Twenty-five years ago, God told my husband, Bruce, and me His vision for our marriage in the most unexpected, nearly unbelievable, way. To skip to the spoiler, His message was that our marriage is to be an extension of His open hand.
Huh? Not sure what that meant.
In the last two and a half decades, we both graduated from college, celebrated weddings, retirements, births & baby dedications, buried loved ones, moved, changed jobs, honored anniversaries, graduated our firstborn from high school and sent him off to college (with two more teens right behind him), endured surgeries and illness, learned a lot of lessons and made a million memories along the way.
We did not understand what God meant all those years ago about being an extension of His open hand as we just did our best at living life.
We were cruising along to the rhythm of the American dream of the house with a picket fence, kids running barefoot on the lawn with the family dog, and saving for retirement while planning the next annual vacation.
Then, five summers ago God rocked our world through several very significant moments placing us at life-changing crossroads.
He was totally setting us up for a one-way ticket from a life and future we worked hard for to a life He had planned for us since before the beginning of time.
Cut to the chase again, and we found ourselves on our first mission trip (and first trip out of the country sans the Bahamas for our honeymoon) with our 10, 12, and 14 year old children in tow.
Are you kidding me? Bring our children? This mama bear was hyper-vigilant, anxiety-ridden, and fear-filled about doing this at all, much less as a family, much less to Africa. I felt utterly unequipped to handle being a chaperon with school to the local museum (stressful!) to taking my kids so far out of our comfort zone I can’t even describe the angst that churned inside me. Our trip leader stills says that he really didn’t think I’d actually get on the plane.
But I did! We did! And, our family has never been the same.
God blew our hearts away with a bursting love for this world in a way we could never conceive. He took us to four more countries around the world over the past four summers on mission, and we have never been so in love with a world He so loves.
This love continues to multiple in our hearts every single day as we laugh with, cry over and pray for those from every walk of life around the world who we now consider family.
Fast forward to this past December 29th. Bruce went in for simple shoulder surgery, which proved to be anything but.
After a full tear was reattached and repaired, he had some serious, and extremely painful, recovery waiting for him.
Four months into recovery, after not having been able to return to work due to the pain, he was unexpectedly laid off. We felt like we were kicked when we were down.
However, God reminded us of a conversation Bruce and I had a year ago. Bruce said to me, “I’ll be honest. I’m never going to have the courage to leave this job. It’s too stable.” To which I replied, “Since we’re being candid, I’ll never have the courage to tell you to jump. It’s too stable of a job. The most stable company you’ve ever worked for.”
Bruce then said, “If God ever wants us to make a change, He’s going to have to take this job from me.”
So when he came to me on a regular ol’ Tuesday morning, after almost nine years with the company, and sat down at our son’s desk and looked at me, I should not have been surprised when he said, “Well, God took it.”
We both knew exactly what he meant.
Ever since then, Bruce has looked for work.
He told me in the beginning of his job search there is nothing for him in this city.
Then came an interest in him, but it involved relocating. I’ll save that story for a blog post, but here we are. No relocating. No more job prospects.
All the while, he was meeting weekly with a dear friend in albeit a different kind of work situation, the end result was the same – unemployed.
They began meeting as encouragement to each other over coffee.
Like a good pot of coffee, their hearts began to percolate an idea that brought both of their long-term visions into one plan.
NEED POINT, Inc. was born.
Nothing quite like this exists in America, much less the world. As God has brought people across their path over the past few months, something beautiful began to take shape. Something neither of them could have ever imagined.
NEED POINT combines our team’s passions for both global and local missions in new and innovative ways that meets individual needs on a community level.
NEED POINT is a non-profit that connects people in need with people in local churches and faith-based businesses to help meet their needs. From needing lawns mowed, to helping with medical bills, to befriending the lonely and beyond, NEED POINT is the liaison to match the person in need with someone who can help meet it.
The vision is to expand this blueprint to local communities all over the world!
Curious as to how this all works? CLICK HERE to visit the website.
This grassroots movement is swelling as folks get excited about how they can be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Our team is stoked about this opportunity and trusting God for every step of the way.
Between global missions and NEED POINT, Bruce and I are beginning to understand what God meant by our marriage being an extension of His open hand. We only wish I didn’t take twenty years to get there. But, better late than never, right?! 🙂