The post I’ve been waiting to write for 9 months and 22 days: We have a JOB!!!

Truly… I’ve imagined writing this for so long. Just imagining entitling a post “We Have a Job” has been a source of encouragement over the months of waiting. And here it is.

James is the new Minister of Education at First Baptist Church in *Cleveland, MS*! We are so excited! I can’t wait to serve the Lord and the body of Christ in the role of “minister’s wife” again.  The church vote was beautifully confirming, and the people are genuinly loving!  They are ready for the work a Min. of Ed. does, and James is ready to lead out in that work.  It is a perfect fit!

We could not have had a better weekend.  Thank you so much for praying for us!  Each of you who prayed had a part in what God did, and we are so grateful.

We are leaving the “city” and moving back to a small town!  I can hardly wait!  I grew up just ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES away from Cleveland. My mom is still in Batesville, MS and I can get to her house in just a little more time than it takes me to get to a favorite quaint shopping area outside of Nashville. Whoohoo!  It will be a very welcomed change in the pace of life!!!!!

Cleveland is an old Southern town with lots of charm and history. Our church is on a block with several other churches, and there seems to be a beautiful comraddare between the different appendages of the Complete Body of Christ in our new town.  If you really want to know what it is like in Cleveland, check out this link.

EDITED TO ADD: Here is a link to our wonderful new church!  🙂

We don’t know when the family will move yet. James starts work on May 1st, and besides that, we are still on God’s “urged on by faith they went…without troubling their minds about where they were going” plan. (Or better: when they were going there, and where they would live once they arrived.) Ha ha.

For now, we are just so glad that Cleveland, MS is where we are going! 

Early in our journey, the Lord orchestrated an opportunity for James to serve as the third person under a very well known and respected pastor in one of the larger Southern Baptist churches in the United States.  The salary and benifits were incredible.  It was everything most people would look at and say, “You’re a fool not to jump on this.”

But as we prayed about it, the Lord made it abundantly clear that His answer for us was, “No.  This is not what I have for your family.”  After we told them the Lord’s answer, we went through 2 1/2 months of complete silence.  No other interviews or job offers.  Even the churches we had previously interviewed with were silent in getting back to us as to whether they wanted to move on to someone else, or move on in the interview process.  It was a hard 2 1/2 months.  Many times we went back to the Lord for clarification.  And graciously, He gave it every time, reminding us to “Obey Him for today, and trust Him for tomorrow.”

Now our Faithful God has let us see what He had in store for us all along, why we had to wait, and how He was working behind the scenes of silence in preparing this church for us and us for this church.  We are SO thankful that we obeyed and waited!  If we had taken the “good”, we would have missed the “best”.  And for our family, FBC Cleveland is the “best”!!!!!

It’s kind of funny how the Lord put this church and us together.  They felt that they already had God’s man for them in the works, and were seeing an end to the search in sight, when ONE MORE RESUME came to the chairman’s house.  One more.  And it was James’.  Someone sent it to him, but I don’t even think he opened it right then.  God started quickly closing doors with the other person, so they opened the enevelop, and got in touch with James.  It’s what God had planned all along.

Then in God’s perfect timing (which so often seems so slow to us!!!), He put us and the committee together, and the rest is what we pray is the beginning of a long history of ministry and fruit-bearing within the body of Christ!

Nathan and Abigail have made some friends, and both are looking forward to living there.  (That in itself is a HUGE gift from God!)  James and I feel like we fit right in.  We found a house that we adore, that even has a place where my mom could come and live with us in the future. 

God has gone before our every step.  We can see that now.  We knew He would, but now we can see where He did.  He still has lots to do to get us to Cleveland though, but we have every confidence that He who began this good work will complete it to perfection! 

The 9 months and 22 days of waiting on the Lord for a job are over.  Today, Monday April 19, marks Day 1 of a new journey with Him. 
I can say this with all my heart: It has been a special journey, and I love the Lord more, because of it. Our spiritual muscles of faith are stronger and so are our children’s.  If we are ever tempted to wonder if God will take care of us in the future, we can look back on this journey and KNOW that the answer is YES!  He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.

Oh Lord, thank you for Your faithfulness.  Period.  To us, and to everyone who calls upon you for help.  Thank You for this time in our lives when we had no choice but to trust You.  Like the children of Israel at the Red Sea, You brought us to a place where we could either trust and obey, or drown and be destroyed.  Thank You that You parted many waters for us, and that you will part many more before our complete journey ends.  I love You.  I trust You. Please glorify Yourself through this life we are living.  Please help us to continue to walk “urged on by faith” wherever it is that you lead us. Please help us to bless You and others in all we do…so much more is in my heart that my hand’s can’t yet type, but I thank You advance and praise You in the Powerful and Loving Name of Jesus… a men.”

Thank you so much for being a vital part of our journey Urged on by Faith!  I’m praying for so many of you right now as I type this.  I love you and thank God for all He is doing in your lives as He us urging you on by faith, too.  I know you will find Him faithful… because that’s Who He is.

Much love to each of you~

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. The Brady's Blog..Not Home Yet says:

    I am so excited for you I can hardly stand it! I am bursting with JOY for all of you. They are so blessed to get such a wonderful family! Can't wait to hear all about it my friend!

  2. ~Carrie from Cottage Cozy~ says:

    The church looks wonderful and your photo on their website is great! Congratulations!

  3. ~Carrie from Cottage Cozy~ says:

    Praise God…He knows just what we need!

  4. How very exciting! We have been in a position where we have had to wait on the Lord and though I know many outsiders looked at us and thought "what a scry place to be" for us it was comforting to know that Lord had a plan and would reveal it in His perfect timing!

