Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chapter Next

You may have noticed that I never wrote a blog about our Christmastime activities. As you will soon find out, Blake and I have had so much going on not just in regards to busyness, but in regards to things weighing on our hearts and minds so heavily that each time I thought about sitting down to write, everything I wrote felt trivial or half-hearted. Not because Christmas wasn't awesome - it was. We had a great time with our guys, our families, and all of you who go above and beyond to bless all of us at Willow Springs during the holiday season.

Blake and I have been houseparents now for just over two years. When Blake and I applied for our position, we knew this job would be hard, not just because of the job itself, but because of all of the things that make any ministry hard - the faith muscles you have to exercise daily, the guarantee of experiencing disappointment and heartbreak, the laying down of certain comforts that you would selfishly like to keep, and so much more. We also knew what we could expect God to achieve - the faithfulness of His presence and power, the guarantee of miraculous victories, and the laying down of our ideas for something infinitely better. In two years, our little family has become a part of a bigger family. We have seen a community of believers in a way that many people never experience, and we are better and stronger for it. We have wept as boys have walked away from a chance for unhindered support and opportunities to succeed. We have seen boys who, in spite of their past and the circumstances they were born into, rise above and not only meet our expectations, but exceed them greatly. Blake and I have gone from wide-eyed and uncertain to certain in our God and our commitment to Him and to our marriage, as well as His commitment to us and to our marriage. God has transformed all of my preconceived notions of what our relationship "should" look like and has become real to me in a way I honestly never truly knew He could. I think if the two-years-ago me could look into the eyes of present me, it would freak her out completely. And I would wrap my arms around her and tell her not to freak out, but to trust God, because He is beyond beyond faithful.

Now, it is with a heavy heart and with a sentence I have typed and retyped at least 500 times that I am telling you that Blake and I will no longer be house parents. On Valentine's weekend, Blake, Adeline and I will be moving back to Shawnee for Blake to transition into the role of Camp Director of Jacob's Ladder, as well as beginning full time nursing school at OBU in August. In addition to these things, those of you going to First Baptist Chandler have probably noticed that Blake isn't ever with us when we attend; this is because he is currently serving as the interim worship leader at New Life Bible Church in Norman.

Before I completely lose myself in all of my feelings, let me tell you some of the logistics of these changes. Our relief parents, Jamey and Stephanie, are becoming the interim house parents as we continue to trust God for the right set of house parents for both houses at Willow Springs. Blake and I will be moving into the relief position until the end of the school year. The house we are moving into in Shawnee is, well, a work in progress. That's a whole other thing that I will tell you all about soon, but for now I want to focus on thank you's and prayer requests.

I can't even begin to express how thankful we have been to have two amazing church families. We have heard many a tale of the woes of trying to find one "good" church family, and we can't even believe how good God has been to us in the people he has brought into our lives through FBC Chandler and NLBC. If any of you are reading this and wondering why you're first hearing about these changes through a blog, there are two reasons: the first being that we couldn't risk our guys finding out from anyone but us; the second being that there are so many of you that we love so much that the idea of trying to tell everyone individually was an overwhelming task, especially considering how little time we have before the actual move. We are also so thankful for the support of our families and friends, as they have also relented many of their own wants and needs for the sake of Willow Springs.

Once again, dear friends and supporters of WSBR, I am asking for your prayers. Whether it is one prayer or many prayers, however God leads you, we need it. Please pray for our guys, who are the reason we're here. Pray for them especially as they navigate the changes; all of them have probably experienced more change and uncertainty in their lifetimes than most adults have muddled through, yet they persevere. Pray for this to be a time where they learn how to grow closer in their relationship with Christ, and for Him to become a source of constancy and certainty that they would always cling to when the world around them is shifting. Pray for the boys who need a place to go, who are having to wait, because of the other need I so desperately ask you to consider: house parents. If you think you and your spouse may be feeling the Holy Spirit drawing you toward the idea of being house parents, please do not hesitate to contact Blake and me if you just want to know more about it. I also ask for your prayers for Jamey and Stephanie, who have graciously volunteered to fulfill this need as long as it is necessary. Those of you who have so faithfully prayed for and supported our family, I implore and encourage you to continue in this faithfulness for Jamey and Stephanie's sake.

The reality of this chapter in our family's life coming to a close is a little unbelievable to me. Never will I forget this Promised Land God gave us. I never dreamed of how much God would do in two years. I never dreamed of what He would show me, of how faithful He really is, or of the power of the Holy Spirit in spite of, well, me. Everything I thought I was giving up has become something God has returned to me a thousand times over. The things I pouted about became the things I rejoiced over; worries became miracles; loss became intimacy with Jesus. I can't wait to tell you all about some of the incredible things God has done and is doing in more detail, but for now, I just want to say thank you. Thank you, all of you, for any and every part you have been in our time at Willow Springs. Thank you for the incredible amount of support you have given us. Thank you for sharing life with us for no other reason than just wanting to do so. Thank you for sharing in the laughter, the tears, the waiting, the rejoicing. We Comptons can't wait to see what else God is going to show us. And we can't wait to tell you all about it.

To God be the glory; all the glory for all of it.

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