faith, family

Something New

Have you ever wanted something so badly, and felt the Lord say no? For Colby and I that thing we desired was moving back home to Georgia. We were two babies deep and thousands of miles away from our family in Oklahoma City. We needed help. We were also thousands of dollars in school debt and struggling to make ends meet. We fasted last year to really consider what the Lord wanted for us. We were broken and desperate. Day one of the fast we were hungry and spent and Colby comes home with a direct NO from the Lord. I also had received a no through a devotion where God reminded me He had planted me in the city I was in and to pray for it.

Needless to say, we immediately broke our fast and headed to Chick fil a. We sat down to enjoy our dinner after praying and thanking the Lord in spite of an answer we didn’t want to hear. A couple overheard Colby leading our family in prayer and came to the side of the table. This wasn’t an uncommon experience for us. People often stop to look at our children and talk to us all the time. However, this time was different. The man began saying he felt the Holy Spirit nudging him to give us something. So he reaches in his pocket and hands us a wad of cash. I immediately begin sobbing and saying thank you. Then he nods and goes back to his table. Colby and I were left to gawk at each other about what just happened. Before we uttered a word he was back at the table saying the Lord was telling him to give us more and he gives us a Visa gift card with another $100 on it. We left humbled and frankly ashamed for desiring to leave Oklahoma due to our fears about our financial situation. Hadn’t God always proven Himself faithful to us?

So we continued our lives in OKC the next year in obedience. We continued to pay down the debt. God blessed us with our third child, and He continued to prove Himself faithful. He provided community and friends, raises and new work opportunities for both Colby and me. He provided through His people. Many days leading up to the birth of our new baby Colby came home with boxes of diapers and baby items people had blessed us with. We even received checks in the mail for amounts that seemed inconceivable. Then the tides began to change. I grew content. I began to trust, learn, and dream with my husband. Our dream of being debt free was FINALLY becoming a reality as the numbers shrank. God grew us and stretched us spiritually. I fell in love with the same place I had been begging God to release me from. Only in time for God to begin nudging our heart in a new direction.

This is a new year. This year we are financially free of debt after many long years of being a slave to the lender.  More than anything else I feel God preparing us for something new. As we sought Him out for direction the verse He continues to give me is

“Look, I am about to do something new;

even now it is coming. Do you not see it?

Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,

rivers in the desert.”

—Isaiah 43:19 (CSB)

Isn’t that perfect? The perfect peace and confirmation as we trust the Lord to take us back to Georgia this summer. Finally.  We have big dreams of building a home and a wedding venue/event center. We want to own a place where people can gather and be poured into much like God allowed us to do in OKC. Colby’s dream has always been to do that on the river. We aren’t sure where we will live, where Colby will work or even if these dreams will become a reality for us. We don’t know the details or even how we will financially achieve a dream this big. However, we do KNOW from experience we serve a faithful God.  I’m trusting God and my husband to lead us and direct our path. Stay tuned as God remains faithful to us again and creates rivers in what right now seems like a wasteland.

PS.

Dear Oklahoma,

I love you! I want you to know how bittersweet this is for me. You will always hold a VERY special place in my heart. The place my marriage bloomed and my three babies were born. The place where I met the women who walked me through those grim, early days of motherhood and taught me so much about grace. The place where I truly encountered what it means to Trust the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. The place where I saw God’s people rally around us perfectly and imperfectly. You have given me so much wisdom and allowed for sweet dreams to bloom in my heart. For that, I am so thankful and indebted to you. You are in my prayers ALWAYS. Jeremiah 29:7 “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Love,

Ashley

2 thoughts on “Something New”

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