About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Not Ready!

I knew something was wrong.

It started the day before, when a friend mentioned needing to “clear her head” on facebook. But she also shared something later that was family related, so I brushed it off.

Then Sunday morning when the pastor’s wife posted “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”

Something is wrong my gut said.

We went to church.

“Open to Romans 12.” Then he went into what he felt his duties as a pastor are and how he has fulfilled them to the best of our ability.

No!!!! my gut screamed

Then he asked, “Are you willing to trust God even if it is hard, and even if it is scary?”

No, not this, not now. Before he said it, I knew. Before he said it, the tears were falling.

Our pastor is headed to the mission field. It is the right thing for them. I know this. I have seen it first hand in his love for missions. It is the right thing for our church too. In my heart I know this.

But you see, I’m not ready. I am so not ready.

Ready for what? Ready to watch my church search for a pastor.

We came to our church a year and a half ago hurting and broken. Making the decision to leave the church we had been attending was not easy, but it was the right decision for our family. We left behind people we loved.

Thankfully that church is stable now with a good pastor who is a good fit for the people, but at the time we had seen and experienced things I will not go into on a public forum, but they left us broken and hurting. And much of it revolved around the loss of a pastor and the process of searching for one. For two very long years. I watched this process the first time before Tim and I got married, and it wasn’t pretty, although not quite as damaging. Still, I saw families torn apart, sides drawn, lines made. It was awful.

Because of these experiences, I still feel like I am going to throw up when I attend church business meetings. I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when our pastor mentions that he has “business” to discuss with the deacons or the church body. I still feel fearful when someone doesn’t attend for a few Sundays with no known reason. When God legitimately moves someone on to a new church, it breaks my heart.

I’m not ready to do this again. I am so scared.

Why is this such a big deal? I realize some people reading this will not understand, even those from my own church.

But see, I have seen for myself how lack of leadership can deeply hurt a church. Heritage is a good church, the best church I have ever attended, and if you know where I come from, that’s saying a lot. The people love one another in a way I have never experienced. They work together to accomplish things, big things, you would expect from a big church. When someone is hurting, they rally around that person in prayer and love. The pastor truly knows his people and is respected by them. People handle disagreements biblically, and there is virtually no gossip. It’s truly amazing. And I don’t want Satan to change that.

Don’t get me wrong, I know a pastor is not a church. A church is the people who collectively commit to serving the Lord. I know that the unity and love of this church family, the strong men we have, and the lack of tension among the members, are going to make a huge difference.

Yet, I also know how it is a vulnerable time. And I’m not ready.

But, I have to be. It’s like I told my pastor’s wife last night, if God can get me through November, He can get me through this.

But I’m scared. And honestly, I think I have a right to be. And maybe God wants me to be scared to teach me something.

Four months. That is when this process will truly begin. During that time, our pastor is going to teach us how to look for a pastor, how to follow that new pastor, and what his role as former pastor should be. It is a good thing.

My prayer is this: "Lord, keep your church strong. Help us to stick together, to continue to love one another, to handle problems right. Give wisdom to the men as they lead our church. Give wisdom to the assistant pastor as he steps in to fill the pulpit, and strengthen him and his family during this time. Help me to respond in faith and trust and not in fear. It is your church Lord, have your will."


S.A. said...

Last year my husband and I were on the other end of a pastor search. We really wanted a full time pastorate, but the Lord has us in a part time assistant pastorate for this time. We're praying the Lord will allow my husband to be a pastor in the future, in his timing. One thing I can say is that if you have anything to do with the search suggest that they always contact the pastors who contact them, promptly. It's very difficult to not hear back from churches, and then finally hear from them months later.

Rachel said...

Our church has five pastors capable of preaching right now. Our head pastor is the reason people come to our church in the first place. He's awesome. But people close their minds to the other pastors and either don't show up if they know Gary's not going to be there or tune out.

I read a sermon by George Whitefield that talks about listening to every pastor in your church---they've been ordained by God to speak his Truth, and you'll learn something from it as long as you try.

So, in the search for a pastor, know that the one chosen will be ordained by God, and God has a reason for him to be at your church. I'll pray for your process!

Jim said...

I love you and Tim (& my girls) soo much! We were so thrilled when you joined our family, but even at that time we knew God was working in our hearts towards missions. And in the back of our minds we were praising God for bringing you to Heritage to help build up the family!!!!
You do bring wisdom of experience with you. Though you are young you can see the pitfalls that Satan can place in a church. We pray that you and Tim will let your voice be heard and help to stop any in-road that Satan might try to make!
You are ready. REady your blog made that clear. Just step out each day in FAITH and decide - FAITH over FEAR! It is a choice that we all must make!!!
Now, remember you are not alone in this either. You have an amazing God, an amazing church family and yes - (for 4 more months!) an amazing Pastor! And I'm hear too any time even after the 4 months to love you and encourage you!
Now that you have had your say - TRUST GOD TO TAKE CARE OF HIS CHURCH!!!!
Love you!!!
Myra =)

myra said...

That last post was not JIM SAID!!! It was MYRA SAID!!!!
i'm such a noivce!

Heidi said...

Like we talked about last night, fear and uncertainty is understandable in this situation.
The thought of a business meeting is not pleasant to me either as I was in that fateful meeting 9 years ago that ripped a church apart and drew the battle lines. Much healing, repentance, and reunification has taken place on all sides since, though for some it was a long time in coming.
It was all part of God's plan, though we didn't know why at the time. We are now a thriving, growing, Word centered church on the south side.
Sometimes it takes changes and growing pains for a church to continue on the road to its greatest potential and the exciting thing for you is that you get to see parts of this take place and be a part of it as your church enters a new chapter of its history.
I will be praying for you through this transition and that your church leadership will remain unified through this process, as I know what disunification can do.