Monday, September 3, 2012

Time to move...

I've created a new blog for our journey in Tracy, CA! Head on over there to keep up with us.


Friday, August 3, 2012

God's Will

What a precious time this last year has been. We moved to Owasso not knowing what our future would hold. We knew that we were waiting on God to take us where he needs us, not knowing how long that might take. We never thought it would take this long but I have to say that every single day of waiting has been worth it.

I can't tell you how many churches we've interviewed with. We've asked God to take opportunities away if they weren't right, and he certainly did. One thing we've always been sure of throughout this process is that God protects us and shuts doors we need not walk through. I have always maintained confidence that he had a door waiting for us. Sometimes this felt like foolish confidence. At times I wondered how many people thought we were crazy for choosing this lifestyle for the past year. It's been unconventional to live under one roof with my parents and my husband, but I can assure you it's a lifestyle that might define my generation.

Looking back, the journey to this destination is pretty crazy. Several people had to resign from their churches in order for us to end up where we are going. God was working the entire year we spent in Owasso. I always knew I would come to this end and be able to look back and see how he was working. I prayed this day would come quickly and here it is. He guided us and protected us from churches we didn't need to go to. He honored our prayers. He gave us confidence and faith that his will is perfect and that it would happen in perfect time and it did.

In the next two weeks, we will be preparing to move to Tracy California. It's hard to put in to words how it feels to be certain of God's will. The best word I can think of is peace. I know moving cross country will be difficult. We will have to build a family far from our own. We will have to get used to sharing life with our siblings, nieces, nephews, and parents via telephone and skype. We knew that moving home would be a great opportunity to spend time with our families, and perhaps it makes this move even more difficult. But everything I have reassured myself for the past year has come true. God's will brings me great peace. He has provided more in the past two years for us than I could have ever expected. The ways he has provided have been ways I could have never guessed. I know he's going to keep doing the same.

I wanted to blog about this for anyone who wants to read. But it's important that I stress the perfect timing of God's will because this whole process has been more than perfect. A simple "we're moving to California" just won't suffice. Anyone who knows us needs to know how God has worked and moved to lead us to this ministry. We have an incredible story of how God has guided, protected, and provided for us. We've waited, wondering what was taking so long and now it feels like it didn't take so long after all. God has revealed his plan, and we are more than willing to accept it and carry it out.

So many people we're praying for this situation and we can't thank you enough. We are SO thrilled to be moving on and to be a part of Journey Christian Church in Tracy California!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye to a crazy, unpredictable year.

Dear God,

I am not the least bit sad to see 2011 to go. Don't get me wrong, you've been really good at teaching me things this year. I am thankful 2011 happened, but would love if I never experienced another year like it. This year you gave me challenges I never wanted to go through. I went through them and now I bid them adieu.

In March you gave me a class that change my perspective on just about everything in life. You changed my perspective on culture and how to adjust to culture. You changed my perspective on food. You changed my perspective on ministry and relationships. You prompted some big changes in my life. This is one of the things about 2011 that I can't thank you enough for giving me. It was a challenging blessing. It was so necessary in order for me to become the me you created me to be. Oh and thanks for letting me learn this in a great setting- NYC!

In May, two spectacular things happened. One is bad, one is good. Let's start with the good. You let me graduate from college! I said goodbye to early classes, long exegeticals, and impossible tests! Goodbye "student" life- hello real life! You gave me a great college degree. I couldn't be more thankful.

But unfortunately, May 22 is a day I remember even better than the previous day. I mean, I learned a lot through that. I am thankful for the lessons learned but I would never say I am thankful for the devastation and lives lost. Thank you for challenging my emotional and physical strength, and the ability to support my husband who saw and did much more in those weeks than I did. I grew a lot, but I wish it would have never happened. But I think everyone learned something about Joplin in 2011 too: That town is full of strength and hope that nothing could ever destroy. Thanks for letting the nation see that.

