When God Leaves It To The Last Minute

Having passed on our church responsibilities, we have now been released to process our move to Paris. The wisdom of our church leadership team, who encouraged us to disentangle the process by ‘transitioning out’ before ‘transitioning to’, has really helped us.

In mid-September, we were able to share a meal with some good friends of ours. In talking to them about the process, it became clear that we needed to take some very deliberate steps of faith.

Maybe this has never happened to you, but sometimes God leads you to make a decision and it feels ok, you’ve heard God and you’re full of faith, then as time moves on, crunch time is approaching, and the questions start creeping in. You begin to doubt and listen to the whisper, “Did God really say...?”

That’s where I got to. We made the decision in September that I would hand in my notice for the end of the year. I must have applied for more than 100 jobs between September and Christmas. The doubts and temptations came. When we went into our November lockdown in the UK, the furlough scheme was extended. With still no sign of a job opening up, I began to wonder whether I could be furloughed for a few months in the new year, rather than having no job.

I found this called into question my integrity, my faith and our call. It’s how the enemy works, the same tactic he’s used since the garden. And yet, it’s also how God works; he highlights things, convicts us, disciplines us and shapes us, all because he loves us.

I handed in my notice to our excellent church trustees at the end of November and had my last day in the office on 23 December. A few weeks earlier, a good friend of ours had spoken to me about some potential work at the company he works for and put me in touch with his boss (his father-in-law). We’d had a couple of phone calls and we’d met the week before Christmas. We spoke about the business, their need for a marketing manager, my skills and experience in communications and even about our call to Paris. On my last day in the office at church, I received a phone call at 4:59pm. He made me a very generous job offer with a commitment to help us get over to Paris. What!?

I started my new job as a marketing manager on 18 January 2021, working here in the UK while we navigate the complexities of setting up a French business, sorting out accommodation, visas and schools in this post-Brexit and covid-restricted world.

We are so grateful and hugely overwhelmed by God’s answer to this prayer; his provision and his faithfulness to us has been so humbling as we’ve taken this step of faith. He works in ways that we wouldn’t have chosen, not because we know better, but because they are so much greater than we could ever know. His attention to detail and timing, the way he works through people, generous people, business people, who have a passion to see the gospel spread across the world, is something that continues to amaze us.

To all those who have prayed and continue to pray for us and with us, we appreciate you! Please don’t stop – there is much ahead of us. Please pray for discernment as we navigate through the currently unknown (by us) process across the Channel to Paris. Pray for God’s grace on our family and all that we will be leaving behind in Crawley.

With love,

Joe, Amy, Eloise, Elijah, Phoebe & Esther x