The coast and my attitude were gloomy. As we drove, a large church we’d been interviewing with called our cell phone and asked us to visit them in beautiful northern Washington – in the heart of a major city. I thought we may have made a mistake coming to visit the coast first. If only we’d waited….. Maybe we’d get back with them after we returned home.
We were only there for a couple days that commenced with meetings and luncheons, more interviews, and people trying to convey life and ministry in their little church and town. I wasn’t excited in the least. Especially after I saw the housing situation we would have – a parsonage. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a home provided for the pastor by the church. It was close, really close to the church. As in ten very short steps from one door to the other. The yard was a mess, and so was the house. There was mold, it was dirty, and it was COLD (what do you expect from a home that’s been well-lived in by other pastor-families, and then empty for a year!?).
Despite the kind people, the possibilities, and the assurances that an eager church gives a potential pastor and his family, I wasn’t the least bit interested in moving or ministering in this place! This coming from someone who has said often,
“I will follow the Lord wherever He leads”…but at that moment, I was pretty sure He wouldn’t ask me to go HERE!!
The outlook was bleak to me, but my hubby was having just the opposite experience. He was drawn to this place! He saw the opportunities, the mission, and the ministry. He saw the need, and He saw PEOPLE that Jesus loves! I was definitely not looking through the same lenses he was! According to my view, this little place just wasn’t where we, the “large-ministry” youth pastor and his family, were supposed to go.
The love my husband has for me is transformative in so many ways (another blog about that some other day), and he has always told me I have absolute veto power to anything he wants to do, no matter how much he wants to do it. Believe me, I fully intended to use it this time! But, I’ve walked with the Lord (and been married) long enough to know that when we don’t see things the same way, it might be because I’m in the wrong. Sometimes. *wink-wink*
I told my man all my issues, then I told God why this wasn’t going to work out. I included the weather and the tsunami factor, the small town and that there was only ONE little grocery store, the parsonage, the hard work that would be involved in ministry to West-coast dwellers (the most “un-churched” part of the country), and on and on. I poured it all out and expected my Father to agree with me. But, I also added that if He changed my perspective and allowed me to see what my husband could see, I would be willing to go, EVEN to this little town and church by the sea. Then I went to sleep, pretty sure that some other place would be getting a pastor’s family real soon.
The next morning…I woke with a different view, of everything. It was still raining and gloomy out, but the blinders of self-concern and fear had been removed from my soul-eyes and it might as well have been a sunny day! The events that transpired from then on were a pleasure in every way and my heart was in a genuine place of appreciation for God’s people and GOD’S purpose and plan HERE.
The relief in my heart that I hadn’t demanded my own way was overwhelming and freeing. What if I had stayed in a state of selfish ambition? What if we’d missed out of God’s plan, for my own? !!! The thought gives me a chill. I was suddenly as excited about this new opportunity and what God was going to do as any kid on Christmas day.
We were moving to the beach!
And I had no idea what that meant.
To be continued…
All professional photos courtesy the kid-friendly, efficient, sweet and kind, Applewood Photography