During the first week of January Pete and I went on our weekly lunch date. As we like to do every year, we began talking about our goals for the 2014 year. Amongst several detailed goals, we both had a couple broad stroke goals. Pete mentioned he wanted to be pushed outside of his comfort zone and I said that I wanted to be intentional about being adventurous, teaching our kids that it’s okay to take risks and try new things. Neither of us knew specifics of how those goals would play out, but they were stirring within our hearts.
The very next day, Pete was called in for a meeting with Pastor Charlie (our lead pastor). Pastor Charlie told Pete that all the executive leaders/pastors as well as the elders in the church were in prayerful agreement that this was the year that Pete was to not only be ordained, but to also be sent out. Pete has known from the very beginning that he wanted to work, learn and train under the leadership of Community Church but his heart was never to stay at Community forever. He felt called at a very young age to one day be the senior pastor of his own church.
When Pete called to share this news with me, I wish I could say I was excited and 100% supportive. We anticipated him being ordained in the near future and were really looking forward to that huge milestone. The excitement of him being ordained was completely overshadowed by the shock of being “sent out”. I was instantly flooded with so many thoughts and emotions. What about Yan? He was supposed to live with us for 4 years. What about our house? We haven’t even been here for a year. We love this house. What about school? Virginia Academy has been such a blessing for the girls. Where are we supposed to go? We’ve lived here our entire lives. All of our friends are here. Our family is here. I cried…. And cried…. And cried. It probably took about 3 weeks until I could talk about it without holding back tears.
We immediately dropped to our knees and sought the Lord for wisdom, direction and peace. Once we were past the initial shock and flood of emotions we were able to look toward our future with excitement and great anticipation for where the Lord would lead our family. We are genuinely grateful that our church leaders were nudging us “out of the nest”. We are comfortable here in NoVa. Things are safe and secure. Spreading our wings to fly is only going to stretch us and strengthen our faith in ways we have never experienced or even known before.
Back in September when we agreed to host Yan and welcome him into our family, Pete and I knew that we were going to be stretched and pushed outside of our comfort zones. It’s been an incredible experience. I never thought we would be capable of having someone live with us, much less a Buddhist teenage boy from China that knew very little English. I realized very quickly that we (not just Pete and myself, but especially our kids too) are capable of much more than we realize. I remember thinking that I knew this experience with Yan was preparing us for greater things. It opened a “door of untapped potential” within our family.
We had no clue back then what was in store for us in 2014.