Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Way Back Wednesday - Sailing to Seattle - Week Seven

*This is a pre-written blog post from April 12, 2013 to look back on why we left Texas to live in Seattle.*
Now if you don’t personally know me, let me be the first to tell you that I can be some what of a “Drama Queen.” I dramatize a lot of things in my life some being sinful and some being quite humorous, but I would like to assure you that what I am about to tell you, is completely true. Might I warn you, this might seem like a rant, but stick with me. I have a point.

I’d like to say, I get paid a nice salary. Shoot, I HAVE A JOB! That’s really something to celebrate about and to be thankful for!

But for the past two years, honestly, this has been super hard on me. All of me. I’m talkin’ my mind, emotions, paitence, and body. Everything. I wake up everyday super early (if I want to look decent), I keep off a majority of the lights off so Derek can sleep in, and I have to leave the house by at least 6:30 a.m. to make it to the office by 8:00 a.m. I fight Houston traffic from anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half with people who are half a sleep, reading newspapers, doing make-up, and/or talking/texting on their phone, who just so happen to be mad at the world and flick me off because I’m in their way, which makes me a victim of road rage, at least, three times a month. Not to mention the sun is directly in my eyes the entire way there. So, when I finally get to work and I actually enjoy what I do. I grown in relationships with my co-workers, but they are all much older than me, and openly think I’m just a kid and have no clue of what I’m doing no matter how many times I’m proven myself, which is super demeaning. Some of them truly hate their lives and seem to enjoy taking it out on me. It’s exhausting. Slowly 5 o’clock comes, and everyone on the road is rushing home, the sun is once again frying my retinas, and I’m falling asleep at the wheel. The stress and anxiety from it all has given me a pinched nerve in the back of my neck and I tend to block out my whole day to the point that I don’t even remember how I got home.

I can’t live like this. I don’t want to do this for the next 10 years of my life better yet, another year. And I started to resent Derek for it because I felt he wasn’t doing anything to change the fact that I had to stay employed there, or we wouldn’t make it financially. (This is all my assumptions, of course.) I would come home crying from exhaustion, yelling because this sucked, and hurts. And I wanted it to stop, now.

When Derek called me and told me what the Lord placed in his heart, he sounded excited and happy! My mind tried to take it all in… wait, Derek says he wants to move to Seattle and grow our family… while serving as members of Mars Hill…? Wait, is this Derek? “Yes, Babe! We are moving to Seattle.”

Well, how’s that going to work? Calm down, Courtney, just breathe. Let Derek lead you and let him be led by the Holy Spirit. Because if you try and make anything happen and Derek follows you and not the Lord, all the blame is coming back on you when it all falls apart. Moving across the country has to be God, if not this is gunna be hell.

We found out our friend from Texas Bible Institute, Pancho, was actually interning at Mars Hill at that time. So Derek called him to pick his brain, and ask him some practical questions about Seattle and the ministry. Derek said he sounded way different from the Pancho we remembered for TBI. His spoke of God's grace and the glory of God, and how the Lord had changed him from thinking the gospel was all about him to being truly all about Jesus. THANK YOU! (Good fruit of the Ministry!) He also said that he was staying with a host family during his internship, and how they saw it as their ministry to open their home to young people, AND a married couple, who had being staying there, just moved out. Pancho offered to ask them if we could use the room when we got to Seattle. Derek was shocked and quickly said “YES!”

We prayed. What an opportunity. This would be a great confirmation and an open door.

Pancho called Derek and said the Winston’s would love to have us! WHAT?! These people don’t even know us, and they are willing to take a young married couple from Texas in. Thank you, Jesus.

It was January/February and our lease on our overly expensive apartment was up by the end of April. Derek had just gotten braces and was summoned to a 6-10 month sentence. But now that we knew where we were going and we had a place to stay, “What are we waiting for?! LET’S GO!” I said. Looking for an escape rather than looking for God’s will.
"Just leave, but leave clean!" That sentence became an annoying reminder of how this wasn't going to be about me.
I was so done working for this company, I was grateful but so done. I just wanted to move!!!!! (Now I was being dramatic.)

I even devised plans against Derek, thinking if I got a crappy, easy, minimum wage job in Seattle, I would get to have an easy life and be the one coming home early, and Derek would have to get a better paying job and work harder than me, because that would make him “the leader.” (Through this whole experience, I see just how deceived I was on marrital roles and have come to find the depravitiy of my heart. There is nothing good in me truly, but Jesus. My hope.)

HOW EVIL! What kind of team is one against itself? I had to come clean with Derek and repent to him and God. I don't want that attitude to be forgotten and overlooked because it will dig itself super deep in my heart, sprout more roots, and eventually rear it's ugly head back up and ain't no body got time for that.

He forgave me. We took time to be honest and we got to work through some deep hearted issues that we both were just living with rather than actually dealing with. Through that process, we grew closer. But I still wanted to just pick up and go and the Lord plastered what He said on my mind.

“Just leave, but leave clean.” But I don’t want to… I wanna leave now… Sin.

I tried to pursuade Derek, but he knew we weren’t supposed to break our lease, drop our jobs and just walk away. How is that leaving clean? We made promises and obligations. Were we being obedient by breaking them? Of course not.

Okay Courtney, time to put your big boy pants on, repent of your pride, and keep trusting. Be obedient. Plus I knew, I knew! that was what the Lord wanted us to do, but I let my circumstance be louder than my Lord.

We needed a plan. Derek spoke with Doc (the dentist) and she told him that if his teeth are obedient and move that there was a high chance he could get his braces off by April! WHAT?! Thank you Jesus.

We also knew, if we both got part-time jobs, we would be able to move comfortably, have a savings, and pay off our medical debt. Derek was reluctant on me getting a second job because it didn’t seem like I could handle the one I already had. But I was persistant and wanted to help, so after three weeks of interviews (?!?!) I got a part time job at Panera Bread, one of my favorite cafes. Sadly, they weren’t offering much money or hours, which now I can see was the Lord. I would be fully cooked if I had the 30-35 hours extra hours of work a week, but the little I have made helped. Thank you Jesus.

Derek got a part-time job with Mission Burrito and he seemed to really like it. But he works hard, really hard. He would leaves home between 8-9 am for his first job and get home between 2-4 pm to then go to his next job between 4-6 pm and didn't get home til 11-11:30 pm. That’s a lot! But I’ve never heard him complain once. My hero.

We called and talked with the Winston’s, our host home. They asked us about ourselves, gave their expectations from us, and prayed with us on the phone! These people are amazing! They pray! This really gave us peace. We have a direction and we have  some clarity.

I starting applying online for jobs in Seattle that I thought I qualified for. I got a call at the end of March to do a phone interview with Princess Cruise doing Accounting. I was honest that we were not going to be there till May 5th, and I found out their new program didn't start till May 15th. I got the job. Two months out on a phone interview... Yep. Thank you, Jesus. Couldn't be more clear. :) 

I can drive in the sun for a couple more months with this on the horizon. I can wake up early, I can do the job I'm currently with well, because I know it’s “You’re not running from anybody! God leading you out of here…" God was doing something, something big. And we get to be a part of it.

Thank you for reading my blog! This has been fun to reminisce the Lord’s work in our lives. We want to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and Fatherly love towards us, because too often we forget and act out on our forgetfulness. Check out next week for the follow up post of what's been happening since we Sailed to Seattle.

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