Monday, May 20, 2013

A new beginning, A new journey, A new season

In my previous post I shared that Joel had resigned his position here at First Baptist many different things led us to this point but I want to share the story of what led us to where we are going - First Baptist Church Levelland Tx!

Joel was the last of 6 Pastoral Staff to be hired here in Borger. Throughout the past two years - 5 of those 6 have resigned and moved on to other place of ministry (the first actually had resigned before we came, his last Sunday was our first Sunday) for their own reasons. As we began to see these events unfold, Joel and I fervently began to pray about what God would have us do and whether or not we should stay, go, or what. We both began sensing that He would lead us on. The primary reason behind this is that Joel's calling and passion is for Children and Families. He longs to come alongside a Sr Pastor in a secondary position and reach families - I like to refer to it as he makes a GREAT Wing Man but not so much the Lead Plane! Anyway - we came to the realization that if we were to stay this calling and passion for families would need to be placed on the back burner while he helped the church through a very critical time of transition. This was simply not something he or I felt that he was even capable of much less equipped to do.

A few days after we came to that realization and decision, a friend of ours from college called Joel. He said, "I am pretty sure I know the answer to this, but for the last week your name has come to mind so I just need to call...our church is in need of a Children's and Families Pastor would you be open to sending your resume?" Don't you just LOVE how God opens a door when you are truly seeking Him? Joel had only actually sent out two other resumes, we had told very few people that we were even considering looking, we had prepared ourselves to be here through the summer and God flings open a door!

We went through the application and interview process, we prayed, talked with our kids, prayed some more, talked with others in ministry and parents, more prayer, etc and this past weekend we went in view of a call to First Baptist Church Levelland Tx. The vote was positive and so we are beginning the transition to a new place of ministry!

There are by far many mixed emotions! I know my previous post alluded to the hard times but rest assured there have been MANY ups!!! We have made some incredibly amazing friendships, Joel has been mentored by one of the most Godly men we know, we have seen families grow stronger and parents learn to disciple. Our kids have met friends, played sports, and grown so much!!! We will truly miss many people here. Our hearts are most definitely broken over the place that the church here is in but yet we are excited to see what God does with First Borger!!!

As we look ahead to Levelland - EXCITEMENT and ENERGY are an understatement! Joel will have the opportunity to truly build a children's and families ministry with a firm foundation of kids, parents and volunteers already in place. There are many new and exciting opportunities for our kids in the way of schools, sports, a strong youth group, etc. I will be looking to returning to the work force full-time although not sure what that will look like for sure and of course I will be helping Joel with ministry mostly through pre-schoolers and their moms! We can hardly wait to get there and join an amazing staff that is already in place!

Our timeline is this: June 2 is Joel's last Sunday here in Borger, we will leave on vacation to Colorado June 4 and then we will go to Levelland June 12or 13 with his first Sunday being June 16.  There is much to be done in that time...packing, finding a home in Levelland, finishing up here in Borger, ending school, etc but we know that it will all get done and so we press forward!

Look for more posts in the near future as we progress! Can't wait to tell you more about our new journey!!!

For every time there is a season....

Twenty - two months, just shy of the two year mark, two full school years...the amount of time that our family has been in Borger Tx serving at First Baptist Church Borger. July 17, 2011 Joel began ministry as Associate Pastor to Children and Families. It has been a time filled with mountain highs, some plains, and yes many valley lows.

OUR plan when we came, was to be here for many many years. We intended for Hannah, our oldest to complete all four years of High School here, the others to potentially do the same. WE intended on buying a home and establishing roots. OUR goal was to be a tenured staff member of this church....Do you see the theme? It was OUR idea. Yet...God in His infinite power and love knew the plans HE had for our life, the goals HE has for us to reach for, and the steps HE has ordained to get us to that place.

There is so much that has brought us to the place we are now and the new beginnings that lay before us. Events and circumstances that have refined, molded, shaped, and sharpened us. More than any other place of ministry, I feel as though I personally have come to a point of falling on my face before the throne of Grace here in this place. I was broken to the point of re-examining my faith and determining if I TRULY believed and was really willing to LIVE as though I believed all that I said I believed...I do and I am! The time here has caused me to rely solely on my God....For all of this I AM THANKFUL!!! I honestly believe that I have been refined by the fire and made purer. THIS WAS HIS PLAN. For such a time as this, God brought me to Borger Tx.

Do I fully understand all that God purposed for our time here? By no means, there are times I question and times I wonder but's really not my call. I am learning day by day that He is God, He is in control, He ordains and directs, He calls, and I follow!

This may sound a bit confusing to some...but I want to lay a foundation. A foundation that brings the Glory and Honor to Christ in it all.

Last night, Joel formally submitted his letter of resignation to First Baptist Church Borger. This was the end result of many GOD sized events, MUCH prayer, MUCH searching and most of all God's Divine Intervention. I will share the story of where we are headed and how it came about in the next post...

For this post...I want to share a bit of my heart and what God has and continues to do in me. When I came to Borger, I honestly believed this was going to be the most amazing thing ever for our family. I was convinced that this was the greener grass on the other side. There were hopes of new home, there were dreams of feeling "established", there were ideas of close knit friendships, ideas of helping grow and develop an exciting new ministry,  etc. That was what I saw the move to Borger as.

Had I known then what I know now, would I have still come? Honestly - no! Yet, now being on this side and looking back I can see how God used every experience to bring me to the place that he has me now - a place where I can say I have come face to face with my God and my Savior. A place of being refined and defined, a place of repentance and restoration in my walk with Christ. It has been one of the most difficult seasons of my life and yet at the same time - it has been one of  the most amazing experiences of my life. If I were to sum up what God has done for me here it would be this:

      My time in Borger has been a time of walking through spiritual warfare like I have never been before, it    has been a time of reaching deep within to discover where I truly was with Christ, and it has been a time of brokenness so that HE can become my all in all.

Many lessons have been learned through our time here...but the biggest one for me personally is this; the hard times, the painful times, the ugly times, the rough roads, and valleys - these are truly the moments that teach you to say as Paul said "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS and AGAIN I say rejoice." They are the moments that you will grow stronger and deeper in your relationship with the Lord - therefore, we shouldn't despise them, or avoid them - we need to embrace them and welcome them!

I can honestly say there is no bitterness, anger or regret about our time here - as short as it has been, on a personal level it has been a season of spiritual growth like I have never seen before. I am so very glad that the King knows what I need so much more than I do!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Part of my future and my hope was for Him to bring me to a place where I could be refined and made stronger in Him!