In June you prompted me to be proactive and change my life. Thus began the 6th months of weight loss for me. Besides my graduation, it's the biggest accomplishment in 2011- one of the biggest in my life too. 6 months and 25 lbs lighter- 2012 will not see an overweight me! I thank you for that. I have never felt better about my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. This change began in mid-June and I am so excited to start 2012 as a better me! And although I don't have the classic before and after photos like on the infomercials, you can see a snapshot of what we have both accomplished physically in 2011:


And after:

In August, we did the unthinkable. We moved to Owasso. You blessed me with a great job and amazing bosses. You blessed us with amazing time with family. You blessed us with the lesson of flexibility and patience. You broke our confidence and our hearts at times. Doors were opened and doors were closed. And I mean every door we knocked on. But we know there's one that is appropriate for us to walk to- I am just praying that we find that door in 2012.

Here we are anxious for 2012 and what it holds for us. I can name a few things I want 2012 to give us, but after the unpredictable year we just had, all bets are off. The door is open for whatever you want to do. We are all ears, ready to go. But if we are supposed to wait, we are ready for that to. Lead us where you want and we will go. In 2011 you showed us how you provide and how the safety of leaning on you is so much better than any earthly security we could ever have.

With all of our love,

Tyler and Abigail Lane

Monday, December 26, 2011

As of lately...

Okay, it has obviously been awhile. For more than one reason I have refrained from blogging. Mostly for my own sanity because I assumed every blog before a job came along would be full of complaining of our unemployment lifestyle. From time to time throughout this unemployment, different things happen to trigger some pretty heavy thankfulness from me. Basically, I am overwhelmed by how God has chosen to take care of us.

Last January we began looking lightly for a youth ministry to move on to when Tyler's interim ministry came to an end. In April we began to search heavily. Since then we have been moving non stop to try and decipher God's plan for our lives. The farther along we get, the more we realize it is not something for us to decipher but rather waiting on God to reveal his plan for our lives.

Time and time again I am reassured that we are following God's leading in our lives. About mid July we decided to move home which I think was not necessary something we had to do but something that seemed right for us at the time. While my heart yearns for the relationships I left behind in Joplin, I couldn't be more thankful for the lessons God has taught us in Owasso. Each time we return to Joplin, I am reminded of relationships that will always mean the world to me. It's always great to catch up with students and see how well they are doing. I love those kids, but I am longing for new kids to love on and grow with.

My main thoughts over the last couple of days is that I may have anticipated this time of sabbatical to be one of emptiness and desert. I thought it might be a time of depression and anxious yearning for the next thing. While there are definitely moments of these feelings, there are a thousand more moments of complete fullness and joy. My heart is constantly being filled by words that God has given to different authors and mentors who have passed them on to me. (Not to mention that I am pretty sure a wonderful author (Shauna Niequist) wrote the book Bittersweet for me in this exact season of life. It pretty much brings me to tears each time I read the truth my soul needs.)

Tyler and I are currently "house sitting" or I guess, "fish sitting" for some new friends we've made. While feeding their cute little Beta yesterday, I noticed that my friend Brittany had written "Where God guides, God provides" on a white board in their kitchen. It's almost as if God had her write those words for me so that I could accurately relate what I am feeling right now. That is just it, he's been guiding us all along and I assure that he has never stopped providing for us. It fills my heart to know that that simple truth will never run out of accuracy and that as long as we are following his lead, he will provide all that we need.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We're home!... For now

Well, it has almost been a week since Tyler and I officially left Joplin for the final time. Of course we plan to visit, but now our home is somewhere else. It's weird to talk about it being home because well, it is home to me but it's not really home to us... And we are definitely hoping it's not home for long. Not because it's a bad situation, because it's great. But because Tyler really wants to be in ministry and we are ready for God's next big adventure for us.

Learning how to live in a new town is difficult... Yet for me it's not because this town is not new to me at all. But it's almost like I have to re-learn daily life in this town. My life is drastically different than last time I lived here (ahem, the whole husband thing) so it's a very different situation than ever before.

