Something Even BIGGER

Well friends, we’re back from a whirlwind 72 hour tour of Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of you may be looking at that picture and saying…”that looks like Columbus, Ohio”. If you did, you’re right. It is. On the heels of the big announcement from Friday, I have an even more wild and crazy one.

The Conrad Family is STAYING in Columbus, Ohio!

The details will be coming in future posts, but to give you an idea of what the next week to two weeks holds. I’m off to Denver Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m in Indianapolis on Thursday. We’re still scheduled to close on our house on the 19th. You read that correctly. As of the writing of this post, we are bound by our contract and due to sell our existing home. We could use a miracle on that minor detail.

If no miracles happen, we’re combing Hilliard for available homes which we can relocate to. Again, the details are crazy right now, but this is our “home” and we believe God wants us here. Even after the sale of our home and the prospect of being “homeless” in 2 short weeks.

I told you to buckle up. Much, much, much more to come!

“Crazy” by MercyMe

Something Big

 

In March of this year, we began a journey that took a BIG turn yesterday. Huge. In reviewing that post tonight. I recalled quoting the lyrics of John Waller when he sang:

“Something so big, it’s destined to fail without you Lord”

Friends, readers and those that may be visiting for the first time, I have an announcement to make….

In a little over two weeks, the Conrad family will become official residence of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Yes, you read that correctly. TWO WEEKS! I told you it was big. As late as Tuesday evening, I was just telling Heather that “if God wants us in Charlotte, He is going to make it pretty obvious”. In the category of “Be careful what you wish for” I got a call from our Realtor and friend Steve this morning to inform me that there was an offer on the table. Never expected that. While the offer was less than we were asking (common practice), it was in no way insulting and certainly within bargaining room. It also had a qualifier. Our potential buyer wanted to close by September 19th. They also wanted an answer by 8pm today.

We met at 6pm and prepared our counter offer knowing we might only get one shot at it. Knowing we might need to be house shopping in Charlotte this weekend, we requested their response by 10am. 30 minutes after leaving our home, our Realtor called and said:

“I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is Missy and I are going to really miss you guys. The good news is that you just sold your home.”

Just like that, in the matter of 8 hours the kite has officially been launched in the hurricane (Hannah to be exact). We’re headed to Charlotte tomorrow afternoon and will be barnstorm house shopping on Saturday and Church visiting on Sunday. There is much more to come on this story, but if I could ask your prayers for direction, discernment and wisdom this weekend they would sure be appreciated. We’re excited about chasing daylight while placing our trust in much greater hands.

I’m sure I’ll post some updates to Twitter and Facebook throughout the weekend. Thank you all for your prayers and sharing the journey so far. Buckle up friends…it’s going to be a wild ride!

“Something Big” by John Waller

I Missed My Moment

In the book “Chasing Daylight” Erwin McManus tells the a gut-wrenching story about being at the beach with his son. They see a paralyzed man on crutches making his way up from the beach. Erwin decides to walk the other way. His 10 year old son, Aaron,  turned away from him and went to help the man. To quote McManus:

“Several thoughts were racing through my mind. I had been caught was one of them. Yet at this point, it wasn’t that I was unwilling to go; it was just clear that this was Aaron’s moment. I had missed mine. His compassion had moved him to heroism. While Aaron seized his divine moment, I was stuck in a moment I couldn’t get out of.”

Yesterday after my surgery I was placed in a room with another man. The curtain in between us could not hide the sounds of pain, suffering and sadness on the other side. As I moved quickly from recovery to going home, I was a witness to someone less fortunate. While I cannot begin to explain my sincere appreciation for a quick and painless operation, I think I missed my moment. Today what hurts me more than stitches and soreness is the heartbreak that God gave me a chance. He gave me a moment. I missed it.

As frustrated as I am with myself, I wonder how God feels. He gave me an opportunity to live my favorite quote: “you can say what you think, but you will live what you believe“. I missed it. I had the opportunity to be Jesus to this man. I don’t know a thing about him. I don’t know his story. I just know that I am moved today by my lack of response. I had a moment and I missed it.

I’m leaving in a few minutes to go back to Riverside and visit this man. I pray that God would allow one more opportunity and forgive my lack of action. I pray that I haven’t missed my moment again.

Somewhere in the Middle” by Casting Crowns

I Am

I had to laugh this morning when I reflected on the excitement of last weekend. I was amused by how excited we can get when another person signs their name on a piece of paper. While that individual might have special gifts or talents, they are just as human as you and I. In retrospect, I am challenged by what little regard I seem to hold for the greatest signature of all. Anyone that holds a Bible has it. It’s found throughout scripture, but I think my favorite one is in Genesis 3:14:

God said to Moses, “I am who I am . [a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “

You see this signature is more valuable than anything on Ebay. It’s bigger than a card, t-shirt or photo. To those that believe, it is everything.

