A Worthy Woman

Where you go, you are the talk.

You vacuum attention.

You disrupt with mere presence,

if only for a moment, even at a distance,

wholly unaware of the effect.

When you are known,

said effect is not so shallow as skin.

For every facet of beauty,

hair, face, shape, style,

even smell,

desires are to be like you, to be you,

hardly due to the surface,

but of love, generosity, hospitality,

your heart.

You are awe-inspiring,

often jealousy-inducing,

yet the embodiment of humility.

I see…

Everyone sees…

extraordinary in you.

I think this always.

My love is fixed.


M&M

Why I Go

Some do not understand why I mission to Haiti. There must be better things to spend my money and vacation time on, or maybe I should just stay home because I have a family and small children to care for. “There is plenty of mission work to do down the street”, they might say. I used to think that way too, and, while that statement and circumstances may be true and currently accurate, I’ve had a change of heart regarding missions over the years, and having experienced Haiti for the first time three years ago I was captivated.

At times, I wasn’t sure if my heart was completely shattered and rebuilt or was filled to bursting. Now, I believe it must have been the latter, for there are not truer words in this regard than Matthew 19:29 (LEB): And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children…on account of my name will receive a hundred times as much…

That I did, indeed.

Three trips now to Caracol, Haiti has given me a new perspective on life, the world, and my purpose in it.

As a law enforcement officer, I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life wrecking lives, breaking families, uprooting homes. I still believe what I do is right, that it is moral, that it is necessary, and ultimately the fault of the offender. But as a human being, a Christian and a father, it is a sad and sometimes gut-wrenching calamity; the tables could so easily be turned under different circumstances. How far would I go for a better life?

A few years ago I came across a song that, ever since, I have tried to put into practice. It’s called “Brother” by The Brilliance, and the opening line is this: “When I look into the face of my enemy, I see my brother.” And, following, a few lines that have changed my world: “Open up our eyes to see the wounds that bind all of human kind. May our shutter hearts greet the dawn of life with charity and love.” Sometimes a song (or songs as you’ll see shortly) can illuminate biblical principles that for some reason have eluded me for so long.

Finally seeing a hunger, corruption and general poverty akin to that being escaped by people I have dealt with at times on a daily basis throughout the years drives me to understand in love. While denominations bitterly argue about required gifts or the validity of modern day gifts at all, I’m drawn to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians, which, to me, leaves no doubt as to the greatest gift and the one we all must have for anything else to matter:

1 Corinthians 12:31 (LEB): strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13:1–3 (LEB): If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a ringing brass gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and I know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I parcel out all my possessions, and if I hand over my body in order that I will be burned, but do not have love, it benefits me nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (LEB): Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (LEB): And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

What he said.

One of my favorite bands of the last decade is The Classic Crime, and though they have drifted somewhat from orthodox Christianity for better or for worse if they ever even would have considered themselves such, their first single from their album Patterns in the Static entitled “Take the Moment” has resonated with me. The chorus goes, “If you got love to give…give it to the past and present. Give it to the future and your friends, and take the moment.” The busyness of our lives in fast-paced, first-world western culture can cause us to miss the now and complicate the simple.

Jesus himself tells us the greatest commandments are these:

Mark 12:30–31 (LEB): you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

And not only that, but:

Matthew 5:44 (LEB): love your enemies.

I want to love people before they are my enemies; make family and friends rather than adversaries.

In his Grace in Focus article “God’s Sovereignty in Missions”, Zane Hodges said “We are told (Acts 18:27, 28) that Corinth was stronger for Apollos’ coming, and we do not doubt from what we subsequently see that Ephesus was a better field for Apollos’ having been there. This all is worked together by the risen Lord of the church”. I can only hope that even one person in Caracol, my family, God’s kingdom is or will be better off because I was sent. Maybe it’s only for me to understand, but why I go, simply put, is because I love.

1 John 4:19 (LEB): We love, because he first loved us.

Isaiah 6:8 (LEB): “I am here! Send me!”

