We are MOVING to St. Petersburg, FL in June where Scotty has accepted a position as Family Pastor at 5th Avenue Baptist Church.
I'm shocked! I'm amazed! I'm fairly terrified! And, I'm humbled and grateful that God still has a place in ministry for the broken. His goodness is astounding!
As 2016 began, Scotty shared with me that he had been reminded of his calling to ministry as a sophomore at MC. The reminder caused some discomfort. So, he'd begun to regularly pray for God to open a door for us to do ministry again OR for God to take away the passion and desire to do so. Operating in the in between was too hard. Well, I was THRILLED to jump in on this prayer. I had absolutely NO idea what kind of ministry we might do. But, I could certainly get on board with praying for guidance.
We were praying daily... the SAME prayer over and over. We both felt God was up to something. In the meantime, we'd decided to attempt to sell our house. There were some things we needed to do to make the house 'fit' us a little better. We both felt the Lord leading us to just list it and see what God might do. It was a scary thing to meet with the realtors and answer a BIG "I don't know!" to questions about where we'd go next. We really didn't know!
One week after we listed our house (which we signed a contract on the first day it was online), Hal Kitchings called Scotty. Hal was our first pastor as a married couple in Clinton. His family has been dear to us for years. In 2011, he and his wife hosted Scotty and me at their home in Memphis for the weekend as we prepared to go to Branson for intense counseling. What a blessing they were to us during that weekend. They grieved our situation with us and LOVED us right through it. Hal has been a mentor figure to Scotty on more than one occasion. He'd seen Scotty's resume and was praying with him about our re-entry into ministry. When he called Scotty that Monday morning, he shared that Scotty seemed to be a perfect fit for the job of Family Pastor that his church was searching for. We agreed to proceed in the search process and see what God might do.
I won't go into all of the details of that process here. I just want you to know we went into it with full disclosure of our situation, who we are, what we've been through. We want God's will above our own. Every step has been uncertain and a little terrifying. Terrifying!!! In the end, we all feel PEACE about this decision. There's been much prayer on our part and theirs, and God is clearly saying, "Go!"
So, there are still a NUMBER of things to work out; we are looking for a rental home there, school for the kids, TIME to get all of this house packed up, somewhere to live after we close but before our departure! Scotty wants to finish well in his family's business that has been such PROVISION for us for the past four years. And, I've got to figure out WHAT I will do with TOT. But, I'm certain that God will work these details out just as perfectly as he's worked out EVERYTHING else. "He who calls is FAITHFUL and He will do it." THIS I know FOR SURE!
So, that was a WHOLE LOT about us. Let me steer this in a better direction to end. What all of this says to me is, God is HUGE.... FULL of lovingkindness..... and GOOD in all His ways. He's forgiving, compassionate, and He redeems and restores. His ways are not my ways and THANK GOODNESS! At this moment, I'm incredibly aware of my HUGE need for His guidance and care. We are humbled by His willingness to give us another chance in ministry. And, while I'm still terrified about going FAR from family and sad about leaving this little community that means so much to us, I'm completely willing to OBEY FULLY. We will FOLLOW in obedience, because disobedience is entirely too costly. Every, single time the Lord has asked me to give up something, He's replaced it with more than I could have imagined. THAT is TRUTH!
We'd appreciate any and all prayers. Thank you so much!