It’s hard to know how to begin.
Looking back, I can’t help but feel like all major life events are really difficult to explain in a clear narrative. When did it really start? Where exactly did that first domino fall over? I honestly have no clue.
Our story is kind of different, too, in that it completely revolves around our experience hearing personally from God, so if that's not something you either believe in or have experienced yourself, none of this will probably make much sense. But here goes.
If you get bored quickly, here’s the very short version: we're moving. After 6.5 wonderful years in Alliston, at the end of January we are moving to the east end of the GTA to join C4 Church.
Early in 2016, a couple of church leaders visiting from across the country had specific prophetic words for Josh and I that had to do with us changing location - that we were "anywhere people" who served an anywhere God.
At that point we hadn’t talked or even thought about moving, but much of what they said echoed other prophetic words we’d be given years earlier. We received it…and then we shelved it. We were still so well settled in Alliston and really involved with the church. Moving just was not on our radar.
It’s impossible to put a finger on exactly when, but somewhere at some point several months later we began to feel really unsettled.
The feeling of being uprooted is still really difficult for me to explain. It’s not discontentedness. It might sound weird but we have continued to be happy here even as we’ve ALSO become increasingly uncomfortable and aware of the need for change.
Somewhere early in the process a dear friend of mine had a prophetic picture of a funnel, like water going down a drain. She said that what God was doing in us might feel like a decline, but it's actually the building of momentum towards something.
What I learned over the next months was that momentum isn't necessarily an enjoyable sensation. It’s kind of like being pregnant. The closer you get to your due date, the more uncomfortable you become. At some point, that baby has to come out.
For us, everything happened pretty slowly - over the course of nearly two full years from beginning to end. For a long time we were confused about what we were feeling and had some difficulty putting a name to it.
By the time we finally realized that these general feelings of tension and frustration were actually God starting to move us on, we found we were looking at a completely blank slate in that we had no clue where we were going to go.
We began to pray and weigh up every possible location we had connections (including the US and overseas) but even though we have a lot of great relationships all over the place, we were having difficulty picturing ourselves actually living anywhere.
From that point it was months before we started to sense a pull to C4. We even visited friends at the Port Perry campus one Sunday, and although we enjoyed the service there was no magical lightbulb moment, no awareness at all that we might be there someday.
This past March, Josh had an extremely detailed, vivid dream in which we were walking down a country road heading away from an old farmhouse. Suddenly a tornado appeared and we began running back to the house to take shelter. Just as Josh’s hand reached the door knob, the tornado swept us up. However the tornado didn’t hurt us but transported us somewhere, and the dream ended with Josh casually speaking about this in conversation with someone.
Recalling my friend's picture of the funnel from months prior, we took the dream as a sign that God was preparing us for change. Even though it felt scary and looked scary, it was all going to be ok.
We still had no clue how, when, or where - but by this point, we knew absolutely that we were going to be moving and it felt like it could be coming soon.
A little later in the spring we were able to get away without the kids for a night to talk and pray about what was happening. We still lacked a sense of pull in any direction. We had been listening to the C4 podcast for a while and felt pretty drawn to the teaching, but we hadn’t yet really imagined ourselves there. We sat in our hotel room and prayed for some kind of sign.
While on the highway heading home, Josh made a last minute decision to take the more scenic route and pulled off onto the next approaching exit, where we came to a T-intersection. The light was red and we were stopped in the left turning lane.
We were talking about C4 when I suddenly looked out Josh’s window. A few feet outside his door was a one-way arrow sign. Beneath the arrow was tacked another smaller, temporary sign in bright yellow that simply said “C4”.
In that moment for us, in the conversation we were in, this felt serendipitous. We had asked for a sign and here, literally, was a sign. Saying C4. With an arrow.
After that, we began taking this possibility a lot more seriously. As we did so, we found our hearts increasingly drawn to the broader vision of C4 and could see ourselves being part of it.
Not long afterward, we were able to share our situation and thoughts with our leadership team here at Anchor Point Church. They surrounded us with prayer and support, and I can’t even begin to describe how loved and covered we felt as things progressed from there. We slowly began to step back from various responsibilities at church, which was actually really painful but we felt we had to do it as preparation.
At the end of July, Josh was suddenly laid off at his job after the company restructured and his role was made redundant. By this point, we definitely felt like we were in the tornado.
It was terrifying, but we also felt pretty strongly that God was going to use this turn of events to help transport us somehow. The loss of the job really was just one more cord being cut. It looked like decline, but it was momentum.
We were put in touch with some of the pastoral staff at C4 who began praying for us. Knowing that people on both sides of this transition were now actively praying and supporting us was a huge source of comfort and strength. We knew we weren’t walking through this alone.
Josh began looking for work in the Durham region, but about a month and nearly 50 job applications later, we still weren’t any closer to a solution.
Running out of ideas (and hope), he booked a coffee date with an entrepreneurial friend, hoping for some encouragement or inspiration. It was a total surprise to both of us when that coffee date ended with a job offer with his friend’s online company.
After a 3-month probational term, Josh and his friend-turned-boss were able to negotiate a salary that we felt was our green light to take further steps toward moving. The work is entirely remote, so we were portable. It all started to make sense.
From that point everything began happening very quickly. A matter of days later, we were at a house viewing - a little spot just outside of Port Perry, overlooking the lake. We fell in love with it, sent in our rental application, and were approved within 48 hours. Our landlord even turned out to be a believer. Everything was coming together. After almost two years, this was happening. For real.
So here we are! It’s happening. It’s happening. Agh.
I don’t often have prophetic dreams - in fact, I don’t often remember my dreams at all, and when I do they are either weird mash-ups of what's gone on in my day or variations on the theme of me being a superspy, like Sydney Bristow in Alias.
But many years ago (long before I even met Josh) I had one really vivid dream in which I was walking through a house overlooking a lake. In the dream I eventually found a room that was clearly a nursery or kids’ room, and suddenly realized that I was married and had children. I was flooded with a sense of joy and well-being - and then I woke up.
At the time it felt like a promise from God because I had always longed to get married and have a family. It would be years yet before any those things were realized, but today I look back and I’m astonished at the goodness and faithfulness of the Father. His promises are never given flippantly and he always follows through.
Something that’s really clear to me now is that this process has never been just about getting Josh and Katie from point A to B. Instead, it’s been a transformative journey that has forced both of us to confront our individual areas of fear, unbelief, pride, and insecurity. We are different people than we were two years ago.
In all honesty, both of us are still wrestling through a lot of anxiety as we prepare to leave everything that’s familiar and start afresh somewhere else. We’re not typically impulsive or spontaneous, which serves us well in some areas but also means we have a hard time taking risks and adjusting to change. There have been some sleepless nights and lots of tears, but we’ve already had some major victories over fear and we continue pressing forward.
Josh and I are so grateful for the love and support of our amazing families and the handful of closer friends who have loved on us and been there for us at every twist and turn. You know who you are. We love you SO MUCH. I'm so grateful that real love and friendship is never threatened by distance.
Every step of this process has been and continues to be critically important, not just to prepare us for the change but to transform us into the kind of people we really want to be. Ultimately I am so grateful to God for loving us too much to give us a quick, easy or predictable answer. He knew there would be a much greater prize on the other side of the process.
He's good, and He's worth following. Anywhere.