Moving Across the Country
In short, that’s what the Duncan family is doing. My incredible and beautiful wife, Cassy, and I have discussed, prayed, and contemplated for a while about moving to another state (if God has called us). When I was offered a position as the Director of Communications at New Hope Community Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, we realized that we had heard God’s call.
I want to start a new series here on this site about our experience moving across the country, from packing up, selling our home of the last 7 years, and moving fourteen and a half hours away from all of our friends and family. This decision has been insanely hard to make because on one hand we feel God’s call, but on the other hand, we’re human and want what we want. We want to stay close to friends. We want to stay close to family. We want to stay comfortable where we are.
So I turned to the Bible.
Sometimes it’s hard to get into a habit of turning to God when you have a question about life. It’s so easy these days to hop on Google or Reddit and just ask a question that undoubtedly numerous people have previously asked. It’s so easy to find man-made answers to man-made problems, but so often I forget to turn to the Bible and prayer for my answers. Instead of using Google for my answer, and used Google as a tool for answers. One of the first things I felt when I was offered the position was joy – extreme joy. I didn’t think for 1 millisecond about packing up, moving, leaving friends and family, or anything. I just felt joy. I felt as though I was finally going where God wanted me to go and doing what God put me on this earth to do.
Later that day and the next few days, I began feeling a bit nervous and out of my comfort zone when the realization set I was going to be way out of my comfort zone. I mean, I’ve been to youth camps before where I’ve shared the Gospel with atheists, other peers, the homeless, etc., but I was always surrounded by people I already knew. There was a level of comfort knowing that by my side was my friend of the last 12-15 years. And although I have my wife by my side and God leading the way, it’s scary thinking about going somewhere to share God where you literally know no one. Yes, I had gone through interviews and met people, the elders, staff members, etc., but no one that I had a close bond with and had known for years. So, I started searching through the Bible looking for verses that stood out to me about leaving my comfort zone.
I just want to share with you today (no matter when you’re reading this) in case you are in the same boat I was/am, or if you’re having trouble letting go and answering God’s call for you.
Joshua 1:9 ESV: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
This is so powerful to me. Yes, I’m struggling with my human nature wanted to forge it’s own course, but at the same time I feel as though the LORD has commanded me out to Tennessee. He’s closed doors for me in Lubbock and opened so many doors and just the right times in Tennessee that His wishes seem obvious now. The second part of this verse is insanely comforting to me – “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” This is all I or anyone else needs. I don’t need people I’ve known forever in order to spread God’s name and reach people. I need God.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
This verse embodies the kind of Christian I want (and strive) to be. Power. Love. Self-control. Man, if you think about someone that embodies all of those things, who do you think of? Abraham? Moses? Jesus? Billy Graham? Your father? Your mother? Your friend? Your pastor? No matter who it is, I would almost guarantee that you have respect for them, trust what they tell you, and look up to them.
I’m not going to give so much explanation on these next verses, but instead I just want to leave you with this: the following verses were incredibly inspirational to me on a personal level, that if you’re reading this, and you’ve made it this far, just take some time to read over these verses, pray, and ask God to help you find and follow the path that He has set out for you. Pray for the strength, power, love, and self-control to follow that call and to go where he leads you. I promise that at the end of the day you can stand in front of Jesus as He says to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
John 15:16 ESV: You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Jeremiah 29:11-14: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.