Authored by Collin Stoddard on December 7, 2014
We’re moving to Minnesota.
Saying how God has guided in this would be easier in a full length video of our entire last year, but here’s how God showed up.
Last year Jenna and I started praying big prayers. “God we want to be in the center of your will, we want to see you do great things through us.”
In January we found out we were expecting.
The focus of my music ministry altered course drastically in early spring and I took on more responsibilities leading the worship arts ministry at Calvary Bible in Erie, Colorado, preparing for a move into a new building.
In March I wrote a song that we play over and over at bed time for Palmer. He started having tummy aches that kept him up at night. Four months later we learned it was from a tumor in his tummy. Our big prayer changed. We prayed for Palmer’s life. I prayed like I’ve never prayed before.
In August I alternated between working high on a lift installing sound systems in our new building, working as hard as we could to open on time and yanking my gloves off when Jenna’s name would appear on my iPhone for an update from the doctor on Palmer. Several times I would lower the lift as fast as it would go, jump the remaining three feet and hit the ground running, leave my tools and gloves behind and run to my truck and hurry home to rush Palmer back to the hospital.
In September his tumor was removed and it wasn’t cancerous. We played Peace the whole time in the hospital. We had dinner with our doctor a few weeks ago and thanked her. We’ll always thank her. She said we should thank Jesus for his life because all the doctors saw a completely different outcome. Our God answers prayers.
Elan Price was born in October, the most peaceful, perfect birth story we’ve ever had. Thank you Jesus, we needed this, too.
In November I lead worship in Pheonix, all over Colorado and I think a holiday happened? I don’t really remember. I do remember we were introduced to a church in Minnesota to talk about moving there to lead worship. We said no. We’ve had a hard year. It sounded too big.
We met a couple named Joe and Becky who visited us in Colorado to talk more about this church in Minnesota called Wooddale. We really liked them so we decided we’d go see them in Minnesota. We said it would take something big to make us move. We saw Jesus in these people, we saw a great work and we wanted to be a part of it. We knew we were seeing an answer to big prayers but didn’t feel brave enough. We wrestled with God.
I played several special Christmas events like I do every year, the ACSI dinner banquet and the CRU’s Christmas Conference, leading worship for their staff, Christmas Eve services in our new building with all the extra programming and guest leading at Rocky Mountain Christian Church.
Calvary’s Christmas series was called “Do Not Fear.” I sang songs like Called Me Higher, You Make Me Brave, Oceans which were for me. I wanted to believe that God is big enough. I woke up one night with our image graphic in my mind. I read the words and finally understood them. I realized “Do Not Fear” was for me. “Collin, Do Not Fear.”
We said yes. We know this is right. We’ve seen God take care of all the details. Our house sold in a day and we’re at peace. It feels good to not be wrestling anymore.
God answered our big prayer. The answer didn’t make sense to us and He used tough stuff to make us rely on Him so when He spoke we’d be able to hear Him.
“If nothing else will do to sever me from my sin, Lord, send me such sore and trying calamities as shall awaken me from earthly slumbers. It must always be best to be alive to Thee, whatever be the quickening instrument.” “Robert Murray M’Cheyne
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
We’ll miss our friends and family in Colorado but we know that God has a great plan. Come see us in Minnesota. We’re so excited to join Wooddale and this team that God’s assembling there.
Bring a blanket. It’ll be cold.
Collin for the five of us.