Thursday, December 8, 2016

Where we are. 2016 Edition.

2016 has been a whirlwind year!  Here on the east coast we are prevalent to hurricanes, so maybe it's been more like being in a hurricane than a whirlwind...but nonetheless.

Year 3 of seminary. Michael will be done either Spring of 2017 or will slow roll a few more classes until December of 2017. He's not in a rush, just obediently wants to finish. God called him to "go to school." That was the extent of the call. We have been listening, cleaning our ears out when we think maybe we've gone deaf, seeking, searching for God's call for the 3 years we've been here.  But every time the answer is just "go and stay focused on school." Michael will tell you that he's learned more about God in these 3 years than in his whole life combined. And not just book learning in classrooms at seminary, but learning through living a life walking in obedience will teach you a thing or two about your Savior as well.

We've learned that theology is hard. There are some hard truths that are just that....hard. Living for God is not easy, either. Sometimes people haven't understood why we would "choose" to live this way. Sacrificing, being uncomfortable, laying down that stubborn pride, putting God over things in life that would be much more fun or socially acceptable. We live in a really small house because we can afford it, we have at times lived on only pasta and PB &J, we've had to rely on our parents and others to help us with certain financial needs, we've had our power shut off (though only briefly as the paycheck came as soon as the power got shut off), Michael has worked some extremely odd jobs to make ends meet, we've had some hard trials to muddle through.

Michael has worked at our church for 2 of the 3 years we've lived in NC. God recently made it clear that wasn't where we were supposed to be right now. "Go to school" was the original call. We always try to step in and make things happen because we "think" that's what God is wanting. Instead of waiting patiently for Him to reveal it to us. So Michael stepped back from ministry in that venue to focus on school. Scary time for us because we have bills to pay. But, obedience.

(Okay, put on your seatbelt because this is where the hurricane starts sweeping us away! )...

Michael calls up a godly man in our small group named Danny.  He just wants to talk to Danny and glean wisdom on how to deal with the way things are going in our life.  They meet for chips and sweet tea at Moes. Danny asks Michael about past experiences he has in the work force, the Air Force, education, etc. As they are talking, Danny pulls out his phone and starts texting. "Man, that's rude" Michael thought, but "hey, he's a busy guy". After a few minutes of texting in between talking, Danny asks Michael if he's free for an interview the next day. Danny had been texting his business partner to tell him God has answered their prayers. Danny goes on to tell Michael that his company, Majestic Marble and Glass, has been looking for a guy with Michael's EXACT qualifications to lead a division in their company through structural and process change. (Michael has a Masters degree in Operations Management from University of Arkansas, by the way, which was what launched him into the Air Force before his call to ministry) They haven't only been "looking" for this perfect guy, they've been earnestly praying for God to bring this guy to them. Michael reiterates that he's finishing up seminary and that has to be his first priority right now, which Danny wholeheartedly agrees to. "You can work for me in between classes and just do your job when it is best suits your schedule."

Interview goes great, he's hired on the spot making double what he had been making the 3 years we've been in NC. A little room to wiggle and breathe and get out of these life preservers that's just keeping our heads above water?! WHY, YES! The timing of the pay increase went along perfectly with some other things God has placed on our hearts to start looking into. God's provisions for ministry that He has placed on our hearts. As my cousin, Schanon, once said, "If something is God's will, then it's also His bill."

Michael has now been working at Majestic Marble and Glass for the past few months. He loves everyone he works with and they all absolutely love him back. He is a gifted leader and he is leading well.  His job was to find waste in the company and scale that back so overhead wasn't so high. He was able to find hundreds of thousands of dollars being wasted that he saved the company. Michael is also a relationship guy and loves people deeply. His love is across the board for the lowest paid employee to the highest. Now he's doing ministry in a whole new way! The owner of this division has a son who has grown to dearly love Michael like a brother. Within the past few weeks, the owner has been talking with Michael about taking over this division of the company. He had been praying for a man of God to walk alongside his son to mentor him in the business world, help him with relationships, and teach him to be a good leader. The son will own the business, but Michael will run it and work alongside the son to teach him and mentor him. This has now raised his income to over three times what we started off with when we moved to seminary.

Money is now available to us to help those in need who God shows us to help, to go on mission, to finish paying for school because his GI bill runs out after this semester, to give, and to start putting away for the ministry that God has laid on our hearts. After years of having little, God has blessed us with more than we deserve.

My small group leader said in class last week, "God doesn't always pull us out of the water and the waves, sometimes He just swims alongside us." We have been swimming with God and His presence since we started this journey of obedience in 2010. For the time being, He has pulled us out of the waves, but we are fully prepared to go back in at any time that He wants us to.

If you know the Corsars, you know I do not write this blog to brag. That is the farthest notion. I write it to show the goodness of our want and in plenty. The faithfulness of trial or ease. The provisions of God. The legacy of the family I was born into is Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides, and He has shown Himself to be that to our family time and time again.

This portion of our journey is one I am SO excited to start. We thought we'd soon be leaving Raleigh, NC, but it looks like we'll be staying for a while. God has work for us to do on His earth right here for now. And our heart for Ukraine has been pricked, so we are excited to see what God does with that!  So many doors are being propped open for us to walk through.

"Go to school. Learn obedience. Walk with God." That's where we are. We cherish everyone who has supported us, prayed for us, listened to us, and disciplined us. The family of God is GREAT!

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He cares about every little detail of their lives." 
~Psalm 37:23