  5. Tales From My Empty Nest says:

    God has certainly blessed your family. What wonderful news!!! You will love living in a small Southern town. And being close to your Mother will be awesome. I know you are so excited. Best of luck to your husband. I went to the church blog. What a great picture of you and your husband. And such a nice church. Love & blessings from NC!

  6. Jen,

    So glad and so excited for you guys!

    Congratulations to you and to James!

    We love you guys…


  7. Well, that is just about one of the most encouraging and exciting posts I've ever read! What a journey…what a perfect plan..and what a mighty and awesome God we serve! I know He has great things in store for you in MS…and how neat that you will share them with us through the blog!!:)

    Rejoicing with you, sweet friend!

  8. Jane (Frugal Fine Living) says:

    That's wonderful news and answered prayers! Praise God!


  9. What a post! And, what a blessed post. God is soooo good! Looking forward to hearing about this journey.

  10. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    So very thrilled for all of you! We, too, are walking our own journey of faith where ministry is concerned and will have a new landing come June. God is faithful to get us where he wants us to go, as we are faithful to move our feet in obedience. What seemed impossible months ago has now become your Ebenezer. Raise it high as you go, never forgetting the journey of faith you've been on over the past nine months.

    I'm so very glad, friend.


  11. Prayers of praise and thanksgiving!!!! Jennifer… what joy fills my heart hearing this news! I am so thankful for the witness you have shared in your faith walk & wait! 😉 So excited to take this journey along with you as I follow you in blogland!

    Much Love,

  12. I've not ever commented before and haven't "followed" you very long, but just wanted you to know that this post brought tears to my eyes. Oh, how you gave God the glory and praise. May He continue to bless you all and the next phase of your ministry for Him.

  13. So thankful for His provision for you.. not just in this job, but all the steps along the way. He is so good! Love it! : )

  14. LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious says:

    God is so good! So happy for you and your hubby and family Jennifer. I've only visited your blog a few times but I knew from the first visit that God was already doing something special through you.

    My son-in-law has been a Youth Pastor (Wesleyan) for the past 10 yrs and has just recently felt God calling him out of Youth work and ready for the next pastoring path He has in plans for him. They too are patiently waiting on God's provision for the next place to serve. So I truly understand what a huge blessing this is for you all.

    Praise the Lord!

    Lee Ann

  15. Kim@Seasons of My Heart says:

    Oh friend….God is SO faithful…AMEN…AND AMEN!!

    I had to make a link from my recent post…..because…my friend…you have TRULY encouraged my sweet…sweet…heart!!!

    I'm so excited to see the amazing things the Lord is STILL to do!

  16. I'm so happy for yall!!!! What a beautiful answer to prayer!! May God overwhelmingly bless your ministry there! 🙂

  17. CONGRATS!!!! I am so thrilled for you and your family on your new journey!

    God Bless!

  18. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!!!!
    With joy,

  19. I am so thrilled for you all and what lies ahead in this journey! And what fun to be going HOME!!!! Can't wait to hear, via the blog what all will be transpiring during the course of the move and transition! Thank goodness for blogs…we can still keep in touch!

  20. I'm so thankful with you that God answered your prayers. I will continue to pray for you was all the details fall into place, that the transition will be a smooth one for all of you. I'm sad to see you leave Nashville, but I look forward to seeing what wonderful things God has in store for you!

  21. Wonderful news~ It is so good to look back and see His hand in all of the events of the past few monts, isn't it? Praise The Lord indeed! I am glad I found your blog and am looking forward to reading about the journey you are about to embark upon!

  22. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Wow, how exciting to read this Jennifer! Sooo very happy for you. Thank you for taking us along for this journey of faith. I think we've all grown through your family's example of faithfulness. I'm excited for your new church family…they're in for such a blessing in all of you! Congratulations & may God continue to bless you and your family mightily!


  23. Just me~Bobbie Jo says:

    Whooooo hooooooo!!! God is so good!

  24. Jennifer, I am thrilled to read this post. It is truly an answer to prayer. I feel a bit like I've been on this journey with you even though we've not YET met in person. But your testimony has not been wasted on me, my friend.

    I personally know what it's like to not know where God is taking me. And frankly, it's been hard for me. But knowing that I have friends who come alongside of me and pray is comforting. And now to see how God has answered your prayer for HIS BEST …that is amazing! I love it and am so happy for you.

    "Obey Him for today, and trust Him for tomorrow."

    That is what I needed to read this morning Jennifer. Thank you and may the Lord bless you and James abundantly. I know the people of the First Baptist Church in Cleveland, MS will be blessed to know you, that's for sure.

    Hugs and much love,

  25. Oh PRAISE GOD!! I am soo happy for you all. And not just that this job has finally come and you know your future direction, but that you have experienced this journey with Him and will no doubt now be able to help soo many others that might find themselves on this path. He is soo good and soo faithful to us. Looking forward to seeing all the rest of the "details" fall into place. CONGRATUALTIONS to your hubby, and may the Lord richly bless this new ministry opportunity. HUGS, Debbie

  26. PRAISE THE LORD!!! I am so happy for you. God is good!

  27. LaDonna Pettis says:

    It is so humbling and amazing to read through your journey of faith. You and your family are truly an inspiration to us. I am thanking God that He brought you through this time in your lives. I cannot wait to hear about all the wonderful plans He has in store for you! I know that you will be a blessing to the people in Cleveland. I feel that I am several steps behind you in my journey of faith. I am struggling to hold on at the moment. Waiting is so hard. Sometimes I am overwhelmed. I know and trust God will take care of us but I am a planner and I am struggling with not knowing how and when. I will keep your journey in my heart as an encouragement to me. I feel like I know you through Bec. She is like my sister so you are precious to me too! May God bless your next step! Love LaDonna