Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Way Back Wednesday - Sailing to Seattle - Week Four

*This is a pre-written blog post from April 8, 2013 to look back on why we left Texas to live in Seattle.*

During this time of waiting, we spent alot of time with Derek's family. It was good to have people who truly loved us and cared for us without grudge or motive.

Then about two or three weeks go by and we got a text from Derek’s mom, Kathy. Derek and I had been praying this whole time for big dreams that only God could do. We wanted His direction, more knowledge of who God is and His truth. We also desired a community of people who loved and feared God, that would surround us with love, discipleship, accountability, and wisdom, that we could give in return by His Spirit. I opened the message and read mom’s frantic text of “Read Isaiah 52:11-12 in the MSG.” I googled it quickly and began to read. Tears began to well up in my eyes. I called her. “Courtney, I believe the Lord is telling you and Derek this.”

Isaiah 52:11-12 MSG
Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place!
Don’t look back. Don’t contaminate yourselves with plunder.
Just leave, but leave clean. Purify yourselves
in the process of worship, carrying the holy vessels of God.
But you don’t have to be in a hurry.
You’re not running from anybody!
God is leading you out of here,
and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.
Now this was a lot to take in all at once, so I dried my tears and thanked mom for everything. Derek and I greatly trust and know the fruits of her relationship with the Lord, not to mention this completely confirmed to me all that was happening in both mine and Derek's hearts. We really wanted to hear from God and here it was. I wrote the scripture down and placed it on my desk and stared at it for most of the day. When I got home, Derek was waiting for me ready to pray and talk out this new discovery.

Two lines of the scripture jumped out to us right away.

1. “Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place a don’t look back.” Both of us knew that we had nothing left in Katy, and the doors were evidently closing. This showed us that looking outward from Katy was the Lord’s doing, and not us trying to “escape/run” from the past.

2. “God is leading you out of here, and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.” When I called Mom, she told me that she looked up the Hebrew word for “rear guard” which is אָסַף meaning to gather, bring together, and to assemble!

This is exactly what we were praying for.

Men on mission, who would lead and link up with Derek, ungrudging. Who help him discern the leading of the Spirit, to encourage him in loving his wife and children, and even practical mentoring in music and ministry.

Women, with wisdom, who would call me out on my sin. Who show me the joys of living life as a God fearing woman with biblical boundaries.

We both did not expect perfection from anyone, but as we read Acts together, we saw the Spirit of God dwelling in His children. They worked together, served each other, and functioned as a family. If they could do that then, why could we not find that here, in the body, outside of blood and marriage?

To be continued…

Are you too busy for anyone else outside of your personal bubble? Do you find yourself clocking in and out of church, not living life with those said to be your brothers and sisters? Keeping what is entitled to you, that you've worked so hard for?

I have found myself doing that. Putting on my "holy coat" and taking it off as I step back into my own world. I didn’t even realize I had been doing it, because I was more worried about where I was going to be eating after church than sharing life with those around me without any hidden agendas. Loving and serving others without recognition was a chore to me, and didn’t happen often. I now realize that this breaks the Father's heart. He intended his church to serve others as if serving the Lord himself (Eph. 6:7). He showed me, my sinful nature desired to take and keep what I thought I was entitled to, and the new nature he is cultivating in me is one of giving and sharing ALL that has been so graciously given to me by Him. 

Remember, your life is not your own. You have been bought with a heavy price and he loves you. You are His Treasure, His Child. This isn't an Aretha Franklin song. Yes, we are family but we don't just sing together. We live life together, grow, encourage, and challenge each other.

Are you doing that? This is not to condemn in passivity or condone in a multitude of religious acts. This is to remind us, our strength to give when we want it all to ourselves and our hope when we feel we have nothing left is only found in King Jesus.


  1. What a beautiful, honest post. You are a great writer and it's so true, we must remind ourselves that this life is not our own, but His. Thank you for that sweet reminder today Courtney!

  2. Thanks reading and commenting Melissa! It's been a crazy journey and I'm so happy to share it.