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lessons from life in the mountains

These last couple of years has been a season of waiting for our family. We aren’t through it yet, but Papa has been so gracious to us - teaching us things about Him, about this time, about ourselves. Just to keep it completely real, we haven’t navigated this season perfectly. We have days that we feel lonely or frustrated. We have moments we think that maybe we’re just done. There have even been times where we feel like saying, ‘This isn’t worth it. It’s too hard.” But God. And His faithfulness and His love.

As is typical for me, I like to verbally process, so here are some things we’ve been learning in this season of waiting:

If I had to break it down into categories, then it would be these four:

  1. There’s Gonna Be Some Pruning

  2. It’s Gonna Feel Like A Wilderness

  3. You’re Gonna Learn to Use the little

  4. He’s Gonna Be All You Have

There’s Gonna Be Some Pruning

No one likes pruning. Heck, even if the plants/trees/shrubs could talk I bet they’d say the same. When you’re waiting for words to be fulfilled, destinies to be revealed or even the next step to be given, God doesn’t waste the time. No sir. He’s real purposeful. This waiting time has been a huge pruning season for us - individually and as a family. The Father takes time to trim back those useless branches so that when it’s due season, you’ll bear much fruit, not just some fruit.

We pruned the apple trees in our yard two winters ago and this is the first summer they’ve produced fruit (Imma be making some apple butter this year!). They’ve been a gentle reminder these last two years that those trees are still very much alive and have a purpose. Pruning requires patience for the fruit to show up.

It’s Gonna Feel Like a Wilderness

In 2015 when God told us to move to Waynesville, we were stoked! He gave us a clear directive and we were all in. So we quit everything, left our friends and family behind and moved. We didn’t question Him. But a year in and He got really quiet. As in, we didn’t know what to do next. So, as is typical of someone who’s floundering to make something happen, we tried all the things to create a successful church plant and it didn’t work. What was going on? What did this mean? Is this normal?

We do believe there are desert or wilderness seasons - the waiting place between the promise and the fulfillment of that promise (there are plenty of stories in the Bible to confirm that). And sometimes, in that waiting place, you look like a failure, you feel like a failure and you even feel misunderstood. But in the wilderness God is still very present and we are still very active, partnering with Him however He wishes. We are just learning to find Him in this place. Which brings me to the next lesson learned in this season of waiting:

You’re Gonna Learn to Use the Little

Over the last 4, almost 5 years, we’ve not really “done ministry.” We’ve not had a consistent pulpit to preach from, a congregation to direct/challenge/grow, or even itinerant ministry. But we’ve been faithful to do what He’s placed in front of us in each moment. For us that looks like having strangers over for dinner, individual and marriage counseling, giving away the tools we have to help others walk out their healing, helping our daughter navigate her gifts/callings, getting plugged in to a very tight-knit mountain community and a lot of hosting families to come rest a while and just sit on our front porch. Being faithful in the little feels very different than being faithful in the big. But we keep doing it and we keep saying yes to whatever that looks like each day.

He’s Gonna Be All You Have

The biggest thing we are learning is this: at the end of the day if He’s all you have, then that’s enough. So we cling to Him. Every day we say, “Jesus, is this day You tell us what’s next?” Every day we say, “Papa, we still say Yes to You - no matter what that looks like.” Every day we say, “Thank You for this time of rest, of strengthening our family, our marriage and our relationship with You.” Every day we acknowledge that even though we may not be “doing a whole lot for Jesus” right now, we are still His kids and we are still all-in. When it’s all said and done, we continue to lean wholly into Him.

So that’s it. That’s what’s been happening in our world these last couple of years. Are we through it yet? No. Have we heard the next big thing? No. But we want to be good stewards of the wait. We want to be good waiters. We want to navigate this season well so that we can learn everything He’s teaching us and then pass it along to others as we move into the next.

This song has become an anthem that passes through my mind at least once a day. While we’re waiting for the next thing, we surely don’t want to miss Him in the waiting.

Take Courage Bethel Music

Slow down, take time Breath in He said He'd reveal what's to come The thoughts in His mind Always higher than mine He'll reveal all to come

Take courage my heart Stay steadfast my soul He's in the waiting He's in the waiting Hold onto your hope As your triumph unfolds He's never failing He's never failing

Sing praise my soul Find strength in joy Let His Words lead you on Do not forget His great faithfulness He'll finish all He's begun Take courage my heart Stay steadfast my soul He's in the waiting He's in the waiting Hold onto your hope As your triumph unfolds He's never failing He's never failing

And You who hold the stars Who call them each by name Will surely keep, Your promise to me That I will rise, in Your victory And You who hold the stars Who call them each by name Will surely keep, Your promise to me That I will rise, in Your victory!

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