The River

the river spans for miles

hundreds even thousands

plotting fields mountains forests and cities

deserts high and low

yet is banded together

one body with one accord

perennial enduring sustained

flowing toward the collective purpose

components at diverse legs of calm and flurry

when one thrashes about the rocks

eddying in turmoil

she is not alone

for the current bears her clan

fills the hollows with likeness

advances the house into peace

beyond the mouth of everlasting

the souls’ rescue.

————————————————————

Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

For J.K.

13: Not Lucky But Blessed

People say thirteen is unlucky. I don’t know. I don’t believe in luck or coincidence and have never been very superstitious. I sometimes go against the grain just for the sake of being contrarian, but when I do, it usually makes sense to me. April 22, 2019 was our thirteenth wedding anniversary. What’s so special about the thirteenth anniversary? It’s not a nice round number like ten, a decade, or fifteen (everyone loves counting by fives), and we won’t even be able to dance a little longer at the next wedding’s couples dance-off. It’s not a fancy anniversary like the quarter century mark, 25 years, the silver anniversary. Fourteen is what we have to look forward to, and thirteen is what we have to reflect upon.

Thirteen has now marked another year of promises kept. Sometimes it seems like it has gone by at lightening speed, and, at other times, we can’t remember life apart. Missy asked me, “Can you believe we’ve been married for thirteen years?” I said, “Yes, I can.” My answer was partly because I am a rational man; it’s been thirteen years, and we’re still married: fact, so, yes, I believe it. Thirteen years ago we vowed to be together “until death do you part”, and we’re not dead, so, yes, I believe it. My least snarky answer is with a question: “Why wouldn’t I?” I expected to be together today, and I do at the fourteen year mark and at the 25 and 50. I truly believe the only potential reason that we couldn’t possibly reach any of those milestones (and every year is a milestone) would be death.

It’s probably safe to say all married couples experience a full relationship no matter the length. Uniting two individuals into one, whether the relationship is nurtured or not, is a ride. The longer the ride, the more upon which there is to reflect. My ride began on April 22, 2006 when Genesis 2:24 became my reality:

Therefore a man should leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Verse 25 was real too.

Missy epitomized the wife of Ephesians 5:22 from the start:

Wives submit to your husbands.

An interpretation of the passage as intending mutual submission, accurate or not, is irrelevant. She fit this, regardless. One day, sometime in 2007, I asked her if she wanted to move to Arizona, a mere 3123 miles from our home where we would be eleven months later. She said, “Sure”. That is trust. If there is anything that makes a man feel like the king of the world, it is a trusting wife.

Over the years, God molded Missy into the Proverbs 31 woman, wife and mother. She works with willing hands (v.13). She provides food for her household (v.15). Missy’s home is spotless. All. The. Time. It is old and lived in, but it is looked after, and so are we. As of late, she makes her arms strong (v.17). She is even attempting pull-ups for me. I like pull-ups. I like her. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy (v.20). Hospitality and generosity are her calling (and mine, conveniently). We have been blessed with more space, time and money than many, but the greatest blessing that encouraged our gifting was infertility.

We tried for seven years to have a family. The natural way wasn’t in the cards for awhile. A church family was created. Foster children came and went. Adopted Hope came and remained, and a medical wonder, perhaps even, a supernatural miracle completed our family of four. But it hasn’t stopped there. She has continued to practice pure religion (James 1:27) by sacrificing half of herself to minister to orphans and others in need on multiple occasions. She is not afraid of snow for her household (v.21). Yes, Maine housewives, that is a real verse in the Bible. We returned to Maine three years ago, and if there is an encouraging verse for Mainers, perhaps this qualifies. The long winter can steal fall and significantly encroach on spring, but it is taken in stride. It is life here, and it is embraced by her, albeit sometimes reluctantly, but to the benefit and exhortation of others. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness (v.27). When Missy is not looking after the needs of others, she is bettering herself with prayer, scripture or financial education securing our future. Proverbs 31:28-29 is a final tribute to her:

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you have surpassed them all.”

Thirteen may not be considered lucky, but these thirteen years have been blessed.

