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Exciting News from the Hays’ Household

God is on the move! And so are we!

Tracy and I will be moving to Runaway Bay, Texas during the month of May. For the past two years, we have felt that God was preparing us for some big changes.  As we waited and watched for His leading, God unfolded the steps for this next season of life.

How It Began

In the fall of 2020, I sensed that God was directing me to step down from the Amarillo City Council and not run for re-election. In the natural, this seemed contrary to the desires of my heart and what I believed to be a calling on my life . . . impacting the government arena for kingdom purposes. But I knew He was letting me know my time of service on the Council was over and it was time for me to step aside.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served on the Amarillo City Council. It was incredibly rewarding and more fulfilling than I ever imagined.

Working Vacation

For the past year and a half, Tracy and I have been on a “working vacation.” We had some projects we were completing but also had an opportunity to travel to multiple locations that had been on our “bucket list”. It was a wonderful year of rest and rejuvenation. As we prepared for one of those trips (traveling through Virginia to arrive in Washington, D.C. for the 20 year commemoration of 9/11 being held on the D.C. Mall), we began praying for a divine appointment. (I imagined someone offering me a job and moving us to the nation’s capital!!) But there was no divine appointment. Or so I thought.

After returning home from a wonderful week, I was thanking God for such a great trip, even though we had not had the divine appointment we had been praying for. I heard the Holy Spirit say “You did have your divine appointment.” What?? How could I have missed that? I was watching and listening for it the entire trip!

I was reminded of a pastor that had spoken at a political workshop and the 9/11 memorial and how much I had identified with his passion for the church to engage with culture, including the area of government. I couldn’t remember his name so looked back through the workshop notes and decided to see where he pastored. I was shocked to find out that his church was in Fort Worth, a mere 55 minutes from our family vacation home. I heard God speak. . . “This was your divine appointment. You were praying for a job with a location that INCLUDED a home church that valued religious freedom and the need to protect it, but the NUMBER ONE priority is finding your church home first.”

We began visiting Mercy Culture, with pastor Landon Schott, every time we were in the Fort Worth area and it became clear . . we had found a new church home and it was time to start the process of moving.

Saying Goodbye

Since we have lived in our current home for nearly 30 years, it was important for our kids to have a chance to say goodbye to the only childhood home they have ever known. We selected a weekend when everyone could squeeze in a trip to Amarillo and say good-bye in style . . . a champagne toast to the memories. Originally, our son-in-law and two of the grandkids were not going to be able to join us for the weekend, but after an unexpected plane cancellation and subsequent delay in flight plans, they were able to make a last minute decision to accompany Rachel on the flight. We had our entire family . . . all the kids, grandkids and even grand-dogs here for the final farewell!!! What a gift.

Getting Rid of Stuff

Since we will be down-sizing substantially, we gave the kids an opportunity to “bid” on items they were interested in taking to their own homes. As financial planners, we have encouraged families to plan for the disbursement of their estate prior to death to avoid unpleasant family dynamics and loss of relationship over “stuff”.

We had each of our kids choose from playing cards (Ace through four) based on their order of calendar year birthdate (not birth order) to determine who would select first. Similar to an NFL fantasy snake draft, the person who chose first in the initial round was relegated to the last pick in the second round. And then it reversed.  It was so fun to watch them make selections! I had no idea if they would want any of the items that I have enjoyed over the years, but they ended up with multiple selections going to each home. I loved it.

A New Season

We are not certain of what is in our future, but we are certain of at least the next step. We will be moving back to the area where I grew up and see what God has in store from there. We are so excited to get plugged in with Mercy Culture and make ourselves available to help with the things they as a church community feel called to do.

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”  Luke 10:2

“Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8

As an added bonus, we will be moving closer to family! My mom, sister and all her children live in the area, as do Tracy’s brother and his family. And we will be centrally located to all our kiddos who are scattered across Texas! (God always amazes me with His “multi-tasking” blessings.)

Thanks for the Memories

We are so grateful to have raised our family in Amarillo for the past 36 years. (For Tracy, it’s been his home for over 60 years.) We have made incredible friendships over the years and loved our community. But we want to follow where God is leading and can’t wait to see what is next!

Thank you, Amarillo!

All our love,

Tracy and Elaine

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14 Responses

  1. WOW! Will be sad to see y’all go as we’ve known y’all longer than your 30 years in that home…but my goodness, lots of exciting, Holy Spirit vibes around the process and possibilities!
    Praying incredible and MARVELOUS BLESSINGS over the process and this new adventure!

  2. With the Lord guiding your way, we know you will continue to be as blessed as in the past.
    Great walk in faith, excited for you. Welcome back home Elaine!

  3. You two will be missed, but God is good all the time! Bless you as you go. We will enjoy keeping up with what God has for you on this next adventure! ❤️

  4. Congratulations you two! As we embarked on our move to the Carolinas, it was daunting. I too was raised in the Panhandle for 56 years! We have enjoyed this area so much…May The Lord bless you all and bring blessings as you move! And I pray you make fast friends at your new church home!
    Love, Joni Mickna

  5. Wow! What a beautiful story of faith and obedience to God’s calling!!!
    Elaine you have made such a contribution on the Amarillo City Council – thank you for your service and leadership. Tracy – God has worked such miracles in your life and your perseverance and testimony shared through your public speaking and writing has been so inspirational to SO many!!!
    May God continue to Bless you both and your family!!!

  6. Wow! You should have seen my jaw drop when I read the first line of -runaway bay!!
    I’m sure it will be rewarding- He does not disappoint❣️🙌🏼

  7. So happy for you guys. Our hearts and friendship will always be connected. God and Jesus will always direct the path where you are needed most. Please keep in touch.

  8. We are so excited for the next adventure God has planned for you! We will miss you dearly in our community and our church but will hold on tightly to you in our hearts! Godspeed

  9. I’m so sorry to see you leave Amarillo but I know that God must have great things in store for your life. Keep me posted on any books you write and you know I want one and will help get the word out as they are awesome to read. I feel honored to have known Tracy since first grade and to have gone through school years with him. I’m so happy for you both and I look forward to reading your stories about your new adventure so keep the blog going my friends! Love and hugs to you both.

  10. Tracy and Elaine, we are so excited for you guys! I know the Lord has something amazing planned for you. Remember years ago when I thought the Lord had given me a word for you – “I will watch over them to build and to plant.” God bless you and your family abundantly!♥️ Love, Larry and Leigh Ann

  11. So excited for you guys! Thanking you both for the service and wisdom you have provided to Amarillo! There will not be a time that I drive by your house and not think of you guys! Wishing you the Lord’s richest blessing.

  12. Tracy, Elaine
    Im full of joy you have been tender to Gods leading. He is ALWAYS so GOOD to be ever present and grant hearts desires when in line with His purposes. Love you both. Grateful for our friendship and history.Riches from heaven OVERTHETOP!

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