Transitions

I apologize to all my faithful readers for not writing anything for the last three months. This year started hot and kept getting crazier. My mind has not been able to focus enough to remember what day it is, let alone be able to write. I think we have leveled off…kinda. My family is in transition. It is not an easy time, especially for our small children. But we all experience transitions, unless you live under a rock. Then you probably aren’t living any way.

I began having conversations with a church in Nebraska back in February about coming on board as the discipleship pastor. Through much prayer, seeking wise counsel, countless interviews and questions, and one visit; we knew God was calling us to go. God has been placing desires and passions upon my heart for years. He has been shaping my thoughts and my life while chiseling my heart for better service to Him. God has been preparing me for this role. To be clear, I don’t have discipleship all figured out, but I am growing and learning along the way. My heart’s desire is to make disciples who make disciples. This has been my solitaire focus through a decade of student ministry and all of the life groups that I have participated in. Now I will have the opportunity to continue walking deeper into the call that God has placed on my life.

In the middle of this transition, I know that some people are hurting over our decision to move and follow God’s call. I truly am sorry and I know it is painful. It may leave you with many questions. That is ok. Even the disciples questioned and had doubts when Jesus was ready to go back to the Father. It is natural to feel a sense of loss or maybe even betrayal. Please consider this. What if Jesus would have stayed on earth. The disciples would have always stayed right with Jesus and would have never gone out on their own faith journey. They had studied at the feet of the Master, but they needed to decide for themselves and set out trusting that the Holy Spirit would fill them as well as guide them through life until they were forever reunited with Jesus. Obviously, I am in no way comparing myself to Jesus. But I am trying to be like Him and lead like Him.

Sometimes transitions of leaders make us stop and forces us to consider where we are at in life and with Jesus. As my family is beginning to pack up and move to Broken Bow, Nebraska, there are students that have followed my leadership, who will have to make up their mind about what to do next. For just a moment, I would like to speak into this. First, you weren’t really following me in the first place. You were following Jesus. I did everything I could to teach and lead like Christ. I fell short of that, but my intention was always to point to Christ. Because of our time together, we bonded and I am forever grateful for that. But ultimately, you were following Jesus (I hope.) Second, you will have to determine in your heart and mind as to what is next. Will you continue to walk with Christ and spread your wings on your own faith journey? Or will you let the momentary hurt sever you from Christ and His church? My prayer is that it would be the first one. I know it will honor God for you to make your own mind up to be faithful to Him plus it would be a huge blessing for me to hear how you have grown from this painful moment in time. My heart truly is for you grow in your relationship with Christ in spite of us moving away.

I am reminded of a couple of verses that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” We have faced and will continue to face difficult circumstances. Some we will not like, understand, or see coming, but we serve a God who does. We must trust that He knows what He is doing even when it seems like life is falling apart. He is so faithful and good to us, especially when life feels out of control. Trust Him. If you have doubts, tell Him. He can handle your doubts.

I hope this helps with our transition or maybe a transition you have down the road. I pray you remain faithful to Jesus through it all and continue growing deeper into who he made you to be. Grace and Peace to you during this transition time.

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