Abundant Blessings

https://strongtowerhaiti.com/abundant-blessings/

March 2018 was my first trip to Haiti and I was struck by the… third-world-ness of Cap Haitien and Caracol. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the girls, which was the highlight of my time there. This time around, we didn’t have quite as much time to play, but I engaged a little more with the adults with whom we worked. Blemy and Alex were our Haitian construction counterparts, and Luma and Watson our interpreters.

I think my greatest enjoyment was interacting with the Haitians in Creole. I had a short conversation with the laundry lady who laughed, then said something to one of the house mums, and then they both laughed. The laundry lady also laughed hysterically when she was nearly struck by a piece of sheet metal that plummeted from the rooftop, so… not sure how I did with my pronunciation. Nonetheless, they all seemed to appreciate the attempts to converse in their native tongue.

While Chris and Glenn were engaged in trigonometry problem solving on the roof, Alex taught me fractions in Creole as we took measurements for plywood cuts. You can quiz me the next time you see me. I think I impressed Luma with my Creole when, after a seemingly endless game of tag around the compound, I collapsed at the swing set and gasped, “Mwen anvi vomi” which means “I feel nauseated”. The girls got a kick out of it anyway.

A moment that stuck with me was an incredible word of encouragement from Pastor Payot. While we all marvel at the Haitians joy, gratefulness and ingenuity despite having so little (and rightfully so), they marvel at America’s generosity with so much. God has used the abundance he has granted Americans to further his purposes in the community of Caracol and His kingdom. God is using and has used everyone that goes, all those left behind, and every dollar that is sent for His glory, and it is an incredible honor to be a part of His plan.

The event that I think has stayed with me the most was a brief farewell from Blemy. On the morning of our departure, I was pacing the schoolyard, anxious to get going, and Pastor Payot called to me on Blemy’s behalf, translating, in short, that he was glad I was there, was sorry I was leaving, and hoped I would return soon. This interaction surprised me; I don’t really know why, but it also reminded me of Jesus’ words in Luke 18:29-30:

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

I think all who have visited Strong Tower would agree, at least on some level, that, because we leave our families here, and while we miss them, we gain a family in Caracol (including those from Missouri). I truly believe that one of the reasons we may find it hard leaving Haiti and re-acclimating to American life, while being reunited with spouses and children, is because we have felt the joy of, and just left, a new family that we gained.

Encouraging a Church Security Ministry

I recently wanted to lead a short devotional encouraging those in the church security ministry. I came across the Old Testament passage Psalm 122 which, in brief, is a song of ascent reflecting on the sometimes harrowing journey of God’s faithful to Jerusalem with the purpose of worshiping their Lord amidst peace, security, unity, and joy once within the gates. I love the parallel between the house of the Lord in Psalm 122 and the church today, at least what it is typically desired to be.

My goal was two-fold:

1. to encourage church security team members, and

2. to avoid the typical passages frequently quoted by law enforcement and security professionals alike (i.e. Matthew 5:9, Ephesians 6:11).

After further consideration, I’ve decided to address the “cliche” passages claimed by law enforcement and general law-abiding gun-toters in the hope of applying context to the passages as well as examining Psalm 122 which is possibly a lesser addressed passage from a church security perspective.

*As a disclaimer regarding the passages that I refer to as cliche, I mean to neither diminish the divine inspiration of scripture nor admonish the resulting positive emotional response to the passages in any way. I merely intend to maintain the proper context of Matthew 5:9 and Ephesians 6:11 while delineating the modern day applicability of Psalm 122 in current church security endeavors.

Matthew 5:9 (ESV):

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Being a Christian, law enforcement officer and chaplain as well as a church security team member, I can’t help but feel a flutter of emotion when I read this verse. I believe a positive emotional response with specific reference to my profession and church ministry is warranted and appropriate, but the intended audience of this passage was probably not law enforcement/security personnel and most certainly wasn’t exclusively to us. Being a peacemaker is one of Jesus’ beatitudes that can bring his followers into a closer relationship to God as we progress in ministry for him. Peacemakers strive for spiritual well-being, both individual and corporate. While Matthew 5:9 can certainly be applied to professions or ministries specifically charged with keeping the peace (worldly or otherwise), all Christians should strive to be peacemakers in the general sense of inner spiritual peace, peace among believers “and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14, ESV).

