If you would have asked me a year ago what I thought would happen in 2014, I guarantee I couldn’t have guessed.
It’s been a wild ride.
In the spring, a long chapter in ministry came to a close. We settled into a new church and a new chapter in the corporate world began almost immediately. We had a fantastic summer, got to experience a wonderful vacation with family, and returned home to the news that our great friends and next-door neighbors were opening a new chapter out of state. Then, the same week we watched their moving van pull away, I got pulled into my boss’s office and found out I was a part of a reduction of force. Terminated.
Ouch! That was a very bad week.
Sometimes, I think God wisely strips away the things we lean on to provide the clarity we need to follow him with renewed focus. A lot of times, what we’re leaning on—jobs, relationships, financial peace, status, familiarity—are the very things that keep us from leaning on him.
As we have done so frequently in the past, we circled the wagons, took a deep breath, and began scanning the horizon for signs of what God might be up to.
First, I should back up. When my ministry ended in the spring, I felt absolutely convicted that God hadn’t released our family from our ministry in the community in which we live. I didn’t want to chase ministry all over the country because I saw all the ministry we were continuing to do. And, to be honest, I had simply refused to enter into any conversation about getting back into ministry. I wasn’t having it. Looking back, my heart was a little hard. There was some hurt that had to heal. And, I knew I needed time.
About two weeks after that really bad August week, he began his work in my heart and in our family because a friend dared to follow his lead and speak up. One Friday, a good friend asked my wife, “Why doesn’t Kevin apply for the ministry position that’s open at Plainfield Christian Church?” Kelly didn’t know what to say; we hadn’t considered it. She texted me; I didn’t know how to reply. So I sat and thought about it. And, for the first time in several long months, I felt warmth, light, and enthusiasm begin to creep slowly back into my heart.
It was an awesome feeling.
That afternoon, Kelly and I decided we’d think on it over the weekend and that we’d honor God by pursuing it if he moved us in that direction. A couple hours later, a friend messaged me out of the blue and told me that I should pursue the opening at PCC. Strange. Then, later that evening, my parents came to visit. When we told them what had happened that day, my Dad got emotional and told us he’d been praying for ministry opportunities for us. The sermon that Sunday spoke directly to me and was the final straw. We talked and prayed that evening and determined that I needed to make a call the next day.
That Monday afternoon, I ended up having a conversation in the church office and a new adventure began to open up in front of us.
It’s been a month since I’ve officially been back in ministry. It is so good to be back in the saddle. God is good. I can see what he’s been up to. I know that what he has allowed has been for our good, our healing, and our protection. And, I am so excited for the future.
We’ve learned some incredible lessons … but I’m going to have to save that for another day.