My heart for this leadership blog is for it to have three main ingredients. Firstly, that despite being a leader, being honest and real is hugely important. Secondly, I want to write regularly and often speak about God. And thirdly, practical leadership ideas from my experience. In addition, I'm going to ask guest bloggers to contribute. And today, I've invited my wife, who is one of the most gifted leaders I know, to share a little of her journey regarding our upcoming move to the States.
At the moment I am doing a lot of remembering. It seems that it is only when something is coming to an end that we truly appreciate what we have had. I have been looking at old photographs, catching up with people who I don't see enough and trying to spend lots of time with my dear family. Over the last few months, I feel as if I have experienced many of the different stages of grief as I process our upcoming move to California and I am finally coming to a place of faith and trust.
My journey in coming to this place has been somewhat different to Tom's. Over the last two years, Tom has received numerous prophecies about us leaving our beloved Canterbury and moving to the States. I have not received these prophecies with faith and expectation. I have been in complete denial and completely wracked with fear. I have asked: What if the whole Church hates us for abandoning them? Why would God ask us to leave when there are so many things we haven't 'finished' yet in Canterbury? What if my family never speaks to me again? How will I cope without them? What if the kids hate it there? What if I don't fit in? What about our friends? What about Peachy and Jessica, our guinea pigs?!
Ultimately, I had no desire to go, I didn't feel we were 'allowed' to go and, to make matters worse, I was not even present when ANY of the prophecies had come. Until 2015 I had not even been to America, whereas Tom had been many times. I loved the time we spent out there and the people we met, but Canterbury was our home.
Over the last few months, I have gradually learnt that I need to trust Tom, I need to trust God's prophetic guidance and ultimately, I need to trust my heavenly Father who has good plans for me. One night, while I was amidst battling all this, I had a dream that I had to jump over a cliff. In the dream I was feeling terrified. It felt so real. I couldn't believe what I had to do, but I took the jump. However, much to my amazement, it wasn't the horrific ordeal that I thought it would be. Instead of me falling to certain death, it was more like stepping out onto a ledge, and I felt palpable relief. This dream helped me to see that God had 'got me'. Even if I felt as if I was letting people down, ruining my kids' lives, stepping into the scary unknown - God was the One in charge.
The amazing thing is that this has also been my real experience. As we have stepped out and told people that we are going to go, as we have shared with our three girls and as we have started to make practical arrangements, it has actually been a lot easier than I thought. God required me to make that jump and He has 100% caught me!
I think I needed to go through a season of questioning and real grief as I imagined saying 'goodbye' to our lives here, but now that we have stepped out and made that decision, He is proving Himself so faithful. He has given me a joy and excitement about this move that I didn't think imaginable for me to feel a few months ago. And what's more, since making our decision, numerous people have given me scriptures about how this next season will be a fruitful one for me personally, which has felt like further confirmation that it was right for me to take that jump. I now feel excited about what the future holds and I'm looking forward to serving Radiant Church in whatever way I can.