Ephesians 6:11 (ESV):

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Whenever I read or hear this verse in law enforcement circles, it seems as though the focus is on the language of the armor, weapons and equipment such as in the verses that follow which include the belt, breastplate, shoes (not usually the one that screams tactical), shield, helmet, and sword. Security personnel carry equipment and/or weapons to defend against flesh and blood, precisely what this passage is not about. As verse 12 says, we don’t put on the armor of God to fight against flesh and blood but against cosmic powers and spiritual forces in the heavenly places. The objects of the prepositions of nearly each phrase in verses 14-17 are the keys to the warfare being addressed here.

Belt of truth (v. 14)

Breastplate of righteousness (v. 14)

Shoes = readiness given by the gospel of peace (v. 15)

Shield of faith (v. 16)

Helmet of salvation (v. 17)

Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (v. 17)

The language for physical attire, equipment and weapons are metaphors for the logical, spiritual and emotional tools required for victory in spiritual warfare. I’m probably not imparting some long-lost exegesis to many considering that the plain language with which this text is expressed requires minimal interpretation. I simply want to point out that when we approach scripture with our preconceived notions focused on our particular circumstances, we tend to miss the thrust of the text as intended by the context of the whole passage.

Being ready to speak the word of truth with the promise of salvation through faith in His righteousness is our greatest weapon. However, If there is a technique to which we can apply this passage, it doesn’t have to do with a duty belt, body armor, swords, or, from a more modern perspective, firearms; it would be verbal de-escalation. Verbal de-escalation techniques are valuable and should be employed within the church security realm, but the Christian handbook, the Bible, contains the foundation of successful verbal de-escalation. Holding on to truth in righteousness, standing ready with the gospel of peace, the word of God, “we can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (v. 16).

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV):

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The fruit of the spirit is our most valuable asset while protecting the flock. Truth (Eph. 6:14) and love (Gal. 5:22) in the power of the Holy Spirit can be a powerful motivator for good, and we should rely on them more than any physical weapons or protective armor.

Matthew 5:9 and Ephesians 6:11 are powerful motivational verses that should elicit positive responses from all Christians and encourage a God-centered walk as well as a Spirit-led ministry. We should all strive to be peacemakers adorned with and wielding the full armor of God (we may or may not happen to carry firearms as well).

Finally, Psalm 122 (ESV):

1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! 3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, 4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! 7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” 8 For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

The heading of this Psalm in the English Standard Version is Let Us Go to the House of the Lord. In verses 1&2, the Psalmist, most-likely David, expresses his excitement at the declaration of the trek to the house of the Lord, and once within the gates “standing” (v. 2): the Hebrew âmad meaning to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand (Strong’s). It is our hope that the people who make their journeys to the church in which we serve relish the ability to worship and fellowship in a house of God and feel secure while doing so.

In verse 3, the description of Jerusalem is a “city that is bound firmly together”. The Hebrew word here for “bound” is hâbar which means to unite, be in league, have fellowship with. The sojourners’ intent was to give thanks to the name of the Lord (v. 4) in unified fellowship within the gates. There is also a sense of spiritual unity when our church people are joined, coupled together in like-mindedness.

In verse 6, the Psalmist requests prayers for peace in Jerusalem, “May they be secure who love you!” and in verses 7&8 he reiterates his yearning for peace and security within the walls for his “brothers’ and companions’ sake”. The “house” of the Lord our God (v. 9) can also be read as “household” (Hebrew: bayet). This reminds me of the way we use the word church today. We frequently refer to the church as a place of worship or house of the Lord, but, of course, the church is a household, the body of Christ, a fellowship of believers.

The goal of a church security ministry is to facilitate peace, security and order for the good of the people who gather in the house of the Lord to worship and fellowship in unity. Our prayer every Sunday in the hope of remaining bound firmly together should be “May they be secure who love you!”

