by Emily Koontz
It was 2015, I had just graduated college the year before, and was finally starting to feel like I was figuring life out. I had a job that I loved, working for the women’s soccer team at my alma mater in Indiana and enjoyed living close to family and friends. So when I sensed God telling me it was time to leave, to step out in faith and move to a different place, my first thought was something like, “Huh? Are you serious? Why?”

I didn’t want to move. I liked my life. I was comfortable. But the thought that God was calling me to move wouldn’t go away. I knew it had to be from the Lord because even though it was scary and full of many unknowns, I also felt excited to step out in obedience, as I wrote in my journal. That, among other reasons, gave me peace that this really was God’s leading. But first, I would learn a lesson about submitting to God’s timing.

“God, I did what you asked, why aren’t you coming through for me?” was my bitter cry as the job applications kept going out, only to be rejected over and over again. I was 25, unemployed, and living with my parents. Not exactly the picture of success as painted by the world. I had a terrible attitude fueled by self pity, entitlement, and cutting myself off from community. I knew God was still there, but it seemed like he didn't care very much.

By God's grace, my attitude started to change when I finally accepted my circumstances and  began to serve in my community. “God, how can I use this time? What do you want to teach me?”, became my prayer. My attitude began to change, but the notion that I was supposed to move did not. I still felt that God was leading me to step out of my comfort zone and into a new place.

As summer came closer, I was excited for the opportunity to serve with a sports ministry for the 3rd year. I was especially excited because I knew it would give me the opportunity to go to Oklahoma for training, and even be back at CCC, where I had been the year before to help lead sports camp. I liked the people there and had made some good friends who attended CCC, plus I enjoyed being in Oklahoma. I’m not really sure when, but somehow I came to the decision that after the summer was over, I would move to Oklahoma. I had some friends and a place to attend church, so why not? Finding a job and a place to live could come later.

Let me pause right here to point out that this was not typical thinking for me. I would not describe myself as an adventurous type of person. I like to plan; to have my “ducks in a row”, so to speak. Looking back, I see this as evidence of God’s leading. Fast forward to the middle of the summer, when I got a call from a friend who attended CCC. “Hey, this is random, but Covenant is looking for a secretary, I know you are planning to move here - is that something you’d be interested in?”

I won't bore you with all the details that followed, but later that summer, about 2 years after I first sensed God calling me to move, I arrived in Oklahoma - as a resident! I began working at Covenant part time and after a year was hired full time to continue my duties as administrative assistant and also lead the 5th and 6th grade ministry. I never would have imagined any of this, but God showed his faithfulness by leading me to a place and a job that I love so much. Since moving here, God has blessed me in many ways and has used this experience to teach me many things about himself. I am humbled and I am thankful.

Thankful for opportunities to grow and live out my faith, and a church that challenges and equips me to do so.

Thankful for the many people who have shared their lives with me, helped me in various ways, made sure I always have a place to spend holidays, and have become like family to me.

Thankful for parents whose love and support have played a bigger role in this story than these short pages can convey.  

Thankful that God saw fit to lead me here, to teach me, and to allow me to see the fulfillment of his promise that he works all things together for good and for his glory.