How do you know when God is calling you to something new?
My husband accepted a call and we are moving to New York.
A Call to Colorado
We moved to Colorado 15 years ago when my husband accepted a call to serve as associate pastor at a church here in the Denver suburbs. When he first received the call, we laughed a little at the thought. We had no interest in a call.
We had just moved into our first home, and we were really happy where we were in Indiana. We loved the people and the ministry.
Yet sometimes God clearly says, “Go”. So, we go.
I remember the first day we were in our new Denver house. I sat on the bare kitchen floor with my two sweet little girls. These two toddler girls were my world. We sat eating Burger King. We had no kitchen utensils, no table or chairs. Mike was at church, busy getting to know what all would be involved in this new ministry job.
The housing market in Colorado was crazy-insane expensive compared to where we had been living in Indiana. (Plus we ended up not selling that Indiana house for almost a year. Thank goodness I didn’t know that yet or I would have just laid down on the floor writhing in sheer agony right then and there. That came later.)
The Denver house we purchased had been a rental, and it needed work. Dear members of our congregation came and helped us patch and paint, but it still needed much. I sat on the bare floor looking around at an empty house with work, work, work in every room. At close to double the cost of our previous house, that hurt — bad.
As my little girls sat munching on fries, I wept.
“Dear God,” I wondered, “what on earth have we done?” I wanted to go back to my big blue old house and my stuff and my friends and my church and thriving Creative Memories business and playgroup and my LIFE.
I was lonely for a good long while here in Colorado, too. People at church were friendly, and I joined Bible studies and groups, but I remember it was at least a year before I found my group of peeps and really got my groove.
God taught me great things in that year. I sure hated it at the time, though.
I did not yet know the storehouse of incredible blessings God had planned for our family in Colorado. We would be filled to overflow during these 15 years:
Our amazing son was born here.
We fostered 35 incredible, sweet, challenging foster children here.
We enjoyed the rewards and challenges of 15 years of ministry here.
We adopted our 2 life-changing, forever-family sons here.
Our daughters have grown into incredible young women we are honored to know and love as people.
Mike’s parents retired and came to live here. Now we wonder how we survived without their care and support.
Our marriage has weathered storms here, and we have realized we love each other truly and more.
I would find friends who became so dear, I love them as if God planned for us to be sisters. Which in a way, He did.
How do you know when God is calling you to go or to stay?
A month ago, my husband received a call to a church in New York, to a town on the north western side of the state. We laughed a little when we received this call. This is a smaller town and a smaller church, and perhaps not the type of call we would normally consider. (You might notice, this laughter is becoming a dangerous trend with us.)
How do you know when God is calling you to go or to stay? It’s beyond human understanding. Just a few weeks before, Mike had a call from another church, this one in Delaware, and both of us flew out for a visit.
We loved this Delaware church.
We stayed right by the ocean. If the church members were trying to bribe us into loving their church, that worked. We felt an immediate connection with the people. This group is doing incredibly social ministry. The worship and music spoke to us.
Yet when the time came, Mike knew God was holding back His hand. God has a different man in mind to shepherd this congregation. We felt sad to say no to this call.
A Call to New York
When Mike received the call to the church in New York, it came as a total surprise. He had interviewed with this church on the phone, but did not expect the process to go further.
Mike texted me on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago to tell me he had received the call to the church in New York. We didn’t know they were having a call meeting or even considering him as a final candidate.
He considered saying no to this call without visiting. From the interview, it didn’t seem like a good fit for us. Our church in Colorado has been through a lot change recently, and Mike had just turned down the Delaware call a couple weeks ago.
Yet a call is to be taken seriously, so he would give it consideration. When the call papers came, Mike told me, “There’s some intriguing stuff in here.”
Mike flew out for a visit, by himself this time. I would have loved to visit, too, but mom duties kept me at home.
God clearly said, GO. So, we are going.
There’s so much I could tell you about this call, like details about the church and the town and the people. I could tell you about the thriving Lutheran school, their eagerness for a new pastor, and the loving congregation.
I could tell you about the big changes in store for our family with moving to a smaller town and a (maybe a bit?) quieter way of life.
But it’s really not a comparison. It’s not that the church we are leaving is worse and this one is better. We have cherished our years of ministry here, and I know we will experience many joys and challenges in ministry there.
Sometimes God says go, and you go.
Sometimes it makes sense in an earthly way, and sometimes it makes no sense whatsoever.
Some people will understand and be supportive, and some won’t. You go anyway.
No Plans for the Planner
I am a planner. I love my calendars and to-do lists. When the time comes, I’ll have the details of this move charted and organized. (In true Borgstede fashion, this move is gonna be a bit messy. We’ll be moving the family in stages.)
But for now, there are no lists or plans. I have no clue what waits for us in New York. I haven’t seen it. I haven’t met anyone there. We don’t have a house or schools chosen, or doctors or therapy programs.
Believe it or not, I’m incredibly okay with this.
I’m not the same girl who sat crying on the empty kitchen floor of our Denver house. God has molded and grown me up during our Denver years.
I’ve been through joyous moments so phenomenal, I feel almost unworthy to speak of those days. I have been given gifts of such honor, I will never be able to repay these blessings. I know I cannot try, but it brings me to tears of thankfulness when I consider these treasured memories.
I’ve been to the depths of awful, searing pain. Our family as walked through valleys of grief so wretched, I thought the blackness would swallow me whole. Some moments, I wondered if it would be better if it did. A thousand times I begged God for some other way out of those situations. This is where I turned and found His grace sufficient.
Our modern day world tells you that in order to have a successful move, you need the nicer, fancier, step-up-in-the-world location.
Is your next job a better one? Are you moving to a bigger house? A nicer suburb? Are the schools better?
What if you ask a different question instead?
Look at the story of Abram in Genesis 12. God said go, and when you get moving, I’ll tell you what to do next.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.
There’s only one question that matters:
Is this where God is calling you to go?
If the answer is yes, may God be with you as you travel.
After the Boxes Are UnPacked — book
Moving with Kids — book
Moving Stretch Wrap –highly recommend!
1-800-Got Junk — removal company, highly recommend