Small Hands, Big Impact

Small Hands, Big Impact – Strong Tower Haiti Blog

March 2018 was my first trip to Haiti.  As a matter of fact, it was my first trip out of the country (not counting a couple of day trips to Canada, which is literally visiting one town over).  I was a member of the construction team which was part of a joint medical/construction mission.  My knowledge and expertise in specific trades is limited, but if someone tells me what to do, I can work.  From day one, I did my best to keep up with the more seasoned construction crew from tackling the main project of replacing an expansive metal roof to repairing the strained already-pieced-together church pews with spare parts and scrap wood that we could scrounge up around the yard.  The simplest impromptu projects proved to be the most fulfilling, however.  I witnessed a carpenter construct desperately needed shelving in the kitchen area for which I received undeserved photo credit.  Near the end of the trip, I actually did assist with rerouting plumbing from the kitchen to the “laundry gazebo”.  I believe the third time was the charm for no leaks.

At that point in the week numerous tasks had been successfully completed and many mistakes made by all, crumpled sheet metal, supremely ridiculous mis-measurements stubbornly corrected until just right, and general head-scratching decisions preceded good-natured ribbing.  It wasn’t long before the crew was quacking at each other like a flock of wood ducks all in good fun and hilarity, of course.  With the plumbing and shelving complete, the gleeful smiles of the primary beneficiaries, the cook and the laundry lady, could have illuminated a room.  You could see their joints relaxing as they realized the carrying of heavy basins of water, wet clothes and bedding, and cooking supplies across the unforgiving concrete walks was no longer a necessity or at the very least significantly mitigated.

As satisfying as putting in a hard day on a hot roof can be, interacting with the children was what gave this trip meaning.  One morning before the work day began, I read Ecclesiastes 3:9-13:

The God-Given Task

What gain has the worker from his toil?  I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man.

This passage frequently came to mind as I soaked up the wonder of the land and its people.  Before I left for Haiti, I was told “you’ll probably find that you need Haiti more than Haiti needs you”.  That statement could not be more true.  The gain from my toil was 19 smiling faces singing, running, chasing, throwing frisbees, and learning to dribble a basketball.  That is what I looked forward to each evening.  But above all, what stays with me the most was holding little hands.

I have two daughters, nearly 6 and nearly 3 years old, and there’s naught much greater than my hand gripped in theirs.  They were constantly on my mind as I walked the grounds of the church compound and toured the Caracol streets.  The Strong Tower girls would take my hands either to get my attention or to lead me to the next desired activity.  The language barrier notwithstanding, the trust and comfort displayed made me feel at home.  While relationships were forming at Strong Tower, being a perfect stranger to others did not quell the village children.  A boy and a girl, perhaps siblings, slipped their hands in mine as we walked across the schoolyard.  Words were neither spoken, nor were they needed; just beaming eyes and brilliant smiles.

Strolling through the streets on our village tour, attempting to look and act more like missionaries than tourists, a young boy left his mother’s cinder block and corrugated metal shack, sidled up to me, and for a few paces we walked hand in hand.  It’s funny; that boy may be too young to ever remember or think twice of the lasting significance of those negligible seconds of silent interaction, but this man will never forget those brief moments when two people from different worlds walked life together.

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven”.  Matthew 19:14

A Story of Praise

My life has been easy.  I was raised in a Christian home; didn’t have a lot of money, but everything we needed and a  little more.  I fell off the back of a moving pickup truck once and skinned my knuckles a bit…and that’s pretty much the extent of my childhood trauma.  I strayed a little in college, but came back when I went on a first date with my wife at her church (there are various versions of how we came to this point depending on which one of us you ask).  So we dated for less than a year and married in April of 2006.

