Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An announcement and a testimony

This past weekend, Adam and I traveled home to West Virginia for Easter. We got to visit family and spend some time at our home church. Since we've officially made the announcement to our families, I guess we can tell the big wide world.

We have accepted ministry positions at Family Worship Center in Watertown, South Dakota! 

Beginning in May, Adam will be serving as full time youth pastor and I will be acting as ministry assistant/office coordinator. I can not even begin to describe to you how excited we are! Throughout this whole process, we have seen God working, and it is completely by His hand that this opportunity was made available to us. It has simply been amazing to sit back and watch Him work. 

Now, if you had asked me a month ago how I was feeling about life after graduation/ministry opportunities/moving forward, I would have told you it was terrible. A month ago, we didn't know what we were going to do. We had a few leads, but all the doors we thought were open just kept closing. One after another, it seemed that I was watching my hopes die. Let me tell you, it was frustrating. And honestly, I was angry. I was angry that we had spent the last four years training for ministry only to find that God didn't have anything for us. I had been praying for so many agonizing months that God would lead us to the right church, but God just wasn't answering. I was trying not to lose hope, but let me tell you, it was hard.

You see, I thought I had been trusting the Lord to lead us the whole time, but really I was doing everything in my power to make a position happen. I kept trying to release control over the situation, but then I would turn around and grab the reins and have another go at it. It wasn't until the last connection we had fell through that I was done. That day was awful; I was angry and upset and I just didn't understand. The water works were on full blast all day (thankfully, I have a wonderfully understanding husband who puts up with me despite my periodic hysteria). There was absolutely nothing else that Adam or I could do. Nothing in our power had worked.

It was that very day, that an answer came. And we didn't even recognize it for what it was. I received an email from the Commuter Director at Evangel. He said that his cousin would be in town conducting interviews for a youth pastor position. If we were interested, we should email him for contact information. I told Adam about it and we decided to talk to the guy. Now, we weren't expecting anything to come of it. Seriously, we walked into that meeting thinking that it would be good interview practice for the future. We had already decided that after graduation we would just stay in Springfield and continue working our jobs until something came along. We did not expect God to move in that interview.

But boy, were we ever wrong! And I am so happy that we were. We sat down on Friday evening to chat with Wes and Cindy. That is what it was too, a "chat." It didn't feel at all like an interview. It just felt like we were talking to friends. An hour or so later, we all knew that God was up to something. We went home with plans to fly to South Dakota the next morning, and we were in Watertown by 3pm on Saturday. We spent that whole weekend with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Everyone was so welcoming, by the time we left on Monday morning, I felt as though I had known them for years. We fell in love with the staff and the church, with their vision and dreams for the future.

We left on Monday morning knowing where we were supposed to be. We continued to pray, but felt completely at peace. I have never experienced anything like it. By Wednesday we had been offered the positions, and we accepted on Thursday. In just one week, God had turned our world completely upside down. He provided more than we could have ever even hoped for. He answered prayers that we never prayed. I am still in awe of the ways in which he worked this all out. Of course, there is so much more to the story. So many things happened along the way, all we could do was just stand amazed.

Now I believe that there is power in a testimony. And this is mine. In the midst of what feels like a hopeless situation, God is at work. You might not see an end, but that is because He sees a beginning. His power is so much greater than our own. So, if you are finding yourself in a similar situation, I would like to encourage you. Keep pushing through, don't lose hope. Our God is faithful.

Psalm 43: 5
"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? 
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God." 

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