We were on FIRE for the Lord! Newly married, just starting life together, somewhat polly-anna ish. Stateside in the Inner City? China? Full-time church work? We didn’t know. What we did know was that Shane would preach and I would be his help-meet. And we knew that it would be BIG!
Three years later, we were living in Independence, MO adopting our first child. Shane was working in sales for the local newspaper and preaching part-time for the little church that was dying.
Two years after that, our oldest son came home…the church closed it’s door.
Yeah! Big time ministry…
When that ended, we were alone.
But we weren’t. God has always sent folks our way. Including our precious children. A missionary friend once told us, ”God brought the mission field to you.” She is right. But Shane wasn’t preaching. I wasn’t teaching. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Our second son came home. Anger so thick, so deep that he lashed out at all of us. I won’t go into details, but believe me, it was U. G. L. Y. In addition, I was SICK. So sick that I’d get asked if I qualified for the senior discount when I shopped…I was 41 years old! I was without eyebrows, pasty skin and angry! Hormone imbalance, slow thyroid and adrenal stress wreaked havoc on our home. Doctors? They only made it worse. Until one encouraged me to leave it all behind. I became human again.
Our second daughter came home in the midst of the illness. Our JOY! She’s our happy, bouncy, crazy sweetness.
Still, God was silent. Shane did not preach. I didn’t teach. We weren’t in “ministry.” In fact, we became the quintessential church hoppers. But during those years God changed us.
The angry child forgave. The angry momma sought forgiveness often and was forgiven. And several years ago, God led us to a wonderful, loving church family.
About 4 years ago Shane felt free, released to preach again. We both felt free to serve again. And God brought opportunity. A few months later, the elders asked Shane to preach. A few months after that, he became an elder, and now he is paid staff.
Part time. But, that’s okay.
Our perspective is much different now. When you wander the wilderness, God changes you. God’s sovereignty is more understood, grace is deeper and richer in our lives today.
Looking back, we can see God’s blessing in the waiting. And we think of Moses, who thought he was ready to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and ended up tending sheep.
It’s safe to say, Moses felt abandoned.
Thank you Lord, that you didn’t have us tending sheep in the wilderness, for FORTY years!
When Moses was humbled, when he felt totally inadequate for the task, that’s when God said GO! Now God has raised us up to serve again. And we feel totally inadequate for the task.
He’s recently revived a dream in our hearts…one that goes back to our beginnings. Back to the desire to help families, to help marriages, to help men be leaders in their homes, to help wives serve their families, to help parents parent with grace. Today, those things are needed more than ever.
Nearly 20 years ago, I remember crafting a brochure, “Home and Family Ministries.” We were going to speak, do conferences, and retreats, etc. Yes. We had a 4 year old and a not even 1 year old. WHY we would think we were experienced enough to offer THAT, I have NO clue!
Twenty years forward, we don’t know if we’re experienced enough but we are much more humble. Our perspective is different. The future? Only time will tell. We’ve both written for several years, but now, we’re working together on a new blog, Christian Home Life, our new ministry. Labor was long. Will it live? Will it grow? Only God knows. Our dreams are different now. We realize that it may never impact more than a handful of readers. And that’s okay. Over the years, we’ve realized that sometimes “small” is big.
We’re strapping on our sandals and stepping onto the path.
Christy Richardson was raised in Knoxville, TN and transplanted to the Kansas City, Missouri area after marrying her very own Superman named Shane. They have been married 21 years and continue to be madly in love with each other. She is a home educating mother to four fantastic children who were born in her heart through adoption. She is a long-time blogger who recently discovered that she is also a writer. Connect with Christy on her blog, or on Shane and Christy’s new adventure to fulfill a long-time dream at Christian Home Life.
This is the 44th post in Testimony Tuesday: Women who inspire. Click HERE to read all of the other posts in this series. Now it’s your turn to link up your story of how God is working in your life. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Join the Testimony Tuesday community! We are sharing our stories of how much God has done for us.
- Subscribe to the blog so that you won’t miss a single post!
- Like Holly Barrett on Facebook and click on Get Notifications.
- Follow Holly Barrett on Twitter and use the hashtag #TestimonyTuesday.
- Follow the Reclaiming a Redeemed Life board on Pinterest.