Long Time Coming

Change is hard. Change is scary. And change can be good. During Christmas break 2018, Craig and I began to accept the fact that change may be in our family’s future and that change would more than likely be big. We weren’t certain what it would look like. All we knew was that we were being called to more. Called to obedience and to put the faith that we claim into action. So we prayed, sought wise counsel and prayed some more. In June we began taking steps that involved more than just the two of us. We started working with church staffing agencies to build Craig’s profile with each company and then started searching the data bases for opportunities. We began the conversations with our kids as we drove to the beach because you know God is good like that and sets up the conversations for you. Change is scary. . . .but God is good. Life is sad. . . but God is good. Roar VBX was amazing this year but for me it held a whole different meaning than just simple truths. . . it was nuggets of truth embedded into the minds of myself and my kids that God has used ever since and will continue to use throughout this journey.

Craig has had a desire for nearly a decade to preach and teach the scriptures and he truly has a gifting for it. It’s one of the reasons we took the first big step of faith by moving to Texas in Fall of 2011 with a 15 month old and no jobs. Were we crazy? You bet. Was God faithful? In more ways than one! That simple step of ending a life that was incredibly comfortable and offered what most American dreams are made of, meant that we, daring to take a chance on a life, had no idea what lie ahead. I could talk on and on and share with you way upon way that God showed up and showed out for us over the course of the past 8 years, but that would take several blog posts and we would never get to what we are here for today. The journey of how we have arrived to where we are. Let’s start at that beginning.

You may recall, that during Christmas break is when I began this blog. It’s also the time that my husband created a website and blog of his own. Writing is something that we both enjoy doing for ourselves. It brings peace and calm and clarity in the chaos. It breeds creativity. It’s a way for us to express what we learn in reading and our quiet moments with the Lord.

In today’s society individuals stay so stinking busy and strung up by various commitments (us included) that we don’t even realize how chaotic we can be on the inside. How our focus and our dreams and goals tend to quietly drift to the wayside because the life we have created demands our attention to finish the daily tasks and then prepare for the next day. This past Christmas break we really committed to lay low. To take it easy and allow ourselves to breathe. To rest in the quietness and the awkward moments that would present themselves. In doing so we began the conversations of dreams and desires that had been hidden, masked and some even forgotten. We came to terms with this for ourselves and with each other. No masks, no excuses, no reasoning as to why it wouldn’t be possible. . . just simply this is what I/he/we desire or dream. This is what I/he/we believe the Lord is asking of me/us. What would that look like. . . . and then we slowly began to realize that a second big step of faith was a coming.

We moved to Dallas for Craig to attend Dallas Theological Seminary in 2011. Our initial goal was to come over, get a 2 year degree and then head out onto the foreign mission field. While in seminary, we added two extra people to Team Rush for a grand total of 5 and two of us were out numbered. Our dream of missions is not something that we running from or holding at bay with a closed fist. It’s simply a dream that the Lord has grown us in and shown us ways that a person can be on mission and live anywhere. Missional living is the absolute best for our family. And complete and honest truth be told, Craig and I have embraced the fact that I like hot baths and we both adore our own mattress! I’ve said it friends. Those are two of the #firstworld problems that just help us be the best people we can be.

We didn’t see our life before Dallas as missional living but hindsight is 20/20. We loved our neighbors in Ruston. Most were loud and crazy college kids and some were young families like ourselves. The weekly Wednesday night dinners that occurred every week with our neighbors turned friends from across the street, Nette and Jaz, to being able to walk around the corner and enjoy a bottle of wine with my girl Meredith. Or when she locked herself out of her house and Craig came to the rescue! Man those were good times. We didn’t know it but God was teaching us what it meant to live life on mission. . . allowing conversations to go places that weren’t politically correct and working through the hard tensions of the modern day world that we live in. Where people are hungry for acceptance and truth but face deep dark demons inside while surrounded with “mean” people who are quick to point out someone else’s shortcomings when really all they need to do is look in the mirror to find their own. Showing grace where grace really shouldn’t be extended (according to society) and loving people. We are not perfect but this is how we began our journey of discovering what missional living looked like and the more we learned the more we fell in love with it, with Jesus and with people.

Fast forward to today, October will make 8 years we have been Texans. And Texans two of my kids will forever be. We have LOVED this place. We have grown in this place. The Lord has taught us many lessons in this place and He has allowed us to continue to grow in our mindset of missional living and even be a part of missional living for a community and people that, much like Ruston, we absolutely adore! We have had the opportunity to make solid and lasting friendships that are based on a wide gamete of things, some church/Christ centered and some simply because we share a street, bus stop and local elementary school or play on a sports team together. The common denominator of it all is the fact that we choose to embrace people as people, being genuinely interested in their worlds and want to know more about what makes them tick as a person, loving them where they are in life despite what their life looks like compared to ours. . . only true comparison, if we must, should be how am I measuring up to what scripture says, “to love God and love people.” The author doesn’t go on and give a list of circumstances or situations, it simply says LOVE PEOPLE!

