It’s been months since I’ve posted. We’ve been a little preoccupied. And so…
Here’s the scoop!!
The Kelly’s are moving to Springfield, Virginia the first week of November!!! Mike accepted an offer to become the Children’s and Family Pastor for The Journey. We are super excited and once again, amazed at God’s perfect plan for us. We went there to interview the first weekend of October and by the end of our visit, it was clear that this was a good fit and an amazing church family!!
One of the greatest things about it is that the lead pastor, Jerry Jones, was Mike’s youth pastor at Riverlawn. It will be really great for him to work with someone who knows him and with whom he also shares history. Springfield is about 15 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. and so the church is made up of lots of military/government families. That means quite a bit of transitions as they transfer around every few years (we have lots of experience with transition!!) and also a seemingly automatic sense of community and connectedness. Mike and I think those must be necessary for survival in the military life!! So many amazing, down to earth, real people that have what we would consider to be incredible jobs… naval intelligence, secret service, “I’d have to kill you if I told you” kinda stuff 🙂 But it’s just what they do. The evidence of God’s grace and power were pretty neat to watch in just the short days we were among them.
Mike and Jerry have been in conversation since the middle of February. Mostly, Jerry offered his support and advice to Mike as we looked for God’s next place for us. He mentioned that he really wished he was in the place that they could hire someone like Mike. Knowing that The Journey would need a Children’s and Family Pastor soon, he really didn’t think it would be until more like January of next year. He called us the day after we had received a call from a church in Tallahassee that we thought was going to bring us down for a final phase interview saying that they had changed their mind and were not going to pursue Mike as a candidate. Jerry called really thinking we had already taken a job somewhere (we thought it was happening too) and was excited to ask Mike if he wanted to start the process with The Journey. We did and it went quickly. It seemed that God’s hand was all over this and Jerry and the leadership were also making statements to that end. One elder remarked, “Mike, it just seems like God has kept you for us.” That was so encouraging and affirming to both of us!! This truly is a place where we believe God is leading us in His fulfillment of so many of the desires and passions that we’ve expressed to Him. It’s a small, growing church that is full of young families and children that are given a place of importance and honor in the church. It’s obvious that this community of believers are connected to one another and that is a vital part of their life together. The Journey is a place where we believe we can allow roots to grow and give Mike a place to flourish in his gifts and passions and desire to lead. It’s a family-friendly city with lots to do and experience and a place that our family can call home for a long time. That’s been our desire especially as our kids are getting older. We’ve uprooted a lot over the last 12 years and we are more than ready to settle-in, kick our shoes off, and stay for a while 🙂
So we are doing this crazy whirlwind move thing again… this one sets the record. I think as of today I have just a little over 2 weeks to get it all together before we drive the big truck and the three kids in the mini-van and whatever animals accompany us up North to Virginia. We are excited even though it’s a bit overwhelming. It will be so great to live so close to D.C. and around so much history and great things to do with the fam!
Much more to tell, but so much to do. Please keep praying as we still do not have a house there yet. We are looking for a rental and doing it long distance is NOT EASY! We saw a few properties while we were there, but mostly discovered what we DIDN’T want live in. So we’re working with a realtor in our church and Jerry and Lucy to find us a home. Crazy process to say the least!! We know our house is out there somewhere… and we hope to narrow it down very soon!!
We appreciate all of you, friends and family, for the incredible support and love that you’ve shown us especially during the last 6 months as we’ve questioned the Lord and waited on His plan to be revealed to us. We feel so much peace and an abundance of joy as we move to this next chapter.!!