Today’s team journal was written by our Administrative Director, Christina Von Moll.
Toward the end of 2017, my husband and I began praying about the next step in his career. We decided that the time was right for him to go back to school and get his Ph.D. Initially, I felt peace and was able to let myself be overjoyed and proud. I knew that the Lord had already gone before us so as to prepare a foundation of faith. And He had also given us an amazing support network of loving friends and family to help us through this next season of raising tiny ones and navigating higher level education at the same time. Plus, the Lord had just brought me through a season of shattering idols (you can listen to that testimony here), and during that season He opened my eyes to the gracious and loving community He had placed right in front of me. He has graciously continued to grow my affection for my local church and my city - Dayton has become home and my church has become family. I was in a good place. My family was in a good place. Life was in a good place.
Then, the Ph.D. curveball came. My husband and I then had to decide between two schools - one of which was about 2500 miles away from everything we knew and loved, and the other which was much nearer to home. Should we leave or should we stay? Our hearts were torn between two amazingly great choices.
It was in the process of deciding that the Lord met us and led us to be fully surrendered to Him, trusting in His leading. The process gave us a more in-depth knowledge of our loving Father. From the first moment we, as a family, decided to go full steam ahead into the Ph.D. program, I must have flip-flopped about 400 times between feelings of anxiety and excitement. Then throw in a potential cross-country move and newborn baby into the mix, and suffice it to say that “trust in the Lord” was not where my heart was leaning.
Our eyes were opened, and instead of seeing potential trials we saw endless opportunities for grace, love, and glory.
But God, in His goodness, led me through that season by showing me that peace and wisdom could be found by seeking first His Kingdom. The key in this season was to allow His Word to dwell in me richly. As I approached the Word with fresh eyes and an expectancy to know the Lord in a deeper way, I began to see that He is trustworthy, He is totally FOR us, and no matter what we decided to do, He would be glorified.
I cannot even begin to describe the peace that came over me in the moment that the Holy Spirit made that truth click in my heart and mind. If we left our support network for a new city far away from everything we had known, He would be glorified. And if we stayed to face the uncertainty of funding and various other unknowns, He would still be glorified. If we left, He would provide. If we stayed, He would provide - even if not in the ways we imagined. A deep relief rested in my soul with this understanding. This relief, or peace, came from choosing to trust God - even in the unknown. We also experienced freedom which came from being surrendered to His will. We simply wanted Christ to be glorified in us. Our eyes were opened, and instead of seeing potential trials we saw endless opportunities for grace, love, and glory. We trusted that our God was big and that He would move on our behalf, establishing our steps. When we finally made the choice to stay, with our eyes fixed on Him (Heb. 12:1-2) and our hearts set to give Him glory in it all (1 Cor. 10:31), our path was made straight.
In life, we face choices every day. Some have a definite right answer, and some don’t. Whether big or small, when we face these non-moral choices with a trust in God and full assurance that He will take our choice and turn it for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). Ultimately, we know that we can trust in the One who made the way, and lean not on our own understanding of what the “way” should be (Proverbs 3:5-6). As we will be reminded of in our Summer Study on Hosea, this is where we will truly find peace.
Christina Von Moll wants to live in a world where coffee breaks are mandatory and kids actually sleep through the night. When she's not wrangling her two tiny children, you can find her binge-watching seasons of "The Office" or curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee.
Her favorite Scripture is 1 John 3:1-2, ESV.