Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Answer Is...

Sorry to keep you all in suspense!  Announcements had to be made in other places before we could reveal this publicly and well, you know how the web is... 

Sarah was close.  Alaska was a good guess.  After all, it's almost the same thing!  Parts of Alaska look just like this place we are moving to.  They both have dreadful mosquitoes and snow more than half the year!  And northern lights, and hoarfrost, and hot chocolate... I'm looking forward to it.  (I mean, I'm trying to talk myself into looking forward to it. Let's be honest here.) 

But Jenn is the lucky winner -- we are moving to MINNESOTA!!   

Now, I need to make something clear here.  I will admit, this does look a bit suspicious.  My husband's brother and his family live there, my mom's sister lives there, and PLAIN JANE lives there!!  Those are all good things.  I know what you are thinking.  The Diamonds women pressed sore upon the man of the house to move, so we could be with family and friends. No, that is NOT what happened. My husband does not make decisions that way.  If we had begged him to move, he would have said, "Tough it out. Man up, ladies."

If you are in a church where some sort of man-made governing board decides where God's preachers go, you are not going to understand this.  But let me explain anyway.

Almost fifteen years ago when my husband and I and two little girls left Minnesota, my husband said to the Lord, "I am NEVER going back."  He should not have said that.  He should have already learned  that God does what he wants to do with his servants. Mr. Diamonds had planned to move SOUTH (away from snow and cold weather!), and the Lord had us moving to Alberta at that time. (That is NOT south, unless you are at the North Pole or something.) A few years later, as we were driving through the Kingman, AZ area, I told my husband I would NEVER live in that desolation.  *ahem*  We are 35 miles from there. Now we should both know better than to say NEVER.  I hope.

Several years later the Lord planted a seed in my husband's heart, a seed so small that it was summarily dismissed.  No way.  Not Minnesota. Never going back there, remember? We were in beautiful, warm, mountainous Arizona in a fine church, where God had just sent us two years before.  End of subject. My dear husband didn't even tell his wife about the seed.  But it was still there, slowly germinating. 

And then God poured Miracle-Gro on it.  Our trip to Minnesota last summer was NOT a scouting mission, but as we drove through the eastern mid-section of the state, my husband began to be burdened for a gospel-preaching, historic Baptist church in that area.  He began to pray the Lord would send a man to start a church there, having no idea that HE was the man!  The burden grew greater, but there is a big difference between a burden and a CALL.  After more praying and fasting, my dear husband knew. It was a call.

We were not looking to go anywhere else, or even hoping to. It is a blessing to us that God is sending us to a place that we are familiar with, and where we already know people.  This is a fringe benefit of my husband's obedience to him. As the under-shepherd of the flock here, my husband has, with much prayer, appointed another man to take his place.  No shepherd leaves his flock without committing them to the care of another worthy shepherd. 

I have mixed feelings.  Suddenly the desert looks amazingly beautiful to me!  (Honest, Shani!)  Suddenly I have realized many of my faults and failings in this place, and I am ashamed of my struggles here.  I could have loved living here for seven years, instead of only one!  Pray for me, that I will not make the same mistakes in our new home and in our new church. I am moving with anticipation as well as with fear.

Our date of departure is April 22, Lord willing.  Yard sale on the 15th.  That means I have only... 8 weeks to pack!!!  And do my eBaying... and clean... and say goodbye...

19 comments:

  1. Well, there you go! That word NEVER! Happy Packing!

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  2. This is so encouraging to me, Sally. My husband and I have "seeds" growing in our hearts and have decided to be open to the Lord's calling on our lives. I have my ideas, but I am sure His are better. Now, I just have to be patient. I wish I knew how to get some of that miracle grow though. :-)
    You can refer to your days in AZ as wandering in the desert. lol. OK, bad joke.

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  3. "Tough it out. Man up, ladies."
    Okay, I'm still laughing at that :-)!
    ...and another good quote..."Never say never"
    By the way, I'm enjoying your new adventure and praying our Lord covers all of it with his mercy, grace, and provision!

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  4. I pray the Lord blesses your move. :)

    JoAnn

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  5. Oh happy dance for you guys! Wow what an amazing story. God is awesome. My sister lives in Grand Rapids Minnesota. I love it there.
    I still long for the dry desert...I never thought we would be here in the humid south. But I could learn a lesson from this post!

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  6. Remember to wipe "Never" out of your vocabulary up here, or you will just keep boom-a-ranging back here no matter where you go. lol

    Happy to have you up here soon...Amber is still doing happy dances.

