January 3, 2010

New Year, New Adventure

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 6:51 pm by Tamara

Hard to believe, but we’ve packed all our possessions into an 8x8x9 ft space! (Plus a car full of cleaning supplies for once we get there. Heh.) Friends and family showed up for a FRIGID day of loading and cleaning. I believe the temp was 5 degrees when we started–at one point one of the guys tilted the apartment window open to clean the outside, sprayed the glass cleaner, and it FROZE instantly! They had to scrape it off. Lol. Thank you so very much to everyone who helped us!

Once everything was finally done I went up to turn our keys into the main office. I walked in and got all choked up–it’s the end of six wonderful years at NTBI. God has taught me more than I could have dreamed when I first arrived (and spent three weeks crying in the bathroom!) He used NTBI to answer my prayer for Him to please, please teach me how to walk with Him in victory (which will be a lesson that will continue my whole life!) He gave me my first experience in full time ministry, proving to me that He’d given me the gifts He had for a reason, and He’d use them even if I’m not a man. I loved my time discipling and teaching the girls at NTBI more than I can say, and I learned SO much from my incredible coworkers. I’m so thankful they gave me the opportunity to blunder my way through my time as Dean of Women! As I left the building the sun was setting, and since the school is on the highest point in Waukesha I could see all the church spires and the smoke rising from chimneys with the sunset in the background. It was a beautiful way for us to say goodbye.

Today we said goodbye to our much-loved church, Redeemer EFC. When I think back to my time at Redeemer I think about Psalm 23, where God leads us beside quiet waters and lets us rest in green pastures. I was very burnt-out when I came to Redeemer, and I was determined to be a back row attender and nothing more. God is so gentle with me, and He used Redeemer as a quiet pasture where He graciously healed, refreshed, and renewed me through an incredible body of His followers. The first person who welcomed me was one illustrious Rick Hamill, who–little did I know–would soon become my father-in-law! My plan to stay uninvolved did not work, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities God gave me in spite of myself. I got to help spearhead a new Modern Worship Service, lead worship regularly, intern with women’s ministries, be involved in missions, and be discipled. I have the utmost respect for the leadership at Redeemer, from the pastors to the elders to the other worship leaders, and have loved being shepherded by them and serving under them. I’ve been mentored by incredible women of the Lord and learned so much from them and the way they have loved me and poured themselves into me. All in all, while we’re hardly the perfect church, Redeemer has blessed Adam and I more than I can say, and we are going to miss it terribly!

Our moving truck will be picked up tomorrow, and then we’ll drive away on Tuesday. The truck should be dropped off Thursday or Friday, and we’re going to clean and paint the house until it arrives. We’re staying with Adam’s parents until Tuesday, and enjoying just relaxing with them. Leaving family is going to be very hard. The sense of loss is definitely hitting us, especially Adam, who’s lived here his whole life. It’s a lot to give up: family, friends, church, school, jobs, ministries, and more. But I vividly remember how lost I felt when I arrived in WI, how much I felt like I gave up, and how abundantly wonderful God has made my time here. I couldn’t have imagined all He had in store for me: marriage, family, friends, church, school, jobs, ministry…. And I’m sure this next step will prove Him faithful all over again. As sad as I am to leave, I am so excited for this new adventure and so grateful for all the ways God has confirmed that this is where He’s leading us. I’m so excited to have a house and make it a home! We’re thrilled to start at CIU–it looks like an incredible place. I’ll be only a few hours from my best friend (ever since middle school!) and can’t wait to be in the same state as her again. And, I’m pretty sure the windex won’t freeze on the windows!

I’m excited to chronicle all the things God has ahead of us. To everyone we love in WI, we will miss you so much, but we’ll be back. And everyone in SC, I can’t wait to meet you!

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4 Comments »

  1. Dad said,

    Wow, has it really been 6 years? Doesn’t seem like it, but I’m sure time goes by much more quickly for me than it does for you.

    It has been a treat to watch your growth over these years. The future may not be entirely known, but that God will use you and Adam wonderfully is pretty certain. Mind if I sit and watch?

  2. Tamara said,

    Aw! Thanks, Dad. I love you!! :)

  3. Mom said,

    You have been an inspiration to many people in many ways. With God’s help you rose above your difficulties. I had even forgotten about that 3 weeks in the bathroom. (But reading it again reminded me of the time I spend in the shower crying during my first days of college! :-D ) My heart goes out to Adam, leaving the loved ones and places he’s known all his life. I know God will bless him too in this new adventure. It will be exciting to watch the awesome things God does next with you two. Sounds like he’s already off to a whiz bang start (with your house)!

    Love you!

  4. Tamara said,

    Thanks, Mom! Sniff–I love you guys. :)


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