This past summer, our family moved to Northern Virginia, something we knew would happen for a very long time. You can read about this “Decade-long goal” on my Mars Hill Realty Group blog: http://www.marshillrealty.com/content/2013-reaching-decade-long-goal.
Prior to making the final decision to move, Autumn and I prayed and believed that God wanted us to move back East regardless of whether a church plant would materialize like we had hoped it to. We knew that nothing was set in stone for the church plant to happen and half of the original four families haven’t even moved down to Ashburn yet. However, in faith, we believed God wanted us back East for a reason that could be even greater than we had initially planned.
Well, as months went by and we began the process of assimilating into Northern Virginia, I got a call from Pastor Tom, one of the four families we wanted to church plant with. He basically indicated to me that the original geographic region (Ashburn, VA) is being reconsidered and that things were on hold for the church plant. At that moment, I had a panic attack as I realized I just relocated my family from halfway across the United States, cut off 90% of my active income and tore my family from a church and school community that we loved for the past 10 years! Just kidding, let’s not be too dramatic. The real feeling, unusually, was a huge sense of unexplainable peace in my heart! I actually felt freedom, for some reason. It’s not that I wasn’t excited about helping with planting a new church with great friends, but I think for just the second time in my post-graduate life, I could really start over with a blank slate and have no expectations placed on me. (The first time was when I got out of the Army in 2003.)
So, with this newfound freedom, I began to seek God for the reason why He would transplant my family at this time. I asked God to give me a vision for me and for my family in Northern Virginia. As I did that, one thought kept coming back to me: My children are on loan to me, I only have a limited time to disciple them as a Father, before they live as independent adults away from the home. Make the most of it. Enjoy them to the fullest. Place everything, the church plant, your business, your ministry at church, everything on the back-burner. Focus on your children and your family.
The ironic thing is I really believe God moved me from Texas to the face-paced culture of Northern Virginia to slow my life down. And rather then focus on serving in church and expanding my business, I shifted my focus to serving in another ministry: Discipling my kids.
If you read the original blog post, Reaching a Decade Long Goal, you’ll remember that God’s provision for us financially was still unmet when we made the decision to move. Well, since then, he has provided my wife with, not one, but TWO work-at-home positions that has enabled her to continue in the field of Pharmacy. How’s that for a miracle? This has taken the pressure off of me to launch my new business quickly, and I can focus on my kids and the ministry of their school, Ad Fontes Academy. Since both Autumn and I work from home, and live just one mile from our kid’s school, we’ve gained a lot of extra time and are able to help our kids get involved with piano, basketball (for Joshua) and dance (for Chloe and Sabrina). We have also been more consistent with having family meetings and devotional times with them at night.
It’s a struggle for me, as a man, to trust God with the pace of building my business more slowly and not market and network like a mad man to start replacing my original income. There is a part of me that wants to be back in that place of life where my wife can lose her job and we’ll still be ok. But, God has always proven that He will provide for my family and do it in a way that brings Him the most glory. The next 10 years or so will exciting for me as I see the fruits of being obedient to this vision and I discover the unique gifts and strengths that God has given each of my children. Looks like church-planting is happening after all, starting right here in the Lui household.
~ Your Favorite Homeboy, Edward