the Waiting

so some of you have known part of what I'm going to write for a while, some of you (fortunate ones) know all of what I'm about to write, and for some of you it'll be completely new news.

so here goes.

a couple months ago deb and I went to a FamilyLife Today "Weekend to Remember" conference. it's a marriage enrichment conference and mostly a great way to get away with your spouse for a weekend.  this was actually the third Weekend that we've been to in our 9 years of marriage.

I would highly recommend it to any married couple at what ever stage of of their marriage. (they even have a track for engaged couples)

at the time we felt the need to go I wouldn't say deb and I were having marriage difficulties, maybe just a little tension. if I were to give our marriage a score from 1 to 10 I'd say it was at about a 7. (deb and I are usually used being at mostly 8 to 10's)

it didn't take long for us get back to our 9-10 marriage. but something else happened during that weekend. we attended an optional Sunday morning session where they presented the need/opportunity for couples to join the staff of FamilyLife Today. and so we began the application process.

we filled out a "want more info" card, turned it in and then we waited for what seemed like a long time but on actuallity was only a couple weeks. we finally got a call back from a rep and set up an interview time. (b/c of the time difference we had to have it at 6.30am)

after the one hour phone interview they said they'd email us each an application form. we each filled out this lengthy (20+) page app, turned in the names of some references, and then waited some more. we had to wait until all of our references returned their recommendation forms.

our pastor was the last one for each of us to return it. we joked around with him that if he didn't want us to go he could have just told us. :) he said,"well...now that you mention it."  he later told that it's not about what he wants though. the implication being it's about what God wants. (we've been very open with our pastors during this whole process and they're very supportive yet at the same time feel at little sad at the possibility of us leaving.

after they were all turned in we waited a few more days and then were contacted to have another hour long phone interview with the supervisor of the rep we were talking with before. that was on a Tuesday and then we heard back on thursday what the next steps would be.

we heard good news and not so good news. basically he said that FamilyLife was very interested in us joining their staff but didn't think that right now was the best time.

a little background...

FamilyLife Today is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. as such those who join the staff of FLT are considered missionaries and have to fundraise just like any other missionary for their income. also all staff members would need to move to their headquarters in Little Rock, AR.

from where we are in the application process the next step would be to be invited to a "ministry preview" in Little Rock, AR. we would get to visit the campus, go through some more in person interviews, and basically familiarize ourself with the ministry to decide if it truly is a good fit for us to be there. we would then be trained in Campus Crusade's fundraising policies/methods in Orlando, FL. and then we have a long process of fundraising. they told us on average it takes a family between 10-18 months to get their full support raised. we wouldn't be able to move until 100% of our funds were raised.

it's that last phase that they weren't sure if now was the right time for us to jump into. they said that they encourage couples to set  about 5 appts a week. so it almost ends up being like a part time job. and although it's not necessary on every appt. it's best if Deborah is there also when presenting our ministry to others. so with 6 kids under the age of 7, and two of them being 6 week old twins, they thought it may be too much of a strain on our family life. and they didn't want to ruin our marriage or family in the process of trying to become missionaries with FamilyLife. pretty smart, huh?

so they asked us to wait until jan of next year. so they want us to call them come next year if at that time we're still interested. by then the twins will be a little older and we should be more prepared by then to deal with fundraising.

as of now that's our plan and Lord willing we should be moving to Arkansas around the beginning of 2010 or that summer.

this wasn't the first time we've been to one of these sessions, we went during our first conference in the first year of our marriage. but at that time I think I was a little intimidated (or simply lacked in faith) at the prospect of having to raise our support. looking at it now it seems that when it was just deb and I may have been a better time to go through the process rather than now with 6 kids. but God knows what He's doing and I actually feel a lot of peace about everything so far in this process.

and so here we are in "the waiting" season of life.

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// today i'm thankful for:
1. my beautiful wife
2. my wonderful kids
3. my God who provides
4. my extended family
5. my mother’s birthday (happy birthday mom!)