Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

"God is in the details."
"God doesn't care about time as much as He does TIMING."
These are just a couple of things that have become so evident over the past few months.

Throughout this journey (see at least the last 2 blog posts if you don't know what journey I'm referring to) more than ever, the Lord has given/blessed us with more than we could ever hope or imagine. That has been a constant theme for us. His intimate sweetness has been more evident than ever. I have countless examples of how He has sewn up every small detail according to His plan. I want to try to share & record them in this blog post. Not one of these things were a need, but the Lord chose to give us these gifts just because of His goodness. I feel like it's important that we testify & brag on Him. There really are so many...I hope I can remember them!

I already shared a little bit about a lot of details in the last post but I want to highlight some of them here.

-The fact that the Lord told us that we would be moving months ahead of when He would actually move us was such a blessing to me. I had time to prepare. I'm doing Priscilla Shirer's Bible Study on Jonah right now & God taught me something about myself in week one. Most of the time I'm going to obey the Lord. 1-Because He told us to. 2-Because my personality is that I'm pretty much a "do the right thing" kind of girl. 3-Because I never want to be out of the will of God. I know I would be miserable. BUT through my Bible Study, I learned that there's a big difference between having an obedient head (physically doing what God wants & actually obeying) & having an obedient heart (choosing to embrace doing what God told me to do & giving it my all). I quickly submitted my physical self to being obedient to go wherever God wanted, but my heart needed those months to get to the same obedient place. This wasn't a need. God didn't have to give us any warning. As His children, He could have up & moved us in a month, but He chose to give me time.

-We had someone to go through this process with. As I have said, whenever we would go through any part of this process with another church, we never tell anyone-especially family. In our case, more times than not, the Lord has put us through a search process just to close the door at some point. We have learned many great things through each process & God has used each time to reveal Himself to us in some new way, but it is such an emotional roller coaster to put our family or church family through for no reason. Early on in this process, after God told D He was moving us, D set up an appointment with the DOM (& wonderful mentor & friend) Bro. Wayne DuBose. He was about to head out to meet him for lunch one day, when our Assoc. Pastor, Blake, tried to go too (this was not unusual, in fact, D often made, I mean invited, him ;)). When D told Blake that it was just a meeting for them, Blake guessed right away what it was about. Because of that, we had someone we could talk to about this emotional process & they could come alongside us & pray for us. Not a need-we could have survived just keeping this huge secret & going through this on our own, but God had other plans & gave us prayer partners in the process.

-Our Search Committee. I can't say enough good things about this amazing group of people God put together. D & I joke how the search process is kind of like dating. Well, we really liked "dating" these folks! Their spiritual growth & hunger was obvious & contagious. We went through such an intimate process with them & witnessed God do such amazing things that we still are in awe. This super committee was not a need. They could have been anyone, but God gave us His best.

-The confirmation through His Word. There were PHBC ladies praying specifically that the Lord would reveal who He wanted to Pastor the church through His Word. Hello Isaiah 43:18-19 & Habakuk 2:3! There were actually other little interminglings of messages the Lord gave me & some of the ladies on the search committee through our separate quiet times. We would text each other the Word we got from the Lord that day & it would overlap or coincide with what God was showing them. We know none of that was coincidence. None of this was a need, but it helped give us an undeniable confirmation with which no one can argue.

-Our realtor. God gave us an awesome realtor (a Petal church member, SS teacher, deacon) who we have come to absolutely love. He took us out looking for homes twice. On one of those trips, he overheard me tell D I had a headache, so he gave me Tylenol & took us to a gas station to get some water for me to take it. He spent much of his time on the phone, Internet, in person, & doing who knows what else to take care of things in Petal when we were in Vivian. Our new home didn't have blinds in the dining room, or a mirror in the guest bath when we moved in, but he brought them by the week we moved in & had them installed/hung & tried to act like that was part of his job. :) He was the first person to meet us when we arrived in Petal to stay. Our neighbor even told us he was wiping down our mailbox before that b/c he wanted our first impression to be perfect. Who does that??! How great is this man?!! None of that was a need. We could have had some stranger realtor, but God blessed us!

-Finding a home. Other than quite a few Internet searches, we found our home after just 2 visits in town & looking at less than 10 homes. Our 1st home search left me wanting. We saw some very pretty homes in some subdivisions. I liked them, but something just felt "off." After that 1st house hunting trip, we were leaving the church parking lot to start our drive home, when a Petal staff member (Jason) called & invited us over to his house. We went by & had a great visit & as we were leaving I told D that I wanted their house! I loved the architecture & design & I loved the neighborhood. There just happened to be a home for sale in the subdivision & it is the home I am in at this very second! Yes, our home was a need, but it is more than we need & the way in which the Lord gave it to us was such a blessing.

-D's Bookcases & office. For anyone who has been to D's office, they know that he likes him some books. (Some, who shall remain nameless, call him a book hoarder.) At FBCV, D had a HUGE office with customized bookshelves & he loved it. We figured that anywhere else he would go, his office would probably be smaller. Not so at PHBC! The office was just as big as his other, the only thing it lacked was the many bookcases he would need to house his books. God solved that problem! One of the committee member's husbands built D some more customized bookshelves (not a small feat) & installed them in his office. This was not a need, D could've squished into any office, but God gave him His best where D can have everything in his office the way he likes it & can keep his book system to help him study & write sermons.