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  7. Sally, when I was in college I said I would NEVER marry someone with the last name of Beard (I knew a guy with that last name...I didn't like him - not my husband. ;-). I also said I would NEVER live in TX. Here I am, 20 years later, married to a guy named Beard and living in TX. Weird. I'll NEVER do that again! ;-)

    I'm excited for you all and your mission in Minnesota! Hopefully you won't be too close to Canada! BRRRRRR! I will be praying for you all! (did you catch that TX twang?)

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  8. God is good! I'm glad you're going some place that feels a little like 'home'. I even know a couple of people in MN so have an idea of what it's like - one of them grew up in the town where they make spam, much to her disgust.
    I've had a few 'never' experiences - including Belgium, a town called Worksop (awful name!) and being a pastor's wife!!
    God bless you in your moving. It's not easy, however sure you are you're called to do it.
    Sarah

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  9. I'm so happy for you! Minnesota has family and that will make the holidays and weekends so much more special. Remember a long time ago you asked me to write a list of 10 things I like about living here? Well, lady start your list! I look forwarded to seeing the new blog, the new pictures of your your home and hearing how you are doing with the new Bugs/winter and such.

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  10. LOL - Well I was close - right? ;-)
    (Although didn't you say east of the Mississippi?)

    I am very happy and excited for your family, and I can't wait to hear about all of the wonderful things that God has in store for you!

    Michelle

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  11. Oh, how exciting! Praying all goes well with your move. It is so exciting to see God work!

    Blessings!
    Sharity

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  12. Hey Sal,

    Oh, where to begin? Firstly, let me share our NEVER with you. As we left Michigan for Arizona almost seven years ago now, we drove westward and uttered that fateful sentence: "We will NEVER live east of the Mississippi again!!!" Ahem. I know God has a sense of humor because He put us a mere 90 minutes east of the Mississippi. *snort* That'll show us. rofl

    Secondly, oh, Sal, don't you remember my struggle? I found so much solace in this quote: “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another.” ~Anatole France. I beat myself up (and still do upon reflection) about not living as fully as I could have, as I Should have, while in Arizona. I think life could have been richer, more calm, less hated, if only I'd tried harder. But you know what? I had to hit the absolute bottom before I would leave, and God knew that, too. All of my second-guessing was simply regret, but that regret will help you settle into your new home, I promise you. It has helped to quiet my heart and allow me to accept with JOY my surroundings, and has, for the first time EVER in my memory, allowed me to be content with Who I Am, Where I Am. Don't beat yourself up, but do give your grief name and let it go. Here, read my experience again (or for the first time, lol): http://happiestathome.blogspot.com/2010/04/adjustment-period.html.

    You are ALWAYS right where God wants you to be, and in exactly the place in your mind He expected you to be. Some places are just noisier and more of a learning curve than others. (((HUGS)))
    Blessings,
    Shani xxx

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  13. We will miss you big time!!

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  14. Okay - I was also guessing Minnesota! I'm wondering whereabouts that will be. I'm going to look at the map and see exactly where the Mississippi divides it. I grew up just 20 miles south of the source of the Mississippi! I am now west of the river - but still in Minnesota. :)

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  15. Oh my gosh- I left a HUGE comment and I don't see it!!! Please tell me you got it... :(

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  16. Oh my goodness!!! That is quite a move. I so TOTALLY understand! When dh was in Bible college I said that I'd go annnyyywhereee but I wasn't living in Mississippi. Guess where his first pastorate was? You guessed it - MS. DH said he didn't ever want to go home to New England -not ever. Guess where we are? Yup, as far north as you can go and still be in the US. I have so much I'd love to say to you but not here.....do you still have my email address? If so, please send me a quick line so I can reply. May the Lord bless you as you follow Him!

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  17. Aha! Here you are! Your email is sitting in my inbox waiting for me to give it careful attention. You have a move ahead of you, I finally have mine behind me. Now perhaps I can keep up with you dear friend? No promises! :)

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  18. Wow, I think this is turning into a beautiful story. I've read it on your daughter's blogs, and now I've read it here. Still can't imagine that your family is moving to MN, but wherever the Lords leads, His people must follow. It sounds like an exciting adventure lays ahead!

    Blessings,
    ~ Tarissa
    http://InTheBookcase.blogspot.com

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  19. I found it! Minnesota! That's so much closer to me. :) One day we shall share a plate of chocolate chip cookies.
    I love a call. I mean, except for that time when you just want to ignore it and pretend it isn't happening. Or maybe that's the best time? Who could say. Anyway, I definitely LOVE a family who listens to the Lord. He will surely bless your obedience.
    Good luck with your packing (and cleaning out!!!) and saying goodbye. It's so hard, but God is so good.

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