It has been a few months since my last blog post. I figured today was a better day than ever to share with all of you why my blog updates have been so minimal lately and what has been going on in my life and ministry since July 2014. This post reflects some of my greatest struggles this year but specifically trusting in God when I didn’t want to.
This past May, exactly 6 months ago today actually, I got married to the love of my life. We had been doing ministry together since we started dating and have watched God use us to bless others in His name. It has been a wonderful experience doing life with my best friend.
In July of this year I resigned from my position as Children’s Pastor from the church I had been serving in just north of Pittsburgh. This was a challenging month for my wife and I as we had a lot of new challenges to overcome as we adjusted to married life. This was one of those learning moments where I had a choice to listen to God or not. It was also one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. This time my choice did not just effect myself but somebody else: my wife. I knew God was asking us to step down from where we had been serving in ministry and truly was torn in hearing this from God. As a pastor you don’t just work with people you do life with people. I had made many great friends and relationships with people and desired to continue to lead the children I saw on a regular basis to know Christ in a new way each week. However God had different plans for me.
I put in my resignation on the 8th of July and I would be finishing up the month at the church. I did not have a position lined up, my resume was not circulating through churches, I did not know what I was doing. All I knew was that God was in control and life is far better when you listen to him then try to figure things out on your own. My wife and I fasted and prayed before we made the decision and boy was it hard. The fears of student loans, rent, bills, etc. started to flood our heads as we knew we would have to find something to do. We did not know what God was up to during this time but we knew we were in it and following him whole heartedly.
I was so far from wanting to trust God in this. I had always been taught that you don’t leave one position without knowing where you are going. I am a person who lives with my calendar attached to my hip and wrist (literally). Some times I even need to plan in time for free time. Crazy right? (I hope that shows how much of an organized person I try to be) So when I have to throw out my plans to follow a plan that appears unfinished and not thought out to me then you better believe I’m going to do everything in my power to stop it. Thank God I am not as strong as God or I may not have listened to him when I did. You’ll see more of his perfect timing in just a little bit.
God knows everything. He knew what would happen to my wife and I. But I didn’t. I wanted to know what was going to happen before I followed through with what he was asking me. That is not faith. Faith is taking a step without knowing the end result. Boy did I get convicted when I was reminded of that!
Through this I truly learned what it means to rely on God. To have no control over anything at any point in life is hard enough but then being responsible for more life than your own comes with its own stresses and challenges. I began wondering if I would apply to work at the local electronic stores or something that worked around my hobbies. Prayer was something that I deeply grew in during this time.
God most certainly knows what he is doing. A professor and mentor of mine while I was in college always said that, “God knows what he’s doing. He’s been at this far longer than you and I have”. Boy did this ring true in my life.
Throughout the rest of the month God placed the right people in the right time in our path and before we knew it I was accepting a position as the Family Life Pastor at a church just east of Pittsburgh. This was one of those times where I felt God’s presence so strongly that there was no question this was where he was leading my wife and I to. It is a wonderful testimony to say that I did not go one day without a job but that I also did not have to temporarily put full time ministry on hold.
One of the things that I love to do is find opportunities to bring whole families together and unify them through Christ. Thank you, God for allowing me to do your work and to lead me the way you did!
Solomon hits the right on the head in Proverbs:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5 NLT
Trusting in God means trusting in his plans even when we do not see the entire picture. I love seeing the entire picture before I make a move as I’m sure many of you do as well. But if I knew God’s plan before I followed through with what he was asking me I would more than likely not be where I am at today…and that would be awful! I love where God has taken my wife and I. Had I known where God was leading me I may have moved too soon or acted in a way that would have made me so distracted with other thoughts to hear God the way my wife and I did this summer.
I pray that my testimony of these past few months encourages you if you are going through a time of hearing God’s voice and following through with it. Things don’t always turn out the way you expect them (even want them to) however God knows exactly what he is doing. He knows what we need. Trust in him today in a new way.