Friday, May 15, 2015

What's Next?

It has been several months since we transitioned from church planting and shepherding our people into other churches. Many people have asked us what's next...and we think that has been a fantastic question! We have spent the last several months trying to figure that out! And it has been nothing less than a roller coaster :)

First a little catch up {and just FYI, we are NOT moving out of state}...

Mike interviewed for several pastoral jobs, and they were all out of the area, most of them out of state. In February, we spent the weekend in Fort Worth, but the real reason we were there was to visit a church in Weatherford. In March, we spent back-to-back weekends in Kansas talking with a couple of churches; one for a church planting residency, and the other for a lead teaching pastor position.

Such a sweet church; they left us a welcome bag of goodies in our hotel room.

We visited the Original Pizza Hut, which really was just a small memorial building on the Wichita State University campus because 2 students from the school started Pizza Hut {there wasn't much to see in Wichita :) }

National World War I Museum in Kansas City. We also saw Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums, Union Station, Hallmark headquarters, and enjoyed dinner at Country Club Plaza.

We didn't make a trip, but we were also in talks for a lead pastor position in Michigan. In the span of a few weeks, I was preparing my heart to make a move out of state and build community in a brand new place. We came really close to moving. It was scary and exciting, all at the same time. While the idea of moving far away from family, friends, and warm weather was hard, I knew that I couldn't tell the Lord, "I will go wherever You lead us, Lord, except _________." It truly was a walk of faith and surrender.

There were several really great opportunities, and we even received some offers. But we just didn't feel like the Lord was leading us to any of the churches with whom we interviewed. All the time we were interviewing, the Lord was working in Mike's heart to give him a new vision and calling. We still have a heart for church planting, but we know that our role {for now} is to support church planting efforts, not lead them. And while Mike certainly has gifts for ministry, we knew the Lord was calling him to step away from vocational ministry. We don't know if that is a permanent thing, but we do know that it is for a season. 

So what's next?

With all that we have walked through in the past few years, we knew we needed a season of rest and healing. With the struggles of my health, saying goodbye to Redeemer, and walking through infertility, we knew we needed some time to process our grief and focus on how we can serve the Lord during this hard season of life. We knew we needed community. 

Because of the deep relationships we still have with our family and friends at Woodcreek, we decided to plug back into community there. We started attending services a few weeks ago, and we are looking forward to finding a place to serve. In a lot of ways, it feels like a homecoming. We know it will be different going back, as we are not the same people who left there 4 years ago. We know that even our community will look different, and we both want to find new ministries to dive into. But we are so grateful for a place where we have deep friendships with people who love us and who can walk alongside us in this new season. 

In addition, Mike will be starting a new job with RightNow Media. We are so excited about this new opportunity; it's such a great fit for him! He is excited to plug in, helping churches and businesses connect with good, gospel-centered resources. And they are excited to have him, because he's awesome, and also because of his ministry experience. 

So lots of changes in our little world :)

While the last few months have been a whirlwind of change and decision, we are grateful for the Lord's leading and provision. There have been a lot of hard and scary days. There were many times when I {jokingly} said that we didn't know what the heck we were doing with our lives. But Jesus has walked with us every step of the way. He has molded our hearts, deepened our marriage, and forced us to trust Him no matter what. We know that this new season will bring its own set of joys and challenges, but we know that He is good and we are His.

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