Six months later we were ready to add to the family.  Backtracking a tad: my wife, Missy, had a simple dream:

To be a wife and a mom;

and, being an extremely attractive young woman, meeting half of her goal was fairly easy…for both of us.  The other half didn’t go according to our plan…and nine years later, I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Seven years of prayers and tears and two more after that, the dream is complete and life began…but, again, I’ve skipped a little…

In 2008 a new job moved us from the northeast to the southwest with the assurance that we would be back in Maine in 18 months (as I write we are encroaching on 2016 still in small town southwest Arizona in which we have moved four times…three in six months…twice with a baby on the way…once with an infant arrived). After a medically successful yet reproductively unsuccessful surgery, fertility specialists were consulted and various procedures attempted with the desired result still absent. Adoption was then on our hearts and we chose the foster care route. While not our intent, a need arose, and we quickly had two six year olds, a boy and a girl. Homework and baseball filled three months; then the two and three year old sisters moved in and life was educational for two weeks. We quickly loved those four like our own, but their Native American heritage, our pastiness and the pesky goal of parental reunification made the likelihood of adoption miniscule…and then they were gone.

I don’t really remember exactly when that was or when exactly we first heard that we were one of two couples being considered for a one year old little girl, but whenever it was, things seemed to he moving forward. Shortly after hearing of our 50/50 consideration, we were met with another offer. Another one year old girl, and in this case, we were the only home being considered. In August of 2013, we met with the aunts who were her respite; two days later we met again, and a day after that we took her home. We arrived home with tears streaming as we read the welcome banner draped across our home:

Hope Lives Here!

I quickly read through The Strong Willed Child (she is now three, and I don’t think it helped). Suffering through two long months of anticipating parental rights hearings was unpleasant, but looking back, it was only two months, and we were one step closer to having a daughter to call our own.

God has a perfect plan, and I am in it. Seven years of asking Him “why” and/or “why not” has proven to me this:

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.

Two years after the Judge said “You are her parents”, the feeling I get when she says “I love you, Dad” or prays at night for mommy and daddy, her baby sister (and sometimes her friends’ mom) or when she sings a Frozen duet with me, I can only describe with sobs. And when I look at my baby’s face and smile, I can’t say “thank You” enough.

So, the story above was written nearly two years ago, and more of our steps have been directed, so I thought I would share. Before 2016 arrived, we moved yet again, but finally, we are back home in Maine, and, as I mentioned above, Hope has a sister thanks to much prayer, patience and a new combination of fertility drugs that was not available prior to the adoption.  So, this isn’t just a story of adoption. As the title indicates, this is a story of praise; praise to our Lord for the miracle of our adopted daughter, the miracle of our biological daughter (both of whom are not just loved as our own but are completely our own) and one more incredible direction of our steps.  Our move back to Maine was neither easy nor was it quick. After approximately four years of rejected job applications, I was finally selected for a transfer home, however, I would be required to switch agencies in order to do so. This had been a last resort for years. I took pride in my job and believed I was in the profession God wanted me in, but, especially when we  became the parents of two children, my wife was ready to return home. I accepted the position and was scheduled to move at the close of 2015.

The day before the move, I arrived at work with the intent to leave the agency we had dedicated over seven years to; I brought in my equipment for other employees to paw through since I would no longer be needing it, and geared up to head down to the secretary’s office to begin the resignation process and start our new adventure.  As I sat at my desk reminiscing over the last few years, all of the trials endured and blessings received, my phone rang. The phone call was a job offer that would allow me to remain with the agency, and transfer to the same location that we were moving to on the very next day.  When I received the call, my wife and father were on the road to pick up the moving truck for the already planned trip home. We were able to keep the same moving date, the same date to start work in Maine, I was given more time off for the move, and I wouldn’t have to go away for an additional five months of training.

It is now 2017; my wife has her dream house, an old farm house built in 1860, with a few additions to fit my style. We’re close to family with a family of our own via divine direction, and I don’t believe there is any question of that. I know why God had us in Arizona for the time that he did; I have not yet come to the realization of our purpose in Maine, but I know we are where we should be. I could give every minute detail of this story, but I’m afraid it would mean little to those outside of my head, so I will leave them where they are, or maybe I could let this sit for another two years and add another amazing turn of events, inexplicable outside of divine provision. I just hope I don’t forget our story no matter where our plans take us, the direction of our steps, and to Whom it is owed.