Okay. So. I'll try to speed this up a bit, for fear of boring you all to tears. haha. I don't think I even realized how much stuff I wanted to write out so that I could remember it all!!! Thanks for bearing with me. :)
So, we waited.
On November 18th, Chris had another significant dream. (I will forever and ALWAYS believe that God still speaks to us through dreams and visions after all of this, you guys. Just wait!!) He had a dream that he and my immediate family were walking through a house. In the dream, Chris said he just knew it was our new house. He and my oldest brother, Jared, walked over to inspect the fireplace. As they peered into the fireplace, they noticed something wasn't quite right. My brother Jared started telling Chris that the fireplace was inoperable. He was saying that the fireplace seemed to be made out of material that would just burn up if you tried to light a fire. Chris said in the dream it looked like the inside of the fireplace was made out of wood or cardboard. As they were checking things out in there, the rest of my family started freaking out because they looked out the windows of the house (he said there was a big window on one wall in the dream) and they saw a tornado coming right for the house. In the dream, Chris felt calm, and he knew that the tornado was not going to hit the house. He kept telling my family that it was okay and that the winds were going to shift, but he led them all down to the tornado shelter so that they would feel more safe. Then he woke up.
The very same night that Chris had that dream, an out-of-control fire flared up outside of the city of Reno, and my brother Jared's neighborhood was asked to evacuate. At the last minute, the 80 mph winds driving the fire shifted, and his neighborhood was spared.
We couldn't believe it, because it seemed to have such similarities to the dream Chris had had that very same night... the fireplace and my brother Jared and the winds shifting... But what we didn't realize was that the dream would become even MORE incredibly significant in the months to follow...
God seemed to be presenting more and more opportunities for Chris to pursue music in Oklahoma, which was very significant. The timing of it all felt like a door swinging wide open here in OKC, while the doors we'd pushed on out in Reno were gently closing shut.
More than that, it seemed that both of us had an increasing desire to remain in the community that had become so incredibly important to us over the past six and a half years. The more we weighed our options to leave Oklahoma, the more we began to grieve the thought of leaving our church family here. God seemed to be moving in big ways within our congregation, and He was using dreams and visions with others as well. A lot of people in the church (including chris) had been having dreams about earthquakes in the sanctuary. Then, one evening when our pastors were praying for Chris and I for direction and guidance, our pastor's wife physically felt the ground under our feet rolling, like a large earthquake. None of us felt it, but she said the ground under her was moving like crazy! We felt like God might be saying we were meant to be a part of what He was doing collectively at Bridgeway Church. A few days later, Oklahoma was rocked with the largest earthquakes ever recorded here. I think sometimes God uses the physical to demonstrate what is happening spiritually.... Things were shaking, and we didn't want to miss out on it all!
A couple of weeks after all the shaking, Chris had a dream about three owls sitting on a power line out in our backyard. In the dream the owls were singing "Hebrews twelve and thirteen" over and over again. Turns out, in Hebrews 12, the author writes about a "kingdom that cannot be shaken"... reminding us that this earth is temporary, but the things of God are eternal. Verses 25-29 say:
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
Earthquakes and fires and tornadoes, oh my!
God was up to something big.
We didn't realize it at the time, but He was beginning to "connect all of the dots". He had the perfect place already carved out for us. A place that we couldn't have even come up with in our wildest dreams. It was there, waiting in the wings, and we had no clue that we were only moments away from stumbling upon it and finally finding our way home.