Please Pray for our Family!!!

I have been agonizing over the words to use in this post! I keep typing words… deleting them… and then typing again! I have promised that “Our Family for HIS Glory” would be a place where I would always be honest, but in a careful way (as to not gossip or hurt others), & this is no exception- I just find the words difficult! So please bear with me, as I stumble through, & know that ultimately- in the end- we just really covet your encouragement & prayers!

Our Family

Today our church family found out that our time at our dear church is coming to an end! And our hearts are breaking at the thought of leaving this body of Christ that we have been a part of for nine years! We have poured hours upon hours of sweat, tears, prayers, & love into the ministries of this church. We have served… we have grown… we have loved… we have built lasting friendships… and we have been blessed!

I have been able to watch my husband grow in his gifting of teaching & preaching… he absolutely amazes me!! I remember his very first sermon at our church… at that time he was an intern, & me… I was a scared “wife of the intern”. I was so very nervous of what he would say, or how many “ums” would make their way out of his mouth, or if his shirt was tucked in just right. :) Yet, it didn’t take long for me (& everyone else) to realize that my husband has an amazing ability to take the Word of God & clearly & accurately communicate its truth to anyone within listening distance… children, youth, & adults alike! And he lives out that Word in his life daily!

But, in order to benefit the church & also our family- through the leadership of the church- God is moving us on. And, truthfully, this realization has hurt. In the past few weeks, I have felt so very many different emotions-I have felt sad, angry, confused, surprised, completely overwhelmed, & even a tiny-bit excited for all that God has in store! Yet, we have also realized that we can go “kicking & screaming”, or we can go with hearts open & obedient to Christ (even though there may be many tears along the way)!

So, as we seek God’s will & direction for our family & for our lives- would you please pray for us?? I have full confidence in my husband & the gifts God has given him to be an incredible Senior pastor in the near future. And I have full confidence in our great God to lead us along the way. Yet, I know the days ahead will not be easy, for change is so very hard!!

Yet, I know so many of you care for our family… some of you dear family & friends from church, came to our blog today simply to find out how our family is doing- thank-you! thank-you! thank-you! … other dear family & friends have heard for the first-time through these words the changes coming to our family- how I wish I could have talked to each of you individually, but that was just not possible- yet, thank-you for loving us & thank-you for uplifting us in prayer! … & others of you are my precious friends from afar- some of my best prayer warriors- oh, how we covet your prayers!

We know that although for today, there may be many moments of crying out to God… “I have had enough!” and “We don’t know what to do, Lord, but we are looking to you for help!”… we also realize that God works all things for the GOOD of those who love Him. And we are excitingly awaiting that joy & peace that He brings after the storm!

Thank-you for praying!


  1. We will be praying for you all! I cannot imagine that place without you! Though, what a blessing you will be to another body as well! Love you all!

  2. I am heartbroken!!! I don’t even know what to say as we didn’t attend church this morning and don’t know the reason behind this. We literally have been hanging onto this church because we knew our children would flourish under Pastor Gabe’s guidance in the youth group. You are so faithful and I have been praying for your family all night long with every time I woke. Can I call you and we can talk in person?? Oh Jessica, again, my heart is broken for you.

  3. We will be praying as a family from AK! If I can do anything you can let me know! Prayer is so very powerful and God is in control and will provide! He has something amazing in store for you all!

  4. My dear, sweet sister in Christ. This was a hard morning – since I knew what was coming – but let me tell you that God gave me a peace this morning. And perhaps an understanding that I have not had over the past couple of days. Let me tell you the word picture that God gave me as I was listening to the announcement this morning. God drew in my mind the picture of a mother bird – one who loves her baby bird so much – but who knows that for his own sake, he must jump from the nest and fly. He must do that because it is the reason God created him – to fly away from his nest and create another nest. God gave the command to all creatures at the creation “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” Even the birds were to reproduce. I think that God is trying to nudge Gabe, through the elders of the church, out of the nest. He is ready to be a senior pastor. He has grown in so very many ways. My girls made the comment that they never understand the Bible as well as when Pastor Gabe presents it to them. That is such a gift! And the youth of our church have been so blessed. But our baby bird has grown up and is too big for the nest. He needs to fly away and reproduce the blessings in his own nest. And as much as it pains the mother bird, it is a push that is sometimes necessary. I am reminded of the song recorded in the ages and written by Michael W. Smith. “And friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them. And a friend will not say never ’cause the welcome will not end. Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.” God has big plans for you – and I’m becoming more and more excited by the minute to see what they are. I’m glad that God gave me that word picture, because it has given me a peace I’ve not felt for a while. Love you, my friend, and we’ll continue to pray with anticipation.

  5. As one ministry wife to another, I totally understand everything you said {and didn’t say}.

    Moving on can be so difficult and scary…but so rewarding and full or joy and grace!

    We are in our third church, and each time we leave a piece of our hearts behind – but we have been so blessed to move into areas that He opens for us!

    Praying for you and your family, as well as the church family.

  6. Anonymous says:

    To my dear family,

    Oh how my heart understands all the many emotions you are going through. Only those who have been or who are in ministry know the true joys and pains of this life. Leaving is so bittersweet. We selfishly want you to remain close, but are trusting God to provide just the right place for you. Know that we are continually praying for you and are always here for you. We love you so much and will look forward to seeing what God has in store.

