1pm today ;0)

Well, these changes all come down to one thing: taking up our cross and following Jesus.

Jon and I recently had the not so fun opportunity at looking at the direction our lives were going. Due to the economy, and I am sure quite a bit of other things to, we lost one very important job to us that not only was a great job, but a big financial job that kept us living the lifestyle we were living. When the job was gone we FREAKED out. That weekend that we lost the job, we were in the process of buying a home; an $80,000 home. Everything was going to work out just right, but apparently it wasn't what God had planned for us, because that, like the job, fell through.

It was a little chaotic, and we probably played a huge part at making it so. Later on that week, we went to a Todd Agnew concert at Sunrise Church in Rialto, and Todd spoke a little bit on chasing false realities. It hit our hearts to the core.

On our ride home, Jon and I both mentioned how we felt convicted on "chasing false realities" and we needed to do something about it. Why would we freak out about money if we truly relied on God? Where had we gone wrong in living our lives that put us in this position? Granted there are so many people affected by this economy far worse than we were or probably will ever be, but we new that we had come to a point that challenged every decision we had made up until that point.

Jon and I new what we had to do. We made commitments to each other that we would be praying for God to show us the next step because we would no longer be living like we were. We knew we needed to be serving people and following Christ. Chasing the the dream of a "white picket fence, new home, and nice furniture" was a false reality for us.

I knew that I needed to get a part time job for a little while in order to finish paying our rent while we were still in our home, so while I was looking I came across Houseparent Positions (I could easily explain it, but I think you should do the google research yourself ;0). I called Jon when I found those jobs and explained the position over the phone. Jon said "lets go for it." Please realize that up until that point, I was spitting out tons of ideas to Jon, like doing a YWAM or becoming a missionary in Africa. Each of these ideas he quickly turned down. But his reaction to the Housparent positions was so drastically different, that I new then and there that we had to pursue it further.

During this whole process, we made sure we did our very best to research as much as we could but give it ALL to God. We saw a huge change in our relationship with each other. We were constantly reading scriptures together and praying side by side. We always had before, but this time we went to prayer for everything!

Well, to cut the story shorter than it really is, we applied to three different locations, and God narrowed it down to one; a Ranch in Arkansas. As each application step progressed we got more and more excited. We didn't want to tell anyone in case it didn't work, but the better our chances got, the more we knew we wanted our family and friends to share in the excitement. Our biggest hurdle was telling Jon's family. We had assumed that they would take it the hardest, seeing that none of the Stark family had really located anywhere out of Yucaipa. We thought that we would tell them after we knew for sure that we got the job, but our hearts kept telling us to tell them sooner. We were afraid of any negative opinions, so we were cautious about who and when to tell. But God made it clear that we had to give his family the choice to stand behind in support or disagree. So recently we told them and they were extremely supportive (PRAISE GOD!!!).

I want to explain a little of what we shared:

Jon and I came across a parable of a Rich Man in Matthew 19:16-30 and new the decision we would have to make. In verse 29, Jesus tells his disciples about those who will inherit eternal life, "And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of My name will receive a 100 times more and will inherit eternal life."
That verse spoke so clearly to us, that we were made specifically to follow Christ and love people, and so we needed to sell our possessions, pay off our debt, take up our cross and follow him.
James 1:27 says "Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

We wanted a relationship with our Savior and a religion that God accepts. So as a houseparent we would care after children abandoned, neglected, and abused who would otherwise get lost in the foster care system.
OK, so back to the details of why yesterday was so amazing. We got a call from Jon's older sister, asking for advice and prayer. Jon had previously shared his heart to her about how we had come about making the decision to move, and he told her it was all about following Christ. He shared about how we just prayed that God would open and close doors no matter how painful it must be. Unbeknownst to him, she listened deeply to his words and later prayed that same prayer and when she called me yesterday, God had obviously closed a door. The details of it all I wont go into, since its her story to tell, but my heart was so overwhelmed with joy to see Christ working in her heart that it wanted to just jump right out of my body! It was then, that I wasn't worried as much about getting that job, all I cared about was that Jesus was moving in the hearts of people we had been praying for for so long!

But while I was talking on the phone to Jon's sister, I missed a call from the Ranch in Arkansas, telling us that they want to pursue us as candidates even further! PRAISE JESUS!

So, where are we at with it now, you ask... well today at 1pm, we complete our final phone conversation, and if it all goes well, then we take a trip out to the Ranch to decided for ourselves if we can commit to make the move in the beginning of May 2009.

Please feel free to ask any questions, make any comments or pray for us. We are so excited to see Jesus moving and we're experiencing a great freedom with the more we let go of!

1 comment:

  1. God is awesome, and works in awesome ways though the obedience of His people. Dad and I are proud -- and at the same time humbled -- of your seeking His will and obedience. There's no string on your balloon! Love you, baby girl.