As I read back through our blog sometimes, I realize that I don't say enough about the amazing husband God has blessed me with. So let me share a little about what makes Josh Lewis so fantastic...
One of the things I love so much about Josh is his integrity. He works hard, he's honest in all of his dealings, and he does what he knows is right. In an age where businessmen chant "Get to the top as fast as you can...and it doesn't matter who you have to step on to get there", I admire Josh's commitment to his values (and more importantly, his commitment to living every aspect of his life--including work--in a manner that would hopefully bring glory to God).
On the path a little closer to home, I treasure Josh's commitment to us, his family. Josh sees us as a blessing from the Lord, and he treats us as such. Ephesians 5:25 commands husbands to love their wives "just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Josh models Christ's love by being gentle and never speaking to me harshly (Colossians 3:19). He's not perfect, but time and time again, Josh puts me before himself, and he shows Godly character through the way he loves me.
Psalm 127:3 tells us that "Children are a blessing from the Lord," and Josh has embraced that Scripture with his whole heart. Not only does Josh thank God daily for our little blessings, but he treasures them as priceless gifts directly from the Lord. Most importantly, though, he takes very seriously his responsibility back to God for "bring[ing] them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).
But as much as Josh adores me (that's a compliment 100% directed toward him, not me...because trust me, I'm very unadorable sometimes!), and as much as he treasures our children, Josh worships the Lord far and above anyone or anything of this earth. God has been working for years now in Josh's heart, drawing him closer with each passing season. Josh has spent the past few years earnestly seeking God's will and praying for the direction that God would have him go.
Josh's heart has been broken for the "least of these", and he's been acting on that passion for quite a while now through various ministries and opportunities. But God seems to be guiding him steadily on to something deeper. As Josh has handed the direction of his life over to God for His divine leading, God seems to be drawing him into full-time ministry.
As a couple, we've wrestled for quite some time with what exactly that looks like. Has God been leading Josh toward a position within our church? Was He calling us to begin a ministry of our own here in Birmingham? And you'll never understand how close we were last year to leaving everything we know and love here in the States to move to a neighboring continent.
That's right...I said another continent.
But none of those seemed to be the path God had laid out before us at this time. So after much prayer (and as much patience as we could muster), it's my joy to announce that Josh sent off his application today to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
This is obviously a huge step for our family, and it will bring with it some pretty dramatic changes. Josh will continue to work full-time in Birmingham and will attend classes via a combination of an extension campus here in the city, a few week-long classes at the main campus in New Orleans, and online studies. I, on the other hand, will take on a slightly different role as Josh's free-time lessens.
We've still got a lot of questions about how this looks logistically (in terms of Josh's job, my business, our finances, etc.), but as I've been reading in the Psalms lately, the Lord hears our desires (10:17), and He never forsakes us (9:10) or ignores our cries (9:12). He keeps us safe and protects us (12:7), and His way is perfect (18:30). His word is flawless (18:30), and He uses it to make our way perfect (18:32). God is our strength (22:19, 28:7, 28:8), our shepherd (23:1), our encourager (10:17), and our stronghold (9:9, 18:2, 27:1). He is good (25:7), strong and mighty (24:8), and loving and faithful (25:10).
And that's just in the first 28 chapters!!!
Please join with us in prayer as we anxiously await news back from NOBTS and as we prepare for this new season in our lives. "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy" (Psalm 126:3)!