Three years ago today Ed and I said good-bye to New Hampshire and began the trip cross country to Colorado. We were leaving behind friends, family, a home and a church that we loved. We were leaving behind a very familiar and comfortable life. New England had been our home for 60 years and at 60 years of age we were starting out to make a new life in a new state that we knew nothing about. All we knew was that God had called us to serve the homeless in Colorado and in leaving New Hampshire we were being obedient to Him. We had to trust Him every step of the way or we would have turned around and headed right back to New Hampshire.
I recently received a letter from a friend of mine in New Hampshire who is preparing to move to Florida. She was looking forward to living in Florida and getting away from the cold, long winters in New Hampshire and yet at the same time she was sad and a bit anxious about leaving her home in New Hampshire. She asked me if it was hard for us to leave New Hampshire for Colorado. I think she was seeking reassurance from me that the move would be an easy one but I had to honestly answer her that the move was one of the hardest things I have ever done and yet it was also one of the best things that I had ever done. It wasn't because our journey from New Hampshire to Colorado was fun or exciting or because we found Colorado to be a land of opportunity but rather the move from New Hampshire to Colorado was a good one because it forced me to lean hard on God, to walk closely with Him, to trust Him completely and to be completely dependent on Him. The bottom line is that there is no better way to completely trust in God than to have everything familiar stripped away and that is exactly what happened when we left our familiar comfortable life in New Hampshire and moved to Colorado.
I completely understand my friend's anxiety about leaving New Hampshire. It is not easy to pull up roots and to put down new ones. It is especially difficult when you are a person, like I am, who likes the familiar, the routine and the same old, same old. New situations create anxiety for me and I don't like feeling anxious so I try to avoid them as much as I can, but God had called me to pull up roots, to leave the familiar and head out to a life filled with unknowns. I Peter 5:7 tells us to "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you". I wish that I could say that on the journey out here that "the casting" happened one time and then I was free of anxiety. No, the casting happened many, many times because with each mile that we traveled from New Hampshire to Colorado I was being taken deeper and deeper into the unknown. The good thing is that God doesn't care how many times we cast our anxieties on Him and the other very good thing is that with each mile and with each "casting" my dependence, faith and trust in God grew.
I don't know all the answers as to why God called us specifically to Colorado, but I do know that I would not have learned to be totally dependent on God had we remained in New Hampshire. God knew, that in order for us to develop Soaring Wings Ministries, we would need to be completely dependent on Him and to trust Him when the way seemed impossible. We had to learn Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible", and we had to learn it well and the only way for us to learn that was to leave behind everything familiar in New Hampshire and head out to an unfamiliar place. In the leaving we learned that God is faithful and God is trustworthy. In the leaving God became our beloved. Each mile took us further and further from our beloved New Hampshire but each mile took us closer and closer to our beloved God. With each mile our journey of faith and trust in God was being strengthened. We were learning to become totally dependent on God which is something that we had never done before with our comfortable, familiar lives in New Hampshire. Yes we had believed in God, served Him, loved Him and worshipped Him, but there was always that element of safety and security in the familiar that caused us to not be totally dependent on Him.
In the three years that we have been out in Colorado, serving God through Soaring Wings Ministries, we have indeed learned and see with our own eyes that "with God all things are possible". That does not mean that with God all things are easy for us but it does mean that God will provide a way according to His will. We have seen God be faithful and provide for Soaring Wings Ministries over and over again and in ways that are too numerous to mention. It is a wonderful thing to be completely dependent on God and to watch Him provide in situations that seem completely impossible. It is so very exciting when people and the world say what we are doing is impossible and then to look out our living room window and watch the impossible being raised up by Godly men and women measuring boards, cutting boards and pounding nails to create a home for two homeless individuals. To see the verse "with God all things are possible" being lived out before our own eyes is truly the most wonderful and amazing thing ever. It is so better than living in beautiful New Hampshire and living out our comfortable, familiar lives on the East Coast.
I am so grateful and thankful to God that He called us to Colorado to serve the homeless through Soaring Wings Ministries. The move was not an easy one but God has been with us each step of the way. I am so glad that we said YES to God and answered His call to live out here in Colorado. God has been our guide, our comfort and we have learned to be totally dependent on Him. He has proven Himself to be faithful and trustworthy over and over again.
In closing, remember to "Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for You" and "with God all things are possible". Those are two verses that I have tested with my life and I have found them to be true.
Soaring Wings Ministries
The other morning Ed and I were sitting down to a breakfast of pancakes. Usually we have store bought syrup but this morning I was really looking forward to having some delicious, pure New Hampshire maple syrup on our pancakes. The New Hampshire maple syrup was a gift given to us from the Trinity Bible Church Missions Team that had recently served here at Soaring Wings Ministries. It was such a treat to pour that natural sweetness all over my pancakes but more importantly the bottle of New Hampshire pure maple syrup represented encouragement and love to me. That simple gift of pure maple syrup told me that the people from our home church in New Hampshire were thinking of us, encouraging us, supporting us and loving us.
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries