Last Night, Anne and I hopped on the Harley and revisited our early roots. A big part of our early years of dating and marriage was spent in Winona Lake, Indiana. We both met at Grace College and eventually were married and then returned for more College and Seminary studies.
This is where is all began for me 27 years ago. I left my home in Hagerstown and a career job and landed here on Sunday Lane. I lived in the upstairs apartment of this house. I was an older Freshmen so I was able to live off campus. I will never forget this place, as it was a time when I grew in my walk with Jesus in incredible ways.
It was the beginning stages of some major faith steps for me. Plus, it was the first time I was 500 miles away from family.
This is the home that Anne, Josh and I moved into from the East Coast. We had been married for 4 years and felt the call of God on our lives to pursue full-time ministry. We packed up all of our belongings from our 4 bedroom home in the Country and moved to this 2 bedroom upstairs apartment.
Josh was 9 months old at the time and blew raspberries the whole way from Maryland in the Ryder truck that I was driving. It was a huge step of faith as we once again trusted God. We just knew this is what God wanted. We had enough resources to last 6 weeks but I didn't have a job. Our goals were simple, get through Seminary and ask God to give me a job that would not require me to work nights, so that I could be home at night with my family.
Well, God did that and more. I will never forget the first night as we sat in the living room, surrounded by boxes with no family, with tears flowing, but somehow we knew God would provide. This home was on Grace Avenue and it was an appropriate name as we witnessed God's grace first-hand many times. It is also the place where squirrels and mice lived in our walls and the person below us regularly smoked marijuana that filled our heating ducts.
During my final two years of Seminary we moved to this concrete home on Pope Avenue. I find it interesting now that, Sunday, Pope and Grace were the streets we lived on.
This home was such a God-send, as Josh and Hannah had a yard to play in and it felt like home. It was very cold in the winter and to keep warm I cut as much as 10 truck loads of wood to keep our wood stove burning. We spent many nights sleeping, on a mattress in front of the wood stove.
Once again, our faith grew as God provided and our love for each other blossomed as we trusted Jesus and witnessed first hand his daily provision.
It was a great ride last night and once again reminded us that stepping out in faith is challenging but so very rewarding. We also realized that as long as you have each other and Jesus that is more then enough!
Praising God for the memories on Sunday, Grace and Pope Avenue!