In my last post, I asked if you could guess, from the pictures I posted, where Aaron and I just returned from. If you guessed, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, then you are correct. Our big announcement is that our family, along with our friends, the Cottle family, and their 7 kids, will be making Kona our home for 6 months starting in January 2013. We, along with our children, will be enrolling in the Fire and Fragrance Discipleship Training School at the Kona "YWAM" (Youth With A Mission) base. Sound crazy to you? Well, that's ok, it does to me too. I couldn't have dreamed this one up on my own. Over the next few posts I would really love to share with you the incredible way the Lord presented this journey to our families, and how He very strategically placed us together. Let me first start out saying that I have never really had any kind of dreams to "be" something, other than a mom. I didn't have life-long dreams of becoming a nurse or teacher. Since being married, my only dream I really dreamt about was having a home with a view. I dreamed of sitting on my front porch with my coffee and staring at a spectacular view in awe of God's glorious creation every morning. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think Hawaii a possibility.
Many people in our church are associated with YWAM. Our pastor and his wife, and most of our close friends have been through a YWAM DTS somewhere during their earlier years. I have sat through many dinners listening to stories of the good ole YWAM mission days and heard of their travels around the world and honestly felt a sense of jealousy and regret that I missed out on something like that in my younger college years. I assumed being married with 3 children made that kind of thing impossible or just too difficult to pursue. We also adopted Josiah through a YWAM Ethiopian adoption program as well, so YWAM was already cultivated into or lives.
A little background on the Cottle family: Misty and Brady have 2 biological children and 5 adopted children....1 from China and 4 through the US. Misty, since she was a little girl has always dreamed of running an orphanage. It was a dream God gave her as a child that never went away. She and Brady owned a coffee shop in Dallas and felt as though one day God was asking them to give that up and move to our town. They didn't know why, but they did it. Misty and Brady ended up at our church and the first time they met us, as Misty was shaking Aaron's hand, the Lord spoke to her heart and said, "Your families will build together." She didn't know what that meant but knew it was the Lord. Seeing how we had similar hearts for orphans and seeing children's lives transformed and redeemed, it wasn't hard for us to connect. Our children also connected. Aubrey, my 4 year-old and Edie, the Cottle's 4 year-old had that bff connection from day 1.
How this all came about was started by the Lord giving Misty a prophetic dream. During our girls gymnastics classes one day, Misty told me about her dream. She said that she was walking out of a house and as she was walking out the door, Lou Engle (Lou leads "The Call" and is a leader/speaker at IHOP in Kansas City) walked up to her and said "Hi, I know you, you are Misty. You're my new neighbor." She also said that she sensed Lou knew her heart and understood the dreams the Lord had put there. She walked a little further and she saw Lou's wife and she was holding hands with a young boy with downs syndrom and she said, "Hi, I know you. You are Misty, my new neighbor." About that time Misty looks down the sidewalk and Aubrey (my daughter) and Edie ( her daughter) come walking up holding hands. That was it, the end.
After hearing it, it was obvious to me that it was a dream from the Lord, but I didn't know the translation of it, and I didn't think at all about it pertaining to my family at all. Misty then emailed her friends and her and Brady's mentors, Tom and Donna, who are on staff with YWAM in Kona. Within minutes they were calling her saying they needed to skype about her dream. During their skype time Donna and Tom said "Misty, did you know that Lou Engle was just gifted 80 acres of land on the Big Island in Hawaii and is planning on partnering with YWAM and using the land to build a home for trafficked children?" Misty and Brady totally stunned said they had no idea. Also at some point it was mentioned that they were in need of farmers.
The next morning Brady and Aaron met for breakfast and Brady shares Misty's dream with Aaron and shares what was discussed with Tom and Donna. Brady also said that after praying, he felt strongly that he and Misty may suppose to be checking out YWAM in Kona, so much so that they were already planning to buy plane tickets to check it out. He went on to tell Aaron that maybe we needed to be praying about it as well, because they sensed that maybe the dream was for us too. Aaron just started weeping at that point. He didn't know why, He just felt God's presense and was overwhelmed with how that was resonating in him. He began to pray and ask God why Aubrey was in Misty's dream.
That morning Aaron came home and was smiling and asked me if Misty had shared her dream with me. I said, "yes, why are you smiling?" He told me that the Cottles were going to fly to Kona and check it out and he thought maybe we were suppose to go with them. He mentioned we needed to be asking the Lord why Aubrey was in Misty's dream and that there was something significant to that.
It was time to take Aubrey to school, so Aaron left to take her to school. After leaving, I sat down to process the thought of this actually being a possibility for us. Of course with the way my brain works, all the thoughts of why we shouldn't pursue this came flooding my mind. But at the same time, it was very odd that the possibilty of it was resonating in my heart. I sat down on the couch, and thought...."Lord, are you placing this in front of us?" And I heard as clear as day in my mind..."Well, you did always say you wanted to live somewhere beautiful." Recognizing the familiar voice of the holy spirit, I just started crying,crying,crying. For God say it to me in that specific way, for Him to know my every thought and desire and what I day dreamed of was just so sweet and personal. He told me in such a way that it made me feel like it was a gift from Him.
Within a few minutes my cell phone was ringing and it was Aaron. He was calling to tell me what the Lord just spoke to him. It was raining that morning while he was driving Aubrey to school and there was a truck in front of him driving slow. Aaron's eyes became fixed on a bumper sticker on the truck but couldn't make out what it said because of the rain. Once it finally became visible to him, it said "Farmer's Daughter." He said immediately the Lord spoke to him in his mind and said Aubrey represented being the farmer's daughter in the dream, and you are the farmer. After dropping Aubrey off at school, he saw another truck with a sign on it that read "Farm for sale." So he called to share this with me and said he thought we should go to Hawaii with the Cottles to check things out as well.
It was a lot to process and with me being the way I am wired, I had to know that I know that I know that I know, that this was what the Lord wanted before I stepped out, because I am not a risk taker by nature. So the Lord knows He needs to be loud and clear and repeat himself a few times before I jump. So the next week after that proved that He definitely was going to be consistent and not let us miss out on this one.
(To be continued...)