Episode 7:What Exactly Is This?

The simple answer is: I don’t know! And just as importantly, I don’t need to know!

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First things first… a little background about me. Not too long ago, I had a job that I loved more than anything. I think that was part of the reason I stood there four and a half years ago confused and baffled… devastated. It was more than a job. It was a calling; a mission. I was good at it! People loved me! I was a kids and youth pastor for 12 years. I didn’t know then but I do know now, I put that ministry before everything, even God himself! All in an attempt to feed my ego.

I took a church with a failing kids and youth program and turned it around. Over a period of 12 years I saw hundreds of kids and teenagers grow into young adults with families of their own. Some of them even went into ministry themselves because of me! I know now that I wasn’t the reason but my ego was BIG!

Fast forward… to early 2018.  The senior pastor’s son graduated from bible college and wanted to be a kids and youth pastor. He also wanted to serve his dad in ministry. So guess where I ended up? That’s right… unemployed. The funny thing is, he moved away again one year after serving at his dad’s church.. I know now that God used that situation to move me out of that ministry and into the unknown. Am I mad about how I was treated? I was,.. but the bigger picture is unfolding and it’s going to be better than I ever dreamed. It’s no longer about me. It’s about my Savior; yes it’s about Jesus!

I can’t say I would have done anything any different if I was in charge and my son or daughter came and told me that they wanted to serve alongside me in ministry. I would be honored if that happened. Besides, I needed a major spiritual overhauling.

I spent months after that wrestling with God. I was trying to bargain with Him.  I was praying for His will but doing my own thing. He knew what I needed. He broke me… in a way I have never been broken. It hurt. I cried… a lot. (If you’re wondering: Real men do cry). I spent months in the wilderness, alone or so I thought. I know now that my loving Heavenly Father was with me the entire time.

Family with whom I thought I had an unbreakable bond said and did things to me that crushed my spirit. Friends I thought I had were nowhere to be found. I was hurt and alone. I got myself involved in some serious 12 step work. It broke me even more. I surrendered… things continued to get worse. I realize now the first attempt at surrender was me trying to trick God. Like an all powerful, all knowing  and all present God wouldn’t see through my attempts at deception.

I prayed harder and hurt more. I kept pressing in… even when my old life was crumbling all around me. Somewhere along the way His love changed me. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a very gradual process. I survived. If you find yourself in a similar season of life, you will survive too. But you need God. You really do!

So, here I am today. Rebuilt and committed to following Jesus. Yes, sometimes into very painful places and complete darkness but sometimes into places of joy and blessing. I have taken the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:10-13  and have learned “to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” He keeps leading me, I keep doing the next right thing, miracles keep happening! It’s just like that for me now.

Over 4 years later He has my attention. I feel Him, guiding me, leading me; very carefully, back into ministry. This is my ministry and what it will become is His plan, not mine. For now he has me on a need to know basis. Quite honestly, I’m good with that! I trust Him, even when I cant see.

Thanks for joining me at renewed2win. Remember, maybe everything you have ever believed doesn’t actually matter to what is truly real.


Michael at R2W

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