Friday, May 4, 2012

Finding God in Disappointment

Have you seen this little guy floating around Facebook and Pinterest? I love him! He absolutely captures what the past year has been like, or maybe even the past two years...

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the past two years have been filled with disappointment and depression. Far from it!! I suppose the best way to explain is from the beginning...

A little more than two years ago (roughly) my husband came to me and said he really felt that God was calling him to the ministry. This was not news. This has always been something that has been in the back of our minds and we've served in tons of church positions over the years. But this time he said that he really felt he was called to be a chaplain. A chaplain?! For those of you, like me, who didn't grow up in a military family, I'm sure you have no idea of what being a chaplain might mean. I didn't. I still don't really, but I think God had to lead us down a long (and winding) road to teach me to trust Him with this and to get my heart ready for all the changes that were coming.  So, we began the chaplaincy program.  That meant a change in churches (another long story), starting seminary, and a whole lot of talks about what it would be like when my husband went away for training.

And then two things happened:  1) I got pregnant :) and 2) They changed the rules for chaplains.  Well, three things really...3) Our church went through a split - an ugly, hurtful split (is there really any other type?) and all of a sudden, my husband felt the need to stay put.

Disappointment - 1) A church that we loved and were making friends at split and we were caught in the middle.  We weren't on either side and that left us homeless so to speak.  2) My husband wasn't going to be a chaplain after all.

Joy - 1)We got to meet so many new people in the church and get involved in new ministries.  2)There was a new baby coming!!!

A year went by and seminary was coming to an end.  All signs pointed to my husband getting a position in our current church.  There were many talks with the pastor and talk of part-time positions and promises of being 'called' to preach in "view of a call".  Can I let you all in on a secret?  Before this process, I had no idea what all these things meant!  Needless to say, nothing ever came of it....NOTHING - except for a lot of disappointment and tears.  At one point, I think I began praying for hope instead of answers.  And then, the biggest disappointment, someone else was hired for the position that my husband thought God had for him!  The door closed - and God was the one closing it!!  You see, God knew that it wasn't the right position for him.  I think He also knew that my husband would never have considered leaving the church or pursuing something else seriously if there was a chance for us to stay there with all the people that we loved.  Literally, within days of that position being filled, another door opened.

From there, things began moving very fast (at least as far as I was concerned).  There were interviews and meetings, and a dinner for both of us to meet the search committee.  After more lunches and more interviews, there was finally a vote - and I'm thrilled to say that my husband is now the new Associate Pastor for Children and Youth Ministries at a local church.  It's a position that I can say, without a doubt, that God led us right to.  Without listing all the details, every prayer was answered and we know that this is exactly where God wanted us to be.

Funny, if you had told me two years ago that this is where we would be, I would have told you that you were crazy.  I was comfortable with where we were.  Teaching Children's Church and volunteering with the nursery was comfortable.  Leading small groups and helping out with Bible studies was safe.  This is a whole new chapter - one that's new and exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  It took God two years to get us here - to give us the experiences and the tools necessary, but here we are, in spite of all the disappointments, we found the joy that God had for us!

I'm sure that life has given you your own set of disappointments.  Maybe they're financial.  Maybe you're having trouble with your children, or your job, or your spouse.  I can't tell you why some people get things and others don't - or why we don't always get the things that we desperately want.  But, I can say that God has a plan for you, and it's so much better than the one you have for yourself!  It may just take awhile for that plan to unfold...

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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  1. Thank you for the encouragement that it just takes awhile for the plan to unfold sometimes. :) I want to see benefits and good things NOW, I want to see the hurtful, evil people in the world given the Lord's vengeance NOW. Patience, or rather faith, in God's timing can be hard.

  2. Funny how things happen for a reason... your posting was so meaningful to me. Thank you. God has a plan for us and we need to be open to what happens..

  3. Hi! We went through a church split (twice) and they are just horrible!! God always brings good out of them but going through them is something I would never wish on my worst enemy. Our last one my husband was one of three elders in the church. It hurt, felt personal and took a long time to work through.
    But God is good and I know he has a purpose for everything!!
    Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Julie, thank you for sharing! I am learning more and more that God's plans are sometimes only clear once they start to unfold. A church split is not something I would wish on any church, but I can definitely see that God had plans for this one on all sides! Blessings ~Tina