-My replacement at work. I was the Office Manager for my family's air conditioning business. My moving away obviously would leave a void & my parents would have to replace me. The process of leaving them & preparing someone else to do my job was really more than I cared to think/worry about. I prepared a detailed handbook on how to do my job, reminded my parents that I would be leaving, but for the most part, it was an extra stress I didn't want to think about. About 4 weeks before we moved, a lady called randomly & asked about an office position. She had had a little experience working for an a/c parts distributor. I told her that actually, my job would be available soon & took her information. Of all the years I've worked there, we got numerous job inquiries for techs & installers, but never office people. It crossed my mind that maybe God sent this lady, but I was skeptical & didn't want to get my hopes up. We interviewed her a week later & I started training her a week after that. She came in to train Monday a week before moved. (I really don't like training-I had my share of training when my family owned a restaurant & it's not my favorite thing.) But this lady came in, I showed her the ropes...& she basically had it!! By Tuesday, she was totally doing my job while I helped with any extra questions & ran around trying to get the office ready for me to leave. This was a need, but the blessing was how God answered a prayer I honestly hadn't had the strength to pray AND Lord gave us more than we could hope or imagine through His perfect timing  & sending such a smart, capable, trustworthy employee!!

-Stay-at-home wife & Mom. Even before the Lord told us He would move us, for the past couple of years, I have felt God tugging at my heart to stay at home with my babies. I've always been able to have my kids at work, but the business has grown so much that it is really too busy for me to have them at work with me & me be the best at my job (as Office Mgr OR Mommy). Also, God has told me He wants me to do some specific things that I would need a lot more time for. (More on that one day.) And finally, I felt the need to free up my schedule to help me be the best Pastor's Wife I can-even if it just means me keeping the kids so that D can tend to his ministry's needs as best he can. I was called to be a wife, mom, & PW. I want to do my best to honor God. This wasn't a need, we were making it the way we were, but it is more than I could hope or imagine in that I can now fully concentrate on my callings, be obedient to God, & we are taken care of financially so that I may stay home.

-FBC Vivian. As you can probably tell from my past blog posts, I practically made myself sick thinking about telling FBCV that we were leaving. Partly b/c I love them all so incredibly much, & also b/c I was afraid that they would be upset at us. I couldn't have imagined all the reactions we got from everyone. 1-Everyone who talked to us about our leaving had no doubt that we were only following God's will. 2-Financially-the church itself overwhelmed us with how they took care of us for the future. I can just say, it was way beyond what we could have ever hoped or imagined. 3-They have supported & prayed for us. It's really felt like they "sent" us. 4-We have been assured of our lifelong relationships. (Some people already have visit dates planned!) We will see this family again-whether it's when we, or they, visit, or in Heaven (probably sooner than later!). 5-They gave us a horribly wonderful going away party. :) It was done-up in true Dustie Dunn style--with a popcorn machine & chocolate covered almonds. We were INCREDIBLY blessed. (We only went through 4 boxes of Kleenex.) 6-They really loved on us. On our last Sunday-after D's last sermon they clapped to show their support & lined up (so we could cry on about "ugly cry"!) to love on us one last time. None of this was a need. Goodness, I just didn't want them to be mad at us, but God wanted us to have more than we could ever hope or imagine!

-Prepared Our Home. The past two churches D & I served in together were some really special people. They both could write a book on how to love on & care for your Ministers & their families. I'm not gonna lie. The Saturday after our going away party I was thinking, " We are crazy to leave this church. There's no way Petal will love us like this..." Right as I got the thought out, Dr. Hutto called (Search Committee Chairman). He told me that the church had a big church work day & they cleaned up the church, & that after that, about 4-5 couples went to our new house (that we had been in ONCE) & cleaned it inside from top to bottom. It was move-in ready. (What a huge load off our shoulders!) Some of the men took care of our lawn. This was not a need, but the Lord blessed us with not only the gift, but informing me at just the right time to silence any doubt I may have had.

-Move-in/Getting Settled. We were scheduled to move in on Monday. We arrived in Petal...the movers did not. (Nor did they answer their phone for a couple of hours--during which were when we were expecting them to arrive). Finally, they call us & tell us they won't get there till Tuesday. (There will NOT be a blog post on that adventure...) Immediately, we were able to our new church spring into action. The word spread that we really wanted to stay the night in our new home & countless people dropped by with air mattresses, sheets, blankets, towels, pillows, soap. Our meals were provided for the first 2 weeks. (& I'm talking breakfast, lunch, & dinner on most days.) Then, when the movers arrived on Tuesday, (in the middle of the day when everyone's at work) 4-5 strong men from church help them unload in record time! (It took them 3 days to load it.) The Huttos kept the kids on numerous days, as did some of the other committee members so that we could have time to unpack, open bank accounts, etc. Then, on top of all of that-after services on our first Sunday, we were given a "pounding!" I'm talking out of control: groceries, gift cards to many places (gift cards as in-Petal Walmart RAN OUT of gift cards), & more gifts of money. Again, none of that goodness was a need, but the Lord just wanted to bless us with it & wanted to shut my mouth about any worries about this church loving us. They are picking up right where FBCV left off. Thank You Jesus!!

I'm not recording these things to brag. I'm recording them to remind myself of the overflowing goodness of God. We know we live a life in the favor of the Lord & we never want to take it for granted or keep it to ourselves. Not any of this was because of us. D & I love to pray & ask for big, specific things just so we can share it with as many people will listen. It is so important to us that God gets the glory that He deserves.


  1. How cool is this...Wayne is Jason's uncle!

  2. It is SO cool!! Jason told us a few weeks ago. The world is so small! We LOVE Bro. Wayne. :)