Saturday, May 10, 2014

PRTS Graduation 2014

Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
--Corrie Ten Boom

If someone had told me ten years ago that my husband would leave his much loved teaching job to pursue a seminary degree, I would have laughed it off.   We were quite happy with our comfortable life in Orange City, thank you very much.  But when God puts a call to the ministry on your heart that so grows in intensity that it is impossible to ignore, you follow that call.  I am not going to lie, the move to Grand Rapids was gut-wrenchingly difficult.  Leaving behind the only home and school the kids knew and saying good-bye to Grandpa and Grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins was quite painful.   We always thought we would be back in four years, though.  Just a quick four year "blip" for seminary training and we would be back to our old life, kind of, in NW Iowa.  

What I didn't realize, foolishly, is that change occurs during those four years.  Not one of us is exactly the same as we were when we left Orange City.  I know my faith has strengthened as God taught us to become more dependent on Him and showed us more deeply what a faithful God He truly is.   Homeschooling, new ministry opportunities, and interacting with Christians from all over the globe has challenged and stretched me.   I can see now how all of this, too, was in preparation for a future ministry that more than likely will not be close to "home".    

So, here we are at the end of this chapter, this "blip".  I think it is easier this time to face the next chapter.  In many aspects it will still be difficult to leave Grand Rapids, but we all echo what Corrie Ten Boom once said:  "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

So thankful that Russ' dad, Philip and Renee could make it to graduation.  I am also grateful that my parents and Lynn and Cade made the trip.  You especially made Nicolas' day with the Cade surprise!

Can you have four "amigos"?  David VanBrugge, Stan McKenzie, Ian Macleod, and my sweetie.  When these four were together, I am sure many did question their suitability for gospel ministry:)!

Our graduation gift to Russ--a beautiful print for the pastor's study.   

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