You know that thing I’ve been wanting to talk about for weeks now? Well it is finally “public knowledge” so I can finally write about it. I can write about it all! I’ve got some big news. Here we go…
Let’s start at the beginning. Last summer, Jefferson, my husband, was hired as a youth intern at our current church. I volunteered for their day camp while Jefferson worked, and for three months, I also worked as an intern there. Since September, I was a youth leader. Needless to say, we became very attached to this church (Church A) even though his contract was only until the end of summer 2016.
Church A is big. At least, big by Canadian standards (about 800 people). At first, Jefferson and I hoped to stay at this church forever. The youth group is huge and established and Jefferson always dreamed of working with a big youth group. The endless possibilities! I felt comfortable at Church A, and it was close to both sets of our parents (a 30 minute drive East for his, and West for mine).
A few months ago, however, it was clear that doors were closing at Church A. Despite our efforts and our prayers, things were not moving forward for us. We felt stuck. We felt scared. Last summer, we were sure we would end up at Church A. By the end of February, we knew it was time to move on.
So Jefferson started applying to other churches for youth pastor/director positions. I think he applied to 12 churches in total. After the interview process at a church five hours away, he was offered the job. Church B. Now, Church B seemed great because we knew the pastor there and felt comfortable with him and his family. But…they were the only people we knew there.
We prayed about this position and talked to a lot of people we trusted about it. We wanted to take this position so badly but 1) We did not strongly feel God calling us to Church B, and 2) we had to take my mental health into consideration. Moving five hours away from ALL my support systems did not seem like a wise decision.
Moving onto to Church C. Now, we were dead set on Church C. Jefferson had gone through the entire interview process, we had visited the church, it was just a 10 minute drive from Church A, our current church, and we knew the area well. Plus, Church C offered us a basement apartment – for free! Right on the church property! The position was only half-time, but we would make it work.
Everything about Church C seemed great. See, at Church A, the youth was already established and had about 75+ kids consistently come out on a Friday night. But Jefferson soon realized he loved the entrepreneurial side of ministry. He wanted to build. He wanted to come up with new, innovative ideas and try them out. He wanted to start from the ground up. And this church, with a very, very small youth group, allowed him to do that. Church C became our ideal.
On March 14, we received what felt like a devastating call. The pastor from Church C told Jefferson that it came down to him and one other candidate – and we did not get the job. I actually wrote a post about it without saying what I was talking about.
Clearly, we were so disappointed. The old cliché “when one door closes, another one opens” seemed like total B.S. to us. Church A, Church B, and Church C – which all seemed like valid options just a few weeks prior – all did not work out. Plus, our living situation was extremely stressful and the thought of just being able to get out, and then having that ripped away, was painful.
Anyway, a few weeks go by and my husband applies to a few more churches. We apply to three more, and the church I don’t want to go to the most gets back to us. Now, I knew nothing about this church, Church D. But I did know that it was an hour away from my entire family (although I do have an aunt and uncle who live in this city). I did not want to move an hour away.
But we do the interview anyway. We drive up on April 3 (I think) after our church service and Jefferson attends the interview. I sit in the church and wait for an hour.
Now, I honestly can’t explain this, but I just felt like this church was right for us. Keep in mind that about 10 minutes prior, I told Jefferson “There is no WAY we’re moving to this city.” But I truly felt a peace that passes understanding. I felt at at home.
Two weeks later, Jefferson signed the contract. They offered the position to us, and yesterday we were introduced to the congregation. We move at the end of the June.
Yeah, we’re moving. And you know what? Just like Church C, Church D offered us accommodations. Except, it wasn’t a basement apartment on the property. It was an entire 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom HOUSE right on the property. We don’t have to share it with anyone else. It’s just ours. Oh, and the job isn’t part-time, it’s full-time.
It is also a smaller church with tons of room for growth and lots of room for trying new things within the children and youth ministries! Exactly what we discovered would be the best fit for us when we interviewed for Church C.
Plus, Church D, the one we’re going to, is part of the same denomination I grew up in. The denomination where I agree with all of their stances on…just about everything (i.e. women can be pastors – Church C did not allow this).
This was the first church we truly felt God was calling us to. Not because of our own preconceived ideas of what we wanted, but because it was where God wanted us.
So, yeah. One door closed. And then another. And then another. But then this final door opened, and we knew right away. I’m still sad about leaving Church A, it is going to be tough. It’s also going to be difficult moving an hour away from my parents when I essentially “lived” at their house for this past year. It will be weird not being a five minute drive away from my close friends, but I know that we can handle it.
For the first time this year, I’m way more excited than scared.