Though there are moments that each of us struggle with the idea that we feel like we’re floundering, not ‘settled’ because of being unemployed, and not knowing whether we will be staying here or whether we are being uprooted and moved to somewhere new, we are not disheartened or otherwise depressed in our current situation.
Quite honestly, either way we are open to whatever God has, and both have their positives and negatives. We love our home and more than just being a good space and that we recently added on to in order for it to be more accessible for all our kids (handicap bathroom), this house has HISTORY. My parents built it when I was 7 years old and we purchased it from them about 6 years ago. In addition to that, we have family here and an established history in this town ourselves. Then again, sometimes change is good. Here we have experienced the school system for our children with special needs and pulled out from it, we don’t have a local church, and oh, that’s right, no job. :) Who knows what opportunities there may be for us in another area, or what opportunities we could have for the Lord there?
For several years God has been prompting Michael’s heart and mine to be more involved in personal ministry. Yes, Michael has worked in the church, but for the last 8 years (or thereabouts) he has worked more in support and administration than in person to person ministry within the church. During the five years before that, Michael worked in youth ministry in different ways, was licensed and ordained in the Baptist church, and even once he moved in to administration, I continued to work as a children’s minister for about 2 years after that. When Michael worked in student ministry, I served alongside him as much as possible. He moved out of that both because of needs within the church that he could fulfill and because of our family’s need to ‘figure out parenting’, which can sometimes be a little difficult when you have junior high and high schoolers at your house all the time! :). Michael pursued a master’s degree in an area that interested him and where he is very strong- Leadership- and now has an even better understanding of a subject that many church leaders struggle with.
When I was a children’s minister, Michael served with me and my students (and children’s ministry was a much more scheduled time-frame!). Each of us has always been a large part of the other’s personal ministry and we have always enjoyed working together. It has been 6 years since I was in children’s ministry, and Michael continued to serve with annual retreats, summer camp, and occasional weekly events here and there up until just recently. In fact, this is the first year in many that he hasn’t taught classes during summer camp (because it was one of the two weeks he was working for the other company).
A few years ago we felt prompted to begin working with students again in some capacity, and God brought that opportunity to us through personal mentoring. We absolutely LOVE having some young people that we get to ‘hang out’ with, share our family with, hear about their lives, and have just a little input in to them, however small that may be. We consider them GREAT FRIENDS and are thankful to God and them for that opportunity.
It’s really no big surprise, then, that we feel strongly that God is calling Michael back in to personal ministry! We don’t yet know what that will look like, or where it will be, but the desire to work with children or students on a regular basis, teaching, serving, setting up regular events, investing in their lives, inviting them in to ours, introducing them to our wonderful LOVING God, and walking beside them and their families as they walk out this Faith in everyday life. In addition to that, God has given us this overwhelming passion for special needs, and in the capacity of a children/family/student pastoral role, it would be a wonderful opportunity for us as a family to reach out to others in whatever community we may be a part of in order to incorporate those families with children and people with special needs to bring them in to the Body of Christ!
Between the passion that both Michael and I have for children and youth, the background I have with an elementary degree and working in children’s ministry, our experiences starting 2 new ministries within our previous church, and Michael’s business and organizational training, along with the unique family God has given us and the current ages of our children, we look forward with anticipation and hope that we will find that ‘good fit’ in a church working with children, students, and families.
We are grateful for this ‘renewed vision’ and direction, and as we have been praying over jobs this last month, this feels like the “right place to land.” Will we definitely seek only this employment? No. Maybe God has something different first. Many times in the past God has blessed us with a vision and a ‘wait’ at the same time. We are thankful for God’s timing and will wait patiently on Him… as we pursue that which we feel He has called us to at the same time :)!