“Lord, you’re calling us to Charlotte. We’ve got to sell our home in a tough market. I pray that you would”….I AM.

“Lord, I pray for my freind as he continues to battle his medical journey. I pray that”…I AM.

“Lord I have a friend that needs your direction and guidance as he”..I AM.

“Lord, I really messed up. No matter how hard I try”…I AM.

“Lord. I don’t know how we’re going to “….I AM.

“Lord, We need your”….I AM.

“Lord, I”….I AM.

“Lord,”….I AM.

I AM.

I Am” by Nichole Nordeman

White Rocking Chairs

I am amused by the amount of friends that send me a text message when they are on a lay over in Charlotte (most recently “D-Rich” and “T-Plant”). I don’t even live there yet, but they know enough to know where my head and my heart are. I usually give the same advice, “Make your way down the concourse to the white rocking chairs and get comfortable”. I’ve had to wait in Charlotte enough to know the best seats in the house are the white rocking chairs. They seem to take away the stress of the long wait. thanks to US AIR.

I guess what I am getting at here is the fact that when we “wait” we learn. I have “waited” enough to know that it is NEVER how I drew it up. It is MUCH better that way. In most cases, if I had full knowledge of how things would unfold in order to get the desires of my heart, I would have said “no thanks”. If I understood how long the wait would be and what it would look like, I’d choose door #2. In both cases, I would be wrong.

I am reminded that waiting on God’s plan helps me remember that this is not about me. It is a daily reminder that I am still so dependent on Him. If I wasn’t and everything went as I planned, then I fear that He would not receive the credit He is due once this all unfolds. So the longer I wait, the more I am reminded of just how little I control. Which is just fine with me. I’ve “controlled” enough in my life to know I’m in better hands when I have no control at all.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5)

Waiting on God for your next steps? Grab a white rocking chair next to me and we’ll wait together.

"Yours"

While I was checking the RSS feeds tonight I read something I just had to share. All of this is credit to the guys at StereoTruth.net. They posted the news tonight that Steven Curtis Chapman will be touring with Michael W. Smith this fall. While that is incredible, it was the next part of their post that struck me tonight. According to their post, Steven has added an additional verse to his new song “Yours” (Coming August 1st to radio). You can read the entire story on the StereoTruth.net site.

When I first heard SCC’s new CD, I was captured by two songs. The first was obviously “Cinderella”. The second was the song “Yours”. There was something in the lyrics about claiming that everywhere and everything belongs to God that hit home with me. Which brings me to their post and the additional lyrics that Steven has added.

I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.

Knowing what we know, I am not sure how I can read that and not be moved. To say that “the streets of London” or “every child in Africa is yours” seems easy. But to face what Steven and his family have faced and say “it’s yours” is beyond a testimony. It’s beyond my understanding and leaves me evaluating each and everything I count as “mine”.

Lord grant me your grace. I ask your patience as I release anything and everything as yours.

[ht/stereotruth.net]

What About Now?

One of the curses blessings of a blog is that people (some you don’t even know) get a glimpse into your life. Depending on your level of disclosure, it can all be out there for the entire world (literally) to see. I sit here today wishing I could type the entire Charlotte story and the overwhelming peace which God has given us. I wish I could tell you about every single thing along the journey that has directed our decision and every doubt that has been answered. The truth is that the post would be VERY long. You might be surprised to hear that it has been 11 years in the making.

That being said, I’m sure there are questions about the who, what, why, where and when. I’ll do my best to cover some of those things as we walk along this path. When is the question of the day and we don’t have an answer for it. There is a little thing called the “housing market” that will dictate when it is official. We don’t know what our buyer looks like. We don’t know what our new home looks like. We don’t even know where the kids will attend school. We don’t know if every detail will be taken care of by August 25th when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools start the 2008-2009 school year. Did I mention the overwhelming peace we have?

The point of todays post was to get to NOW. As we began to dialog what God was up to in our lives and see how He had answered every question and doubt, only one remained…when? More than once in my life I have waited until the last minute and then called out to God to save me. You know…”Lord, if you can get me through this test in 15 minutes (which I didn’t study for)…..”. It was clear that getting to Charlotte in time for the kids to start school, we needed to give God every chance to be God we could. We needed to give him whatever time we had before the sand ticked through the glass. We knew we needed to get the house on the market and get it on the market quick.

Will it all happen in time? Will our plan be the same as His? We don’t know. But I know that NOW is the time which God has been stirring, directing and guiding us to. I don’t know that we have been more sure of anything in our lives or marriage. It’s time to jump into the unknown and trust that our Creator is waiting with Arms Wide Open.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you’re making me
All that I was meant to be?
What about now?
-Chris Daughtry

How about you? Have you been holding back on what you know God has clearly led you to do? Are you ignoring the stirring in your spirit to act on the unknown? What about now? What about today?