I have a part-time job with some really fun and Jesus loving people which is great and a HUGE blessing. God dropped this one in my lap, I couldn't be more thankful. Tyler is working on finding a job and will hopefully get something that he can still be passionate about while he is in transition from one ministry to the next.

We describe this time as a transition for a reason. We can't describe it as long-term, but we really don't know how temporary it is. I have to remind myself daily that while ideally we would be moving on in the next couple of months, it might be longer. God has led us here on purpose and he will lead us somewhere else. While it is important for us to focus on the future (finding a job), I need to remember to be focused on here. We get to see family, be involved in a great church, and work jobs that we can enjoy for a little while. There really is no reason why our lives can't be full of fun and passion while we are here, in our transitional state!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

In the past month I have...

-Packed up and moved out of my very first apartment and very first home with Tyler (don't worry, Tyler is coming too!)
-Moved about 90% of our personal belongings to Owasso
-Accepted a much needed (gift from God) temporary job in Owasso
-Began to become very sad about leaving Joplin.

Man, what a strange thing it is to leave one home to go to another. The only two places I have ever really considered home are Owasso and Joplin. So much has changed within me since moving to Joplin, that moving back to Owasso seems a bit scary at times. I am not at all the person I used to be, for starters I am moving back to Owasso with a husband. It's just weird to move back home from the place I now know and love as my home.

I never knew I would be so terribly sad over leaving Joplin. I knew I loved Joplin as my new home but especially after church today and speaking with several students and their parents about us leaving, I am genuinely bummed to be leaving. There are so many students that I have just started relationships that I am dying to see all the way through high school. There is a student I got to see through three years of high school but am departing for her senior year. There are students I am sending off to college and wish I would be in Joplin for when they return for weekend visits.

I'm prepared for things like handling finances, I'm prepared to help students when they ask tough questions, I am prepared to be a minister's wife and all that it entails, but what I don't feel prepared for is how to leave a ministry. It's an incredibly hard process to say goodbye to students that I want to be here for. I know that God will protect them and guide them and provide the adults they need. But it's still extremely hard. It's hard to know what to say when a parent comes up and expresses their sadness over us leaving, even though we all know that it is best and that God's got something coming our way. It's still just so hard.

I thought that since everyone around us knew it was coming- that we wouldn't be in Joplin much longer after a full time youth minister was hired- that maybe it would make it easier. But it's still one of the saddest goodbyes I have ever had. I think there's a point to which I can be sad, but then there's a point in which I have to trust God enough to know that these students will flourish even after we are gone. I want to have a hand in it and I want to help control it, but the fact is that I can't. All I can pray is that the seeds we have planted will be watered by people that enter their lives in the future. I know it's not us that has made the difference but just what God has been able to do through us. It's never been my power that has done anything good but God's power through me. And God's power will still reside in Joplin through others after I am gone. These students will still be loved after Tyler is no longer their youth ministry. Now I must realize that God's got some other students for us to love.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to uncertainty

It's been a rough month. Tyler and I have had to make lots of decisions, not necessarily fun ones. We have received prompting by our circumstances to hurry some decisions along, and here we are. On the verge of another (and quite unexpected) adventure.

I admit that for awhile, I was feeling pretty discouraged. I think it's really hard to be wanting to do ministry but no where to do it. It's easy to get the mindset that because we want to serve God through vocational ministry that he would just provide a ministry at the drop of a hat. But what has become even more clear as the moments pass is that we have the right ministry, the right fit.

I know it's coming. These days I am feeling a bit more optimistic. Maybe it's because we are starting fresh with some churches, the churches we were interested in before have since moved in different directions, I don't know. I think it's just the exciting possibility of it coming soon has come back in to view. Again, I find myself a little more excited rather than fearful of the unknown. I am relying heavily on God to provide this optimism and joy to get me through, and I am glad to say he is providing like crazy.