You’re stepping out in faith.
You and your husband have prayed about it, raised some funds, joined a network or two, and determined God has placed a call on your life to start a new church in an area where you have never lived before.
You’ve left everything you love including your church, family, friends, restaurants, familiar grocery aisles…
Like a woman on Mars, every step you take is new.
Now what? You have feelings of loss about what you left behind, but you’re excited about the adventure ahead. Sometimes, those feelings of excitement disappear, and you’re left with uncertainty.
When I move to a new area, I feel like I spend all of my time looking for the pasta aisle at my new grocery store. To tell you the truth, I am still not sure where to find the pasta at Albertson’s, yet. We just moved in July, and I guess it takes me about one year to memorize my grocery store aisles.
Finding groceries isn’t the hardest part about starting over. It’s the rebuilding of your life that is the most challenging part. There is nothing that can fix the emotions related to this weighty task, but I’d like to bring up several points that may help you shift your thinking about this enormous undertaking.
Yes, we know that with Christ our burdens are light, and yes, we know God is with us. We are still human, and we have to do the work to get settled in our new area, and it can be difficult. My family and I have moved eleven times since my fourteen-year-old daughter was born. I believe Christ is with me, and there is still a human struggle to unpack boxes, find new places for my shoes, and I need a certain frame of mind to put myself out there to meet new people.
Here are a few mental shifts I have made to help me start over…
I will still see my family and friends.
I will still see my family and friends, but the time we spend together will be condensed into several days at a time, rather than an hour here or there, like before. Get an unlimited phone plan so you can talk whenever you want.
I believe God will provide me with new friends.
I begin praying for new friends the minute I come to terms with starting over. When my family and I moved away from Washington to California, God blessed me with incredible friends. Here is a picture of a few of them. How great is our God that He provides for us wherever we go? Just looking at this picture makes me smile, and I am so happy we are still friends!
I trust God is using me and my family to spread the Gospel and fulfill the Great Commission through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the first and foremost understanding that fills me with purpose and a reason to take risks. For what other reason would I gladly give up everything? For the sake of the Gospel, I let go.
In the Bible, God sends His people…
He sent Abraham…”Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1 ESV)
He sent Paul…”And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’” (Acts 22:10 ESV)
He sends us…”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)
It is a privilege to be sent.
4. I look forward to the work.
I trust God will do works and wonders through our ministry as the Holy Spirit dwells in our people. I am so grateful I have seen families baptized, lives transformed, and God’s provision even when we had nothing.
Wherever you are, dear planter’s wife, I pray you will see God’s presence in your new life, His work in your new city, and His power in all you do.