A Classic Tale of Telling God What You Won’t Do

I am sure you have heard a million times: “Never tell God what you won’t do because that is the very thing you’ll be called to do.”

I actually do not believe God is in the business of making us do what we do not want to do.  That is just wrong theology.


I am doing exactly what I sad I would never do.

Five years ago next month, I moved to Kansas.  I left the Sunshine State and told my brand new husband that we would never move back to Florida.  (He grew up there, so this was a pretty bold statement for a new bride.  But I meant it.)

It is not that I dislike Florida.  College was such an amazingly fun time of my life.  But I just really love the Midwest.  I love being close to my family (I really missed them during my college years).  I love the seasons.  I love how nice people are.  I love that is only takes 3-4 hours to fly anywhere in the country.  In short, I love where we live.

If I had my choice, I would have lived in Kansas City forever.  It is perfect.  Big city with a small city feel.  Anything you could ever want….with everything you need within a 10 minute drive.  I have like 6 Targets within a 15 minute drive!!

But I told God what I would not do.

And He decided that is the very thing I would do.

So, in a few short months, my family and I will be relocating to south Florida.

Many people have asked how it came to be.  I usually give the short version of the story.  I will give the medium version here.

Last May, a friend of Brett’s called him and said, “I really think you should pray about the possibility of moving to Miami.”

Brett shared this with me.  I laughed (Sarah of the Bible??).  And said, “Absolutely not.”

Slowly, over the next couple of months, God showed up to me in profound ways.  I needed heavy convincing, and He definitely convinced me.  Basically, through a series of dreams, people’s encouragement, etc., it was very clear that we would be moving to Florida.

Some of our closest friends in the world live in Florida.  We have always felt that we would work with them in a ministry capacity, but we assured them this would happen once they left Florida to join us in the great state of Kansas!!  (They laughed and said, “Absolutely not.”)

Anyway, around August, we shared with our bosses at work that we felt God was calling us to move to Florida.  We did not have a timetable, but we just knew it would be eventually.  Their advice was to forget about it until Christmastime, then we would revisit it.  We knew we would not be leaving before Luke’s arrival, so that is why we “forgot about it until Christmastime”.

During the fall, we did our best to forget, but we never felt like we could commit to anything past May 2010.  When people would say things like “next year, we’ll do this….”, we knew in our hearts that we would not be here next year.  However, in our minds, we were not totally sure.  We only want what God wants, so we continued to pray.

Around December, we felt strongly that we were going to be moving this summer.  In tears, I told two of my close friends about the possibility of moving.  I could not imagine not living in Kansas anymore.  I have such deep heart connections with friends here that I just could not stomach moving.  When I told them, we still were not positive about our timetable.  However, over Christmas break, we prayed a lot. And we knew clearly from the Lord that we would be moving this summer.

So that began our journey of sharing with our friends and family our plan.  Telling people has been the hardest part of this whole thing.  I felt like I was betraying people I have built relationships with during the last 5 years.  That is not true, of course, but it just hurt that deeply to realize that I would not see my friends on a consistent basis.  I realize people move all of the time.  I moved away from amazing friends when I left Tallahassee.  Those valuable friendships have survived time and distance, so I know it is possible (it is just a lot harder that all of us have kids!).

Our friends have been so supportive, and I could not be more thankful.  Though I do appreciate when they let me know they do not want us to leave!

Moving to Florida is definitely bittersweet.  God has totally changed my heart, and I am actually excited for what He has in store!!  I am looking forward to stepping into the next chapter He has for our lives.  Living in Florida has it’s perks.  Beaches.  Pools.  Good shopping.  Diversity.  Did I mention beaches?

I am so sad to be leaving the place where we have built our entire life together!!  It will be so hard to leave the house that I first visited when Brett and I had been dating about 5-6 weeks (and feared it would be the ultimate bachelor pad with black lacquer furniture)…the house I moved into my first few weeks as a married woman….the house we brought home our 3 children to….the house that holds so many memories of the Williams Clan.

Yet, I hope in a God who has a new house for us.  With new memories.  And even more amazing friends.

God is so faithful.  As always, He knows what we need and want so much more than we know ourselves.  I love that!!

I guess I should also confess that I prayed in November (when it started to seem like we may be moving), “God, if you want us to move, this has to be the very worst winter ever so that I will be excited for the change of climate.”

So you are welcome for all of the snow :).


3 Responses to “A Classic Tale of Telling God What You Won’t Do”

  1. Lizz @ Yes, and So is my Heart Says:

    Oh Sarah, I pray you and your family will have the best time in Florida. I’ve said it before, but God has only made all of our moves better than the last even when I said, oh, this could never be better.

    Still, I don’t have to like that you are leaving and I won’t! I’ll just be happy for you and sad for me. 🙂 😦

  2. Daneen Says:

    Anytime someone follows God’s direction I am amazed with how blessed they are… so I’m certain blessings will flow abundantly for your family.

    That said, I’m with Lizz… I don’t have to like it but I am truly happy for your family’s new adventures! Love, Daneen

  3. Sara Says:

    Sarah, I have so been there!! It’s so hard to take a leap of faith, but God will bless you, your family, and your ministry abundantly!

    I also loved your previous posting about your children. I have a 3 and 1/2 and 1 and 1/2 at home, so I just had to chuckle, especially about the “Mommy Brain” and milk discussion! God bless you for wanting to bring four children into the world–most days I can barely handle two!!

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