By Makenzie McNeill, Staff Writer/Stewardship Assistant
The End of One Chapter
The end of September had finally come.
As incredibly painful as it was saying goodbye to all of our loved ones so suddenly, I had peace knowing Duncan and I were following God’s lead to Village Missions.
However, I prayed throughout the last four weeks for one final sign that moving to Oregon was what God wanted us to do: if our current apartment in Texas would be leased out by the time we moved (we were worried about how we could afford double rent for several months).
On the first day of October 2018, Duncan and I departed from our beloved Lone Star State, tears in our eyes but peace in our hearts, and headed to the Pacific Northwest in a giant leap of faith.
Then, before we even reached Oregon, our leasing agent (our friend Austin) called to inform us that our apartment had just been leased. My prayer request was answered exactly the way I asked. I now had no reason to doubt that God had truly orchestrated this new chapter in our lives, albeit as unexpected as it was. And I could trust that He would be faithful not only to me and Duncan on this new journey, but also to the loved ones we left behind.
A Learning Experience
Though it has been difficult at times, I’ve learned more tangibly than ever that following the Lord’s leading is not always easy, or goes as we planned.
- Sometimes, it means moving far away from family and loved ones.
- It means choosing to obey the Lord’s calling, despite the selfish desires and fears that restrain us.
- It means relinquishing control over our lives and trusting that God knows better.
- It means remembering that the temporary pain and trials we experience in this life are not worth comparing to the joy that awaits us in eternity.
- It means not losing sight of why we are here in the first place – for God’s glory and for His Kingdom.
- It means that we fight the good fight, we finish the race, and we faithfully fulfill the purpose that the Lord has for each of us.
So that one day, we may finally hear the words our souls long for: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Ready for the Next Chapter
And this next chapter with Village Missions is just the next step on my voyage through this momentary world as I use the talents and passions He gave me to help point people to Jesus.
So, for the conclusion to this introductory blog series, I wanted to give some special shout-outs to some special people.
My Family (and others!)
Thank you for your all your love through my childhood to the present day. You have all supported and loved me over the years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better family. You gave me such a wonderful childhood, sacrificing so much for me along the way. I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to be in your family. I hope I can make you proud, and that you can take comfort knowing I am following God’s will for my life. Love yall so much.
Papa Mark & Mama Gayle
Thank you for “adopting” me as your daughter. Thank you for reminding me and Duncan that the Lord was so clearly working in our lives, and for encouraging us to be brave and take that step of faith. Thank you for helping us pack up our belongings and move to Oregon (extra thanks to Papa Mark for driving the U-Haul!). I have the best in-laws in the world – who love me as one of their own. Love yall.
While we all came into each other’s lives through the years, I love how the Lord brought our families together. I’m so thankful that 5 awesome siblings (and 2 nieces) have been added to my life. Thank you for supporting our move (but you better come visit!). Love yall.
First Baptist Church | Buna, TX
Thank you for being so influential in my early walk with the Lord. From a young age, I got to watch and learn from many wonderful men and women of God. Some of my favorite childhood memories are going to Church Camp every summer. Thank you for letting me come speak about my journey to Village Missions this past March. Thank you for continuing to love and support me even after all these years.
Duncan and I are so grateful that the Lord kept us in College Station for an additional 2 years, because that means we got to meet all of you awesome people.
I couldn’t wait for our Thursday night meetings, and I always looked forward to our weekly hangouts and whatever “interesting” stories Michael had in store for us! Thank you for your friendships, for being so supportive of our move, and for making our final chapter in College Station so memorable and fun. We love and miss yall. Come visit us anytime!
Lastly, I want to thank my husband, my biggest fan and greatest supporter. Thank you for your patience and encouragement from the very beginning of this journey. You steady me when I am anxious, reminding me to trust in the Lord every step of the way.
I am so thankful every single day for you, and I couldn’t imagine going through this life with another companion by my side. I am so excited for the journey that God has placed before us, and I can’t wait to see what He does in our lives. I love you so much.