This is where we find ourselves. . .torn in the tension of leaving a life we have grown to love and friendships that run deep to being super excited to what God has in store for our family. This next big step of faith will more than likely mean that we are moving further away from all of our family and will require that sky miles are accumulated more often than before. It will more than likely mean that we are leaving our Southern roots culture and embracing a different area of the US. . . (side note: for those that like to call us “country” the politically correct term is “southern” please learn to use that instead. Country refers to raised with little to no training and Southern refers to training with refinement and while embracing a southern draw. If you choose to be politically correct in one or more manners then you should probably be politically correct on all other accords as well. Please respect who we are in this manner, it really would be the appropriate thing to do! Soapbox closed.) . Back to moving forward…

We are incredibly sad and mourn the closure of this chapter and the closeness that comes from the friendships we have made but we are incredibly excited about this new adventure. Day by day we gain a clearer picture of what the mission is that the Lord is laying before us. Our hearts are stirring and we know He has a people for us that He has specifically set aside for us to embrace and link arms with to do life. We have four specific prayers that we are praying knowing that He will answer. Your prayers are coveted as we journey through this transition. As of right now, we do not know an exact location or time in which we will depart. We have some great connections that are being established and we are being as transparent as to who we are. We are walking faithfully through doors as they present themselves trusting that the Lord fills in the gaps. He already knows that outcome we are asking Him to guide us to it.

So I’ll leave you with this. . . Team Rush isn’t saying goodbye, simply just see you soon! Please know that our hearts are sad and we are sad for those who are sad. But we are not ending anything, just starting a new adventure. We are exercising our faith muscles and putting into practice that obedience really is greater than sacrifice. Sacrifice of all things we are comfortable in. We adore you all and do hope you hear our words when we say “COME AND VISIT US, PLEASE!” Adventures and journeys are meant to be explored with those who you love and for us we love you all!

From our perspective this step has been a long time coming and now it’s here, ready for us to fully embrace and jump in head first. Will you join the journey with us as we continue to pray and discover?

11 thoughts on “Long Time Coming

  1. Kathleen Smith

    Bethany, as I told Craig a few weeks back, I know in my heart this is what you all were meant to do. I always said after I got to hear Craig preach “man, I wish he could preach every Sunday,” and God must have heard me and spoke to his and your hearts. I’m proud of you all for following your calling and being true to the gifts god has given you but, being the selfish human I am, hate that we will be losing a precious family that has been there to love and guide mine. I will miss you and your precious family terribly and Thank you for your love and service. May God bless you and We love you!

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    1. Kathleen, the decision did not come easy because of families like yours!!! We grieved (in silence) for months because of the depth of the relationships we have made. Please say you will come and visit wherever we end up.

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  2. Obviously, we will remain #elochosFOREVER but it will be hard to see you go. Just means we need to be creative in staying in touch.
    We love you and are proud of your obedience to God’s leading!

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  3. Jean Ann Price

    What amazing news! I showed Mark a picture of Craig the other day- we reminisced about our sweet days with you all- before Elliott!
    We vote Seattle….Maddie has a job interview there Tuesday morning!
    We love you and will be praying! God will make a way….He always does!
    Mark and Jean Ann

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  4. I miss you already and you aren’t even gone. I’m so proud of you guys and admire this step of faith that I am sure the Lord will honor. Dang it. Did I already say “I miss you already? “ love you sweet Bethany!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dray! We miss you guys already too!!! Our #elochos group was one of the hardest parts of making this decision. Craig and I very rarely have experienced authentic deep relationships with a group of people like we have with y’all! Please say the Paveys will come and visit!?!

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  5. az

    I am excited for you all or is that ya’ll? We have enjoyed knowing you and the passion that you bring to everything you do. I personally have been motivated by the way you love, lead and enjoy serving the Lord. You have and will continue to be in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AZ, my grammatically correct and business minded compadre, the ZaBloudils have written on our hearts in ways we will never be able to shake… all for the good! It has been so amazing to watch God work in your lives the way He has done and continues to do! We can’t wait to continue journeying with you guys for adventures to come!

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  6. MJ

    I have several things I want to say to you (I’ll do that personally). But I do want the entire Rush family to know how excited JB and I are for you all. If God is leading you else where and it’s as clear as you say it is then…Hello, GO! Yes, it’s going to be difficult leaving here and all of us that love and habe supported you for so long. But I’m excited for all those that have not loved you yet, but will soon! Think of families somewhere beyound your boarders that are praying for a sweet family for neighbors and friendships for their kids…that’s y’all! God iswqesgyygu already working in the lives and hearts of those you haven’t met yet. Don’t ya just love that?
    Love y’all!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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