I never thought I would be so excited and yet still so devastated at the same time---until last night. You see we found out last night that our college and singles minister and his family, our mentor and discipleship leader and her family, and our Generation band are all leaving in May to plant a church in Cullman, AL.
Before I continue let me just say that I AM excited for them. This is going to be an amazing experience and I know God is going to do amazing things through them because of their willingness to obey and step out on faith.
As we met with Andy last night I think I sat in shock and it didn't really hit me until about midway through our Christmas dress rehearsal and then the tears came a flooding. I just didn't get it. Why was this happening? What were we going to do?--I mean I was a serious mess and so was Natalie. But then I thought about what I read for discipleship last month and how in Hosea we are reminded that we don't always understand God's plan but we don't have to because He is in control and He has a higher purpose.
I realize that we do not follow man's teachings but Andy and Linda had helped me through so much and I have grown more under them than any other person.
After rehearsal last night me and Natalie were talking with our other teachers and they really spoke life into the situation. God has a reason behind this--we don't know something about God yet and He wants to reveal it to us in this situation. We (and our ministry) will carry on because God will not let us fall to pieces because of this.
As I drove home last night I started thinking about all the times I have been in church and leadership left and what I learned through it. The first time I experience this was when I was young and the pastor of the church I grew up in left to go to another church in MOBILE (3 hrs away). Our church was devastated (and I was sad because my "boyfriend" was leaving HAHA) but God enhanced our church and also blew Toby away-his ministry was on fire. The second time I was really affected by this was at the same church and our youth pastors left. This was REALLY hard. We found out in Sunday school right before service and I don't think any of us paid attention to anything we heard after "we're leaving". Even though Brian and Michele had changed our lives and how we grew as Christians, we made it through (about 5 youth pastors HAHA). We grew because of it and so did their ministry. (Those were 2 of the most difficult ones)
And this time is going to be NO DIFFERENT. God is going to do amazing things through our ministry and also through Andy's. They are going to reach people that have been forgotten. God is going to use them to help people break free from the crap that here in the south has become second nature. (like racism, religion, prejudice, being luke warm, etc)
Even though I am really sad I am super excited to see what God is going to do through this. And Hey it's not like Cullman is halfway across the world!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.