Our Big Change

My family has a big change taking place in 2017.

In order to make this as undramatic as possible, I’ll just come out and say it: we’re moving.

Long story short: my husband, Jonathan is going to be an assistant pastor at my Dad’s church in Virginia.

Short story long:

well, how long do you want?

The semi-novel-length version is this:

My husband has been working on his PhD for a couple years. Most of you already know this story. Our tentative plan has been for him to finish his degree and then pursue a senior pastorate position. But a while ago as we were praying and talking through our next steps, we started talking about what a great experience it would be to learn from another ministry before setting out in a senior leadership position. The idea seemed a bit far-fetched, though, as we were only looking to be at a ministry short-term (2ish years) – and we couldn’t imagine that a ministry would be interested in an assistant pastor for that length of time.

Enter God.

I mean, He’s always in the picture, of course. But sometimes we see Him in a clearer way, especially when He blows our idea of what could never happen out of the water.

Soon after Karis was born, my Dad contacted Jonathan and asked if he would consider serving as his assistant pastor for a couple years until our PhD journey is complete.

Enter many hours of prayer, thinking, talking, and advice-seeking. Through this time, we were conscious that this was the exact type of opportunity that we had talked and prayed about a year earlier. After many conversations with God and each other, a skype “interview/getting-to-know-us-session” with the church in Virginia, and a unanimous church vote, we knew this was God’s next step for our family.

I am not exaggerating even the tiniest bit when I say that I felt incredibly sick to my stomach the night Jonathan told our dear church family here in Charlotte that we would be moving to Virginia. Oh, the many precious relationships God has given us here! Although we don’t have any actual family nearby, God has so knit our hearts with the hearts of our church family that the idea of breaking those day to day relationships is just plain old painful.

But through it all, God is kind, isn’t He? And He shows His kindnesses through daily feeding of His Word, hundreds of blessings throughout the day, and love from those around us.

Our family is in transition now. Our home has been invaded by a gazillion and two boxes. My kids are excited to live near family (my parents and oldest sister’s family live in Virginia), but also speak tearfully of leaving sweet friends here in Charlotte. And while my Mama heart aches to think of their sadness, I can’t help thinking how much this is preparing them (not to mention their parents) to live a life of obedience and faith. Faith doesn’t make decisions based on the ins and outs of every future detail because faith isn’t living by what you can see.

Faith-filled decisions are concerned with one thing: Am I obeying God? If the answer is yes, then your decision has been made. Nothing else matters compared to pleasing and obeying God. So cling to the One Who has put these changes in your life. In every change, He faithful will remain.


Because of our current stage, I am developing a new hobby called packing. Therefore, my writing time has been even more scarce than I imagined when I wrote this post stating I would not be blogging regularly. But considering writing is cheaper than therapy and oh so much easier to come by, I have great goals of continuing with more frequency. At least more frequent than once a month. Which means that even if I only write 2 posts this month, I’ve just doubled my frequency. Way to make high goals, Christa. #fistbump
I still haven’t shown you the seating for our table, so there’s that. I’ll see what I can do.

Thank you, friends, for following along on our journey.
I’m thankful that the internet world isn’t limited by things like location, aren’t you?


  1. Debbie and Ralph Colwell says:

    We will miss your sweet family. We will especially miss greeting those precious BBC Threlfall grandkids that so many of us anxiously wait for them to walk accross the parking lot and into the foyer every Sunday morning. Ralph aka Pap started to meet you every Sunday morning from the time Anna Grace was born and carry her over to church for you. Then it was Nate and then Miles. Nana and Pap Colwell will miss you, but we know this is part of God’s perfect plan for your family. We will be praying for you all. We want to get something special for the kiddos – Pap wants to know if you want a big dog or a small dog 🐶. Just kidding😁

  2. Christa says:

    oh my goodness, Debbie – you both have been so very precious. We will miss our Pap and Nana Colwell for sure. I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to getting in to church by myself again – I’ve been so spoiled by you both!!

  3. I am sure this will be such a tough move for you all but the Lord will certainly bless your positive outlook and faithfulness to his calling! I can’t imagine what a journey he has in store and many memories waiting to be made 🙂
    Continuing to pray for you all and hoping all those little hands are being helpful lol

  4. Barbara H. says:

    That phrase, “In every change, He faithful will remain,” was my bedrock in our big change 6 1/2 years ago. We moved from the town where we had been for 12 years (we had been in the state for 26). We had wanted to try to remain until my youngest graduated from school he had been attending since K-5 – he was going into his jr. year of high school – but we just couldn’t work it out unless my husband lived out of state and came home on weekends, which we didn’t feel would be good for any of us. Then my oldest had still been living with us and decided that was the time he needed to go out on his own, and ended up in a different state. My middle son was married, but they lived close by and we saw them often, but wouldn’t when we moved. It felt like we went from a full nest to a 2/3 empty one all at once. Then we had moved my m-i-l from ID to SC to be in an assisted living facility near us, so in our move to TN had to find a place for her there and help her adjust as well. Before the move, it seemed overwhelming. But step by step God gave grace, strength and wisdom, and I know He will for you, too.

    I appreciated the attitude of my youngest – though sad about leaving his school and friends, he said this would be good for him, as he hadn’t had to face anything really hard before. As parents we want to make everything easy for our children, but it’s through those hard times that they grow.

  5. Stephanie Anderson says:

    My husband and I have gone through five moves in our 8 years of marriage. We have served in several avenues of ministry, and it’s never easy to move even if you have had difficulties where you are. I am an expert packer though if you need any advice.

Comments are closed.