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dream big dreams {life update part two} 

Buster Moon and I can relate. We both like to dream big dreams. We just need matching tees. During this wild ride and praying through what God wanted us to do, I might have had an answer for every reason why Greg gave for us to stay where we were. Our big joke? “Dream big dreams.” I earned myself the nickname “Moon” while we were processing all that was going on.

And I did. I dreamed big and prayed even bigger. I knew Greg desired absolute clarity in this decision to pick up our family and move to another state where we knew no one. Well, we kind of knew one couple, but that was it. No family, no close friends. Moving teenagers is a whole lot different than moving toddlers. This was a decision we were not taking lightly; yet we knew, should we choose to be obedient, that our children would see our faith.

dream big dreams

To give you a time frame, all of this began with Greg telling me was ready to be in full time ministry at the end of January. When we finally said yes and made the move, it was July 15th! A lot had to transpire to get us to the place of giving God our yes. I have 7 pages full in my notebook of all the ways the Lord moved during that time, and I’m sure there are things I didn’t write down.

Every request we brought before the Lord was answered. No stone was unturned in our move. Obviously, our biggest concern was our children. Moving from the comfortable and familiar is hard. Our greatest prayer was “Lord, if You want us to go, prepare our children.” We did not want them to be bitter or resentful for moving them. God answered that prayer in more ways than we can count.

One of the best ways this was demonstrated to us was by Zoe’s 16th birthday. One month after our move, she turned 16. At a new church, a new school, new people who maybe didn’t quite feel like friends yet, I reached out to our youth pastor’s wife and asked if she could help me plan a surprise party. It was incredible to have these people I had just met surround my child and love on her.

Our oldest daughter Zoe had done a hybrid school for her freshmen year of high school and we knew we wanted something like that again. When we told the pastor and his wife that, he said, “There’s a homeschool group that meets at our church. Classical Conversations. Have you heard of it?” I about fell out of my chair!

I had to talk to each director for our children for CC. I had heard of it but it was all still pretty new to us. I talked with Aliyah’s director first, and I remember at the end of our conversation she asked if she could pray with me. And I cried. Here is this stranger, praying over my family and the decisions ahead of us.

I spoke with Joah’s director next. She ended up telling me that when families had asked about her class, she had been full. One of the families with a child in her class are missionaries and got called back to the field. When I called her, she had an opening because this family too, was giving their yes to God to go back to Africa! After telling all these other families she had been full all year long, she was able to tell me yes. It makes me teary eyed reliving that conversation. She said, “I believe this is God’s providence and that Joah is supposed to be in my class. I will hold the spot for you until you know for sure what you are doing.” And again, I cried.

We were taking a vision trip to meet the staff and for Greg’s “interview” and in all honesty, didn’t even know how we would afford to take the trip. God took care of that. One of my funny stories from our vision trip is that I had done some stalking so I could put names and faces together. I was convinced that the youth pastor’s wife and I would probably be very different, you know, based on pictures on Facebook (and we all laugh a little and eye roll, right?) When we met, she had asked where we had been to eat. After telling her she said, “Oh, that’s where I got my sourdough starter from.” And that was the beginning of our friendship. I joke now that sourdough is what brought us together! Bread has a way of doing that.

I’ve been a homemaker for most of our marriage, so one of Greg’s concerns were whether or not I’d be able to continue to stay home. It is our desire as a couple for me to be home and to homeschool our children. I fully believed that God would continue to make that our reality. And God continued to give us that desire of our heart.

On and on and on I could go. But I’ll finish by sharing the last two big items to check off our “list”. One was selling our house and the other, finding a place to live. We we got back from our vision trip in June, it was a Sunday. That Tuesday, my brother-in-law and his business partner came to look at our house.

God has a great sense of humor. We let them know what we would like to get for the house and didn’t hear back. We received our verbal offer on Wednesday from the pastor and on Thursday the official offer. Friday, we have God our yes and called the pastor and gave him our yes. Not knowing about our home, not having a place to live, we said yes! On Saturday, Greg texted my brother-in-law again about the house. Would you know he forgot to send the text on Tuesday saying they would buy our house?!?! I laughed, I cried, and I told Greg I didn’t know why we had even worried about it!

Finding a place to live felt like a nightmare. We were talking with a realtor from the new church and he highly recommended renting. Housing was at an all time high, and we’d be buying sight unseen. We agreed with his assessment and began the search for rentals. All of my faith I had for Greg, all of the “dream big dreams” went down the toilet. Emailing and calling about house after house to get an automated message, no response, no call backs was a test of my faith to say the least. I remember we found a house that was 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and maybe 1200 square feet. I started filling out the application and Greg came over to me. I was telling him how I didn’t even like the house but I felt desperate. We were both feeling down and frustrated. Greg, in his humorous way said, “Let’s move to North Carolina. It’ll be easy, you said.” I lost it. I just broke down crying, wondering why God would do all the things to leave us unable to find a place to live. I stopped the application, said a prayer, and got back onto Zillow. And that is when we found the house we are in now. It had a little “20 minutes on the market” banner and I immediately called. I talked to a real person who was so kind. She sent over the application and we filled it out that night. The next day we received a phone call back saying they would love for us to be the tenants! I literally jumped for joy in our kitchen!

If you’ve stuck with me this long, this is what I want you to know- God is good. He is faithful. He provided every step of the way. But we still had to say yes. We had to choose to continue to live open handed, letting Him have the right to take out and put into our hands what He knows is best for us. I really could keep telling stories of our move. This feels like just the tip of the iceberg! Talking is my spiritual gift, so I know I need to wrap this up! I am thankful I wrote these things (and more!) down in my notebook. This transition has not been an easy one for me (which will probably be the part three to this series), and so to go back and see God’s faithfulness through this entire journey has reminded me this is where He wanted us. I know faith stories don’t always look like this. Sometimes there are more trials than smooth paths to walk to be obedient to God’s call on our life. I’m grateful to have all sorts of stories like this to share as we follow Christ.

Gail is a wife, mother, and Christ follower. Her and her husband Greg have been married for 17 years and have 5 beautiful children. Gail volunteers as the director of women's ministry and Greg is the part time worship leader at their church, where the serve together. With a goal to be a life long student of God's word, she is currently a student in Biblical Teaching and will graduate this May. She is passionate about equipping women to fulfill the calling God has on their life. Find out more about here at the about Gail page!

In His Grace,

Gail Marie Harris

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