I know! What?! Minnesota? Yes, Minnesota!!
Let me back up and tell you the entire story, because it’s a good one.
First off, if you’re wondering why we’re moving, check out THIS POST and then come back here and continue reading.
Back in the fall of last year, we started counting Jeff’s credits to completion. He is working on a Master’s Degree with the hopes of getting a full time job as an associate pastor in a church. (He had been working at our current church as a youth pastor and then part-time associate pastor for the past 11 years.) As we were looking at the timing of his degree, the boy’s school year, and my work schedule, we decided it would be best to get ahead of things and start applying for jobs in the beginning of 2017.
We poured over job listings, church websites, and prayed for God’s leading.
Now, I have to admit that I was a little stubborn at first. I was okay with moving, but I wanted to stay on the east coast, close to both of our parents. We found a few jobs/churches we liked, in Maryland, Tennessee, Michigan, and applied. But all the while, I had this nagging feeling that I was putting fences around God.
One day, it was like a switch was flipped. I knew that I needed to lift those geographic restrictions and completely trust that, if God decided to move us far from family, it would all be for our best and for His glory. I shared with this with Jeff and he excitedly ran back to his computer to check the job listings.
He saved a few of them that he liked and, that evening, we sat together on the family room sofa, read over the descriptions, and looked at the church websites. He read one description to me that had a familiar ring to it. It wasn’t because I read it before, but because it mirrored a “dream job description” that Jeff had written for himself months earlier. Almost point by point.
I sort of knew, deep in my heart, that was the job.
“Okay, where is it?” I braced myself.
“It’s in Minnesota.”
I was surprisingly accepting of the distance from our families. It would be sad to not be 8 miles from my parents and an easy days drive from Jeff’s parents, but other than that, I couldn’t think of one reason why I wouldn’t want to move to Minnesota. I’m even okay with lots of snow and long winters.
So, Jeff sent in a resume and we waited.
In the mean time, we decided it was time to get ready to put our house on the market and share with friends and my blog audience that we would be moving on. In April of 2017, I posted about it and, from that post, we received a walk-through and an offer on our house… without even sticking a sign in the yard or having to hire a realtor. You can read that full, amazing story HERE.
Between February and April, Jeff had multiple conversations with the pastor from the church in Rochester where he applied. He would give me a run-down of each conversation and we became more and more convinced that this was “the job”. The interview process didn’t feel like an interview. It felt like we were being pastored through a job search and like Jeff was getting to know a mentor and a friend.
Despite conventional human wisdom, we even stopped looking at other job listings.
Our house was under contract and the pastor and his wife flew in from Minnesota to spend a couple of days with us on our own turf. It’s an unorthodox step in a job interview, to have your potential boss over to hang out at your house and take you and your kids out for ice cream, but they felt it was important to get to know us as a family and make sure there was good rapport.
(Sebastian even helped with that. He curled up on the sofa between the pastor and his wife and relished in their attention.)
We were on a high after their visit. We wanted to be careful to pray for God’s best for us and that church, but we let God know this was what we wanted!
The next step was driving out to Minnesota to visit, meet the staff, the Leadership Team, and some other people in the church. But, the Lucketts Spring Market was only a few weeks away, our closing date was fast approaching, and a free weekend that worked for everyone involved was hard to find.
We were finally able to nail down the weekend of July 1. From the vantage point of May, it felt so far away. What if we waited for this interview weekend and it didn’t work out? Should we start looking at other jobs just in case? We closed on our PA house on July 13, so the timing was going to be really tight. Uncomfortably tight. Big-step-of-faith tight. But tight isn’t impossible.
And God can totally handle tight timelines…
Read part two of our moving story HERE.