Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chapter Six: "God Move Me"

For old times' sake, the other day I chose to drive my husband's car, the 1998 Honda Civic that was my college car. The engine stutters, the axles creak and even after several years have past, it still smells of Shane's pizza delivery days...

Back then, confident that I needed to be home with my two children, Maddie, two and a half, and Jonathan, ten months old, we were surviving. I longed to contribute to our financial stability. Shane was making a meager eight dollars an hour delivering radiators during the day and pizza at night, and I began babysitting a little boy a couple days a week in our home. There were days we literally scrounged around for change to buy a loaf of bread while we awaited the next payday. We were struggling, but happy to be together.

Shane was always coming home telling me about the interesting people he had met in a car shop or at their front door: immigrants, cancer patients, loners, the elderly, and young families like us. Spending so much time in the car, Shane was listening to radio shows and tapes that strengthened his fervor for the gospel, for people (and for politics too, I might add). Though happy he was working hard to provide for us, I knew he didn't feel fulfilled. Internally creating a secret list of possible solutions to get us out of this poverty occupied my thoughts constantly.

Trying to see the big picture of our life together and God's plan in our mess of debt and our struggle to make it through each month, I felt unsettled and Shane was feeling it too. Our pastor encouraged Shane to explore the possibility of becoming a worship director by looking into open positions and learning what qualifications they required. He contacted a few churches; some were encouraging and some blew him off. Eventually, he decided not just to put music on the back burner, but scrap it all together and search for a "real" job that would provide well for our family. He got hired through a temp agency that employed at Dell computer and within a couple of months he had been officially hired by Dell. Quickly he became one of their top four salesmen. Commission checks were finally trickling in and we were feeling hopeful about getting back on track, moving away from the struggle and being secure financially.

I had every reason to be hopeful, but I was sad. I couldn't understand why God would have given Shane the gift of music and let it go to waste. In college, I had struggled to pick a major because I've always been able to do well in different areas, but no one "gift" or calling ever stood out for me. I have always admired Shane for recognizing his God-given gifts and trying to use them. He is an excellent guitar player, singer, and writer. He can pick up almost any instrument and play it well and he literally hears music in his head. Those gifts are not man made or learned.

I felt unsettled. I didn't think God wanted us to stay in my hometown and I was afraid Shane would grow to resent me and the children for giving up his musicianship. One night, finally giving up on my attempts to come up with a plan of action on my own, I prayed. I simply prayed, "God, move me, settle us down where you want us to be and please use Shane's music to bring glory to your name."

Early the next morning while we were still in bed, the phone rang. Shane stumbled to kitchen to answer. A few minutes later he returned to our room. With a smile on his face, he said "Would you want to move to Charlotte, North Carolina?" What?! He explained to me that the person on the phone was someone to whom he'd briefly spoken about a worship director position months before. It turned out to be the church that had blown him off, telling him that they had two other candidates lined up and were certain that one of them would work out. The elder who had called had written our number from his caller i.d. on a post-it note. A couple months passed, the other candidates did not work out, and he found the note stuck to a tennis racket when he was cleaning out his car. He was calling to ask if Shane was still interested in the position. Of course!

I was astounded and knew immediately that God was working to actually "move" us! When I had prayed the evening before, I was thinking "move us to Nashville, Franklin, Bellevue, ...", never out of state, out of my comfort zone!

After several long phone interviews, the church in Charlotte flew both of us out for formal interviews. We returned home excited and feeling called to Charlotte. A couple weeks later they flew Shane back out for one final interview and offered him the job.

"Why would we move away from a profitable job with great benefits, the promises of prize money and commissions, and the soon to be realized potential of a six figure job?" our families and common sense would challenge. Why? Because we had no doubt that God was leading us there!

Twice now, God had used what seemed to be "random" phone calls to give us a clear, tangible, answers to prayers. On our own, we wouldn't have followed Him. But God, is sovereign over all and HE had given us the faith, the confidence to follow through with His perfect plan.

By July, Shane had moved to Charlotte and was coming back for us a couple weeks later. Heavy hearted leaving friends and family, on that steamy July day, we set out to Charlotte in the old Lumina my parents had given us a year or so before. By that summer in 2005, the air conditioning didn't work and the car often over-heated, but that day on the way to Charlotte a cloud followed over us keeping Shane and I and our two little ones comfortable. God hadn't given us a ticket out of our struggles, but a ticket to His plan of redemption and sanctification for our lives, keeping us dependent on Himself.

God has continued to -what I like to call- "wink" at us with His specific answers to prayers. In big, life-changing ways, and in small everyday ways He is there reminding me to trust Him. He is always faithful to me even when my heart, my thoughts, my works stray.

Today, I encourage you to listen to the song "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves in the video below. Reflect on and ponder the lyrics; it is a favorite of mine and has spoken true in my life.

Stay tuned as I fill in the gaps and connect the dots for His perfect story of my life....


  1. Andrea - I never get tired of hearing that story! So cool to see how God has moved in your life.

  2. Tears...

    Thank you for sharing this journey.

    It speaks so much to my heart.

    Thank you.