It feels weird to even introduce you to Mrs. Victoria Love Hughes, because she has always been such a part of me. Victoria is my closest cousin in age. Actually, she’s exactly 9 months older than me. Living in the same small town and going to the same tiny school, the Lord knit our hearts together from day 1 in such sweet ways. Victoria taught me how to roll my tongue, how to whistle, and how to seek the Lord. Her friendship, though later distanced when my family moved away, has always been such a sweet one to me. I pray her words about she and her husband’s recent big move speak to you both about how transitions are the most growing times and how she and Bruce have been faithful to seek the Lord every step of the way.
Moving 500 miles away from your family, your friends and everything you’ve ever known is not something you think about until it becomes a reality. And it suddenly became my reality earlier this year.
The story of our move starts in August of 2014. 2014 was a big year for me, I got engaged, I graduated from college and I had started my first big girl job. It was also a big year for my now husband, Bruce, as he had also gotten engaged, graduated from college and started his first real job—which he hated. Bruce received a degree in Biblical Studies and felt the Lord calling him to ministry, but he was stuck at a call center.
We spent so much time praying for a way to get involved in ministry and the Lord answered our prayer in August 2014. Bruce got a call from one of his college friends asking him if he wanted to take over his position as part time Youth Pastor at a church about an hour away from where we were currently living. After thinking and praying about it, Bruce decided to take the position. At the time we thought it would be good experience for future ministry and a way to make a little more money for our wedding. We had no idea the plans the Lord had for us at that time as neither of us thought we would ever be involved in youth ministry.
2015 was a fun year for us— we were newly married, a lot of our friends were getting married, we learned we were going to have a baby nephew and we got to do ministry together as a married couple. In the summer of 2015 Bruce decided he wanted to quit his job so he could focus on ministry and also get his Masters of Divinity. This was a hard decision for us because it meant that we would have to live on my salary (which wasn’t much considering I worked at a non-profit) and his small stipend from the church.
This season of our life was trying, but the Lord was so good to us. Each month we worried we might not have enough money, but somehow we always managed. During this time we learned so much about trusting God and trusting each other. We both grew to love youth ministry, and Bruce was feeling called to full time youth ministry.
This season of life helped tremendously for what lied ahead—2016. After a semester of seminary, Bruce decided that he wanted to switch to getting his degree online and apply for other youth pastor jobs—even if that meant we would have to move. Let me stop here and say that I had no intentions of moving, I loved my job, I loved living near my closest friends and I loved living close to my family. I loved my comfortable life. But as a Christian I knew that God doesn’t necessarily call us to live a “comfortable” life.
Sometimes God calls us out of our comfort zones in order to further His Kingdom.
This is something I knew, but didn’t think it applied to me or rather I didn’t want it to apply to me. I was content living my comfortable life, but God had other plans for me.
On our anniversary trip, Bruce and I talked about what we wanted 2016 to look like. We both wanted to grow in our faith and we both also wanted Bruce to have a full time ministry job by the end of the year. We both also wanted to think of a verse or phrase (or for me a song) to be the theme of our year. My song for this year is “Here’s My Heart” by I Am They:
Here’s my heart, Lord
Speak what is true
Here’s my life, Lord
Speak what is true
The lyrics to this song are what I wanted my 2016 to look like. Here’s my heart and here’s my life, Lord. I wanted to give everything to Him, and that’s exactly what I had to do when Bruce got a call from a church in Kentucky about a youth pastor job.
A few weeks after our anniversary trip, we traveled to Owensboro, Kentucky for the interview. After the interview the church invited Bruce to come back a month later for D-Now weekend to be their quest speaker, and after that we would know if he got the job. During D-Now weekend we absolutely fell in love with the youth group at the church. They were so welcoming to us and even though we were only there for two days we felt like we really connected with the kids. Also while we were there the entire church had to vote on Bruce becoming the new youth pastor. We had already felt at peace about moving to Kentucky, but when the vote came back as 100% yes we really felt the Lord saying this is where we need to be.
Let me just tell ya, God is so good. Even though it has been extremely hard being away from our family and friends, we are loving this new season of our lives. We love our church, church family and our youth group kids. Every time we leave a church function, which is almost everyday, one of us always says how much we love these people and we are so thankful for this opportunity!
If there is something in your life that you haven’t let go and given to God, I urge you to do so. Trusting Him with the outcome of any situation is hard, but His plans are so much better than ours. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a verse we hear all the time and can become callous to, but it such a good reminder to trust God with ALL of our heart, not just a little, but all of it because He cares for us and loves us so much that He wants to help us, He longs to help us. All we have to do is let Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.