July 2017 marks the 5 year anniversary of our move to Dublin. Over the next few months I’m writing a few posts to share about that journey. You can keep up with all posts in this series here.
Okay…quick recap…It was February 2011. Ireland was not happening. It seemed like everything was against us buying a house, and now we were dealing with a high-risk pregnancy. I contacted a few people and asked them to pray that we would have a clear understanding of what God was trying to say in the midst of this. Because something was clearly going on.
I had been full steam ahead to buy a new house, and figured the issue was something as simple as, “Don’t buy a house at this point.” And I was okay with that…I mean we had just lived through a pretty rough financial crash. I just wanted to know.
I’d spent the last couple of Saturdays in January retreating to my bedroom and spending the day with my head under the covers (Saturday was my normal sabbath), in February I decided that I’d have breakfast with the whole family and then prayer walk around Trumansburg for a couple hours.
And it was during week two of this process it happened. An overwhelming sense that our family was supposed to move to Ireland. But it made no sense. We’d already dealt with this. What was I going to do, tell the kids, “I know I gave you a veto…but never mind.”
In retrospect I feel bad for Liz. Remember I mentioned that she was bed ridden? Well, I came back from that walk excited about Ireland, and probably sounded like a crazy person as I laid out all my plans of how we could get there, and what we would do, and what it could look like. And she just listened. I feel like I did this to her for days.
But, since she had a lot of time on her hands, she started doing some research on Ireland. And she also began dreaming about what Ireland might look like for us.
The two of us had decided early on in our marriage…we would never make big decisions unless we were both in full agreement. We would never pull the “God said…” card on each other. If one of us sensed God saying something that impacted both of us…we would give the other one space to hear as well. And we would always give the other person space to make their decision without pressure.
At this point we’d been doing this for 20 years. Our experience had always been that I was very quick to jump, and Liz took much longer to make these types of decisions.
This time Liz decided, that even though she tended to drag her feet a bit…her experience was that when I sensed God saying something, this kind of stuff always seemed to be a positive for our family…so this time she decided she was jumping on board early. That was unexpected.
The next step was calling my friend Mark down in Philadelphia. He was also a Vineyard pastor and had become a trusted friend over the past few years. I remember sitting outside our apartment telling him that this doesn’t make any sense. To which he replied something like,
“that seems to describe our lives pretty well, doesn’t it?”
While this was clearly a turning point, if you asked me at this point if we were going to end up in Ireland, I would have said, “Probably not.” Clearly it was a big step on our journey to Dublin…But there was a long way to go.