    Mom Norton

  7. Jessica, I will be praying for you and your family and asking God to lead, guide, and direct your paths; along with providing you strength, encouragement, and peace along the way. God bless you all! He DOES have a purpose for everything we face. Keep your heads up. :)

  8. Just wanted you to know that your blog has blessed me today – I’m a grandmother and I do pray for you as your life goes down another path – Thankful you are following God’s leadership.

  9. Jessica,
    I grew up a a military child and had to move a lot. I know it can be difficult. Please know I will pray for you and your family. I carry Jeremiah 29:11 close to me when faced with changes-“For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future”. I pray it blesses you too! God bless, Sincerely, Sharon Peter

  10. I will pray for you and your family. I know what it is like to be on the other side…the side of the church family. There are a lot of emotions there, too. We went through that 1.5 years ago and it’s hard! Continue to seek Him. He will take you all through this difficult time!

  11. Looking forward to hearing what God has in store for your family next…

    I was going to post Jeremiah 29:11 too…

  12. Will be praying for you! We’ve recently done the same thing. We were at our church for 9 years, youth leaders to a wonderful group of teens who we loved so much. Very much involved with the ministry there and we knew God was calling us to this new ministry in Florida. It was so hard and we shed many tears and I’ve shed many tears since our move in June, but we know God’s has led us here no matter how hard it is. Will be praying for you and your beautiful family!

  13. It has been a TRUE blessing to watch you family grow!! Not just physically but spiritually! I was in the youth group when Gabe first took over and it amazes me to see him grow! I have learned so much from him and it has been so neat to see my husband just grow more and more respect and love for him in every conversation he has had with him! I can not imagine the weight and all the mixed emotions you and your family are going through right now!!! I can not even begin to imagine it… I want you to know you are loved and cherished and I am so thankful for you and how you have encouraged me as a follower of the king and as a wife… and now as a mother! I praise God that this will not be goodbye and that Christ binds us always! And I thank God for this blog as a way to continue to communicate and keep updated with you! Know that Andy and I love you guys and we are praying for you guys as well! We know the LORD has something amazing in store for you guys!! Keep your eyes on him and remember who he is and all the promises God has made and does and will keep!!!! He is in control.. he is good… he is loving… he is all-knowing! Praise God we can stand on him as our rock! Lots of love!!!!

  14. Praying for you all. What an exciting time for your family. We remember all to well the fears and excitement change can bring, but what blessings the Lord gives when we follow with willing hearts.

  15. Wow! I am a Pastor’s wife too and I can tell that your heart beats like mine! I am praying for you and the peace that only God gives! :0) Hang in there and it’s ok to cry and be sad – just don’t despair!

  16. I just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you. My husband is a youth pastor and we just finished up our time at our first church. He is now looking for a job. :) I understand some of what you are going through. I will definitely pray for you. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Praying for you as God moves you to a new ministry – I’m sorry that it seems the way it has come about has been difficult, and of course the timing with a new baby is difficult as well. But God will provide all you need & lead you just where He wants you- praying!!!

  18. Jessica,
    I will keep your family in my prayers. That the Lord will lead and guide you exactly where he can work through you the best.
    Jer 29:11-13

  19. I am kind of in a similar situation and know how hard a decision like this is. We are not in the ministry, however are also in the process of deciding on where we belong, exactly?! We attend and have been attending, a very small church for over 7 years. It is the church my husband and I were married and baptized in and my children were dedicated here. I have known the Pastor since elementary school and him and his family have been friends of our for years! But, like I stated, the church is small with a mostly older than us congregation. This has resulted in not alot of ministries for my children to get involved in as well as my husband and I. We have found and have attended another church with a more younger population with a variety of ministries for both our children and ourselves to get involved in. Our dilemma is in knowing for sure where we are meant to be. Are we meant to stay and potentially help the church grow in some way, or are we meant to leave and allow for ourselves and our children to grow? We have been struggling with this decision for over 6 months and neither myself or my husband has felt that God is leading is in one way or the other. But, we are still praying and seeking His will.
    I will pray for your family as well as your church family that God’s perfect will be done! Blessings to you!

  20. Absolutely praying for you guys!

  21. This is a hard journey to walk. Uncertainty abounds. Questions are many. But what an adventure to follow the Lord where He leads, knowing that He is good and has good things planned for you!

    Excited to see where He leads!

  22. I agree with KAtie Hentges post. I was there when Gabe was first the youth pastor. Man! He was there for me through some REALLY HARD times in my life! My husband and I still talk about how much of an impact he had on my life. I praise God for your husband and I don’t think he will ever realize how thankful I am for him. Your husband has MANY CROWNS IN HEAVEN that’s for sure!

    I love you! Stick true to the Word of God and never back away. I love you and am really excited to see where God is going to guide you guys. YOu rock! I wish you lived up by me :)

    You have our prayers

  23. I’m praying for you guys. It’s kind of crazy that we are going through a very similar situation. I really feel like I could write most of what you just wrote, except that our church family found out the Sunday before yours did, and for us, it was 8 years of pouring blood, sweat, and tears into our dear church instead of nine. Like you, I am hurt, confused, overwhelmed…and also strangely excited about what God has planned for us. May He guide both our families to a place where we can serve His Kingdom to our fullest abilities!

    PS. I found your blog through my best friend, Courtney’s Living Peacefully Less Stressed blog. I did her first Moms Like Us post, and you commented on it and said that you could have written a lot of the same things. How funny that I am now writing the same sentiment back to you!

  24. I’m horribly behind on my blog reading, so am just reading this today. I am praying God’s continued peace and direction as you walk through the changes that He is bringing into your precious family’s life.