Fall is in the air. The leaves are changing rapidly, the air is more brisk, and the hoodies are coming out. It is a changing of seasons.
I love how God has ordained the earth and human existence to operate in rhythms. Seasons bring variety and help us keep track of time. When a season changes it brings about a certain level of awareness. We tend to stop and notice things that we’ve otherwise overlooked. We have a renewed appreciation for life and our surroundings.
God also uses the changing of natural seasons to teach us spiritual principles. Our life and spiritual journey operate similarly to physical seasons. The Scriptures often describe faith with terminology reflective of seasons – seeds, harvest, spring time, winter, new days, etc. Because God desires for us to have understanding of spiritual things, He uses things we see or experience in our daily life to help us grasp these Truths.
Truth be told, I have a personal affinity for Fall. It was in the Fall of 2003 that I married my girlfriend, Amber. For thirteen years we’ve embraced each season of life, together. November 1, 2003 (14 days after our wedding) we embarked on a journey of full time ministry, moving from Oklahoma into our first ever apartment in Charlotte, NC.
Through the years I have had so many friends who helped shaped my life, marriage, and ministry. I have had the honor to serve two local churches and communities. There are numerous people I could never repay nor fully expresss all that they mean to me and my family. These are the types of relationships that last a lifetime, despite distance.
A new season is now on the horizon for my family and I. By the time November (2016) rolls around, we will have moved to Fort Scott, Kansas to begin ministering as lead pastors. Almost thirteen years to the day, we will begin a new season.
My family and I are ready for this new season. I am fully convinced this is God’s plan and timing. God has ordained this from the beginning and He has been preparing me (us) for it through every experience and relationship along the way. There is a great level of anticipation for all that God is going to do. The promises and the words God has been speaking to me are stirring such faith and optimism for the future. I am beginning to fall in love with this new community that we are being sent to.
To say I am excited is an understatement.
It also is an incomplete statement.
There are a wide range of emotions I have been experiencing. My pastor said it best recently, “In-between leaving and clinging, there is grieving.” Oh how true that is! I am leaving one community to cling to another community, and it is right that I do so. Grieving is a part of the process. Remembering with joy the good times and reflecting with appreciation the wisdom gained through the difficult times.
However, if someone is going to cling, they must not get stuck in the grieving.
In the many transitions and turns of life, it is easy to get stuck. We raise our kids to make wise choices, but when the time comes to release them to make a choice for themselves, we get stuck and hold on. The transition from employed to retired can cause such a grieving because you feel as if you lose an identity of sorts. No matter the season or transition, you must not get stuck. The process of releasing is not the easiest of ones, but it is vital.
This is where the calling of God comes into play. Long ago I told the Lord I would follow His leading. That is not a commitment I take lightly.
And no matter what season I have found myself in, I have gone about it in three ways:
- Commit faithfully to the Church like a husband.
- Lead with the heart of a father.
- Communicate Truth in creative, personal, and authentic ways.
You see, no matter the season of life, those three things remain constants for me. They are convictions I hold to and they create a filter through which I serve the Lord. I pray I never shrink back from them.
To my New Hope family, I cannot say “thank you” enough. You have loved, honored, and supported my family and I for the past nine years, giving us opportunities to serve and learn. My children love the Lord, the Church, worship, and sweet tea because of you all. Over the last few weeks you’ve been incredibly loving, supportive, and generous. The numerous notes, letters, cards, conversations, memories shared and hugs will never be forgotten.
As Sunday marks our last official day together, know that my heart and soul are full! We may not be in the same house, but we are still family!
To my new Faith Christian family, I believe the best is yet to come. Amber and I cannot wait to be with you! Thank you already covering us in prayer. God is stirring many things within me. I am full of faith that Ephesians 3:20 will be realized in your personal life as well as our church.
Friends, let’s embrace every season God has for us. He is faithful to complete this good work that He started in each of us! Walk in faith and silence the voice of fear.
Don’t shrink back!