Now that things have settled down a bit, I finally have time to dish some details on our move back to Arkansas. First of all, let me say, GOD IS GOOD.
This process started about 4 months ago. Around Thanksgiving, we started having contact with FBC in Fort Smith. We actually met face-to-face with Daniel's boss that weekend since we were in town. It was an informal meeting and we knew they had other people they were interviewing and considering for the position, but I think we both walked away from that meeting feeling hopeful and trying not to get too excited. Thinking our timeline to move was after graduation in May, we didn't really anticipate a fast interview process. Suddenly, in mid-January, the Doctor I worked for in Louisville got deathly ill and had to be hospitalized. They honestly didn't think he was going to live through that week. He had a bowel perforation, underwent surgery, went into cardiac arrest as well as sustaining liver and kidney failure. (Thankfully he is on the mend now) Absolutely crazy and scary! Well, being an assistant to him, if he is not working in the office, then they don't have a need for me and therefore I wasn't working either. Daniel and I started freaking out a little bit because we knew that we would not be able to survive and pay bills if I lost my job. We prayed and consulted our families and decided to turn in our 30-day move out notice to our apartment complex. Biggest leap of faith ever! Either God was going to lead us to where He wanted us to serve in ministry within those 30 days, or we were going to move in with family until we figured it out.
Once we made that decision, Daniel contacted the church and explained our situation to them. They had already told us they wanted us to come down for a weekend to interview and meet some of the staff. They were so kind in working with us and asked if we could come down and stay for the very next week (keep in mind this was like 9:30 on a Thursday night and we would have to leave the next day). Since I wasn't working anyway, I called my office manager to make sure that was ok and she said yes. So we packed up and headed to Arkansas bright and early the next morning! We got to Fort Smith and had a week of meeting staff and people at the church, lunches, dinners, interviews, etc. We even got a chance to drive around and look for a house to rent. It was wonderful! After meeting and interviewing with the Personnel Committee on Wednesday night they called us Thursday morning and informed us it was a unanimous decision and "unofficially" offered him the job of Associate Pastor of Connections. I say unofficially because once it passes with the personnel committee, it's about 99% sure to pass with the deacons and the rest of the church, but it would not be "for sure" official until that happened on February 10th. Knowing our situation with having to be out of our apartment by February 16th, they went ahead and told us so I could turn in my two weeks notice at my job and we put a deposit down on the house we found to rent.
We came back down the weekend of February 10th to interview with the deacons and be voted on by the church and it was a passing vote with 97% yes! We drove back to Louisville, had the pleasure of having a moving company come and pack up our stuff and move us (if you EVER get that opportunity do not pass it up!) and came back to Arkansas for good on February 17th!!
To say it has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. But let me tell you, God's timing is everything! We never could have dreamed up these circumstances but it has been such a blessing! Daniel is settling into his new role and absolutely loving it (I feel like this job was created just for him--it is so perfect!) and he is also finishing school full-time so he can graduate in May! Please be in prayer for us on a few things:
1. For Daniel to keep up with his schoolwork and finish strong. I cannot tell you how wonderful the church has been-- letting him do some of his work while at the office! I am SO proud of him and I know he will continue to do great!
2. For me to find the perfect job in the perfect timing. Another blessing is I am able to draw unemployment due to us moving states for Daniel's job and the fact that I basically lost my previous job because my doctor got sick. This is helping out and taking some of the intense pressure off of me, but I still need to find a job and work so we can save money for the future.
3.For us to settle in to our new ministry and that the Lord would be glorified.
Words cannot express how excited we are to be back in Arkansas! Being closer to our friends and families is so fun and we absolutely are already in love with the community of Fort Smith!