Do you want to go on an adventure? Part 1
Why and how did Justin and I move from Beaverton, a suburb of Portland, Oregon to Raleigh, North Carolina? The bottom line is that Justin and I desire nothing more than to be fully submitted to Father God’s will and His plan for our lives, which is where our story begins.
Sometime during the summer of 2012, A Jesus Church (formerly known as Solid Rock) started discussing plans of planting a church in Raleigh, North Carolina the following summer. One of the more compelling reasons for that location is the high concentration of college students there. In the months leading up to the big move there were weekly prayer meetings every Monday night you could attend even if you were unsure about whether or not this church plant was for you. During the initial discussions about Raleigh I had no thought, whatsoever, of going. Later, I discovered that during those talks Justin was being stirred by the Holy Spirit in a powerful way.
In our lives at that time were Meira, the outgoing and lovable three-year-old, and Jedidiah, our brave little one-year-old. We lived with my mother, affectionately known to the kids as "Gigi," in the 1970’s four bedroom house in which our family grew up. I was working a part-time custodial job at Nike Headquarters 5 to 10:30 p.m., which was ideal because I was able to be home with my babies all day and then mom could watch them for a couple hours until Justin got home. Justin was cooking away at a retirement home, and was well-loved by everyone. We were on track to buy a house and were even putting in offers.
Spring of 2013 rolls around and still no new house for the Pewonka's; Jed is two now and Meira is still cute as a bug. The house hunt quickly became discouraging as every time we put in an offer it was beaten by a better one. After a discussion with our Realtor, Justin and I decided to slow the search down for a couple of months and save more money for a down payment.
One evening as I was doing my rounds at the most amazing place on earth, Nike, I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. Every time I started wiping a surface the pain increased. That night after work I iced it and went to bed. The next day at work the pain did not leave and just intensified. I went to my supervisor and explained the situation. Long story short I had to file a worker's compensation claim and go to urgent care. What does this have to do with Raleigh? I am getting there. I couldn't return to work until I was 100 percent healed. It totally sucked because I couldn’t use my right arm, which is really hard when you have two small children.
I can't work. No new house. Here we are, sitting in life, going through the motions. Thankfully, I had the church! The best part of my week was the Wednesday morning prayer meeting. Every week there was amazing break through with the Holy Spirit. It was so amazing to see people get healed through prayer. During one of those prayer meetings, the guys laid hands on my shoulder and began praying for healing. The weird part was that as soon as they started praying I heard a voice in my head say “you are not getting healed today." I wasn't sure what to do with that information, but I still felt peace about it. It was also true as I did not get healed that day.
A few weeks go by and one Sunday afternoon Justin calls me from work and asks, “how would you like to go on an adventure?”
“Sure!” I replied, thinking he was talking about the beach or the mountains or something.
“How does North Carolina sound?” he asked.
My heart and stomach did nothing, in fact, I felt complete peace when he said the words.
So I replied, “I don’t know, how about we go to one of the Monday night meetings and check it out.”
“Sounds good,” he said.
That night, I had a dream. It was a short and vivid, yet random. I saw a man’s face and behind him a lush green forest. I heard the words “just follow him.” The dream was so random that I paid it no heed and did not even tell Justin about it when I awoke.
Monday night came, I picked Justin up from work and we went straight over to the church, where the meeting was being held. We slipped quietly in the back because we were late and everyone was singing. When the song was over everyone began to chat with one another as they sat down. While this was happening a man in front of us turned to talk to someone behind him. My heart leapt in my chest and I almost fell out of my seat. It was the guy I saw in my dream! I had never seen this guy before in my life! I turned to Justin, and as quickly as I could, I explained the dream and who he was and Justin looked at me, nodded his head, and said, “cool.”
After the meeting was over I couldn’t help myself; I had to meet this man I had seen in my dream. I walked over and introduced myself to him and said,
“This is going to sound weird but, I dreamed of you last night.” His girlfriend was staring at me pretty dang hard at this point. I explained the dream and he laughed and said, "wow, that’s cool!" I asked, “so, is your plan to go to Raleigh?”
“That’s the plan!” he said with a smile.
Justin and I thought and prayed about it for the next week, but we already knew we were going. I attended the meetings for the next two months while my shoulder healed. Funny to think that if I had not injured myself I would have never gone to the meetings in the first place. It is amazing how God orchestrates things sometimes. We told Justin’s brother, Ben and his wife Lindsey, about our journey and they decided to pack up their lives in Grass Valley, California and move with us across the country!
Finally, when my shoulder was better I returned to Nike and worked for another two months before quitting to start the moving process. Moving a family of four across the country is no easy task. So with all that said and done we were excited to get underway and see what God had in store for our family. Stay tuned for Part 2 "Road Trip!"