Friday, November 11, 2011

God on the Move Part 1

It was Sunday, Nov. 11, 1996 when we got the call.  The elder chairman informed us that the vote was positive.  The church had decided to accept my husband Jeff, as their youth pastor.  Like the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night which led Israel across the wilderness, God was on the move in our lives, transitioning us across the Colorado mountains into a land of mesas, red rock, and cactus.

Earlier this week I was sorting some boxes and found my journals.  One of them randomly fell open to Nov. 1996.  As I read I was once again blown away by the movement of God in our lives. It never ceases to amaze me. I've been meaning to share this story with you for some time, but was not sure when God would have me do that.  Now seems to be the time.

We were part of a vibrant evangelical church in Boulder, CO.  It was the church we got married in.  We bonded with many of the believers as they walked beside us through some difficult days. But God began to cause my heart to get antsy.  I was sure it was time to make a major change in our lives, finding a niche, a calling in ministry.  But I was impatient with God because it seemed He was not giving Jeff the same message.  Needless to say, my nagging began to gnaw away at our marriage.

Jeff was convinced we were to stay in Boulder.  Shortly after we were married, the youth pastor in Boulder pulled us aside and asked us to help as staff for the high school.  We thrived in that department and later when the church was between youth pastors, Jeff filled in the gap.  Now the church was without a youth pastor again and my husband applied for the job-- it seemed obvious that it was the will of God.

But we were shocked and disappointed to receive a rejection of our application.  It didn't make sense. We kept trying for the position to no avail, fighting to stay in Boulder. But it was like kicking against an iron door that simply refused to budge. It was obvious we were not meant to be there.

Meanwhile, I had to learn to trust God to move in the heart of my husband. Could God really do that without my help?  Lead my husband without a word from his wife? Yes, God could handle him all by Himself.  I needed to be still and wait for His timing.

When I finally learned to keep my mouth shut, then my husband began to consider that God might be leading us elsewhere.  (Funny how that works.) We started looking for openings at other churches in various parts of the country.  We compiled a list that we were planning to send our application to. Meanwhile, we made a trip out to the western slope to visit my sister.

As we entered Grand Junction, the thought came to us.  Wasn't one of the churches on our list in this area? We decided to stop by and check it out. After finding the church, Jeff went into the office stating that he was there for the youth pastor position. The senior pastor then drilled Jeff in an unplanned interview for over an hour.

Little did we know however, that when Jeff walked through the door of the office, the senior pastor had just laid out four youth pastor applications on his desk and was poring over them in prayer, seeking God's direction as to which one He would lead to them.  The senior pastor was already scheduled to be on the front range the following week to interview these four pastors and view them on site.  He didn't have time to fit in another, but would try to stop by if it worked out.

One of the other applicants "happened to" cancel and so the senior pastor was able to get to our church in Boulder just in time to join the youth group on their service project.  There he watched Jeff carefully in his interaction with the students. God's timing is always perfect, and these "coincidences" we believe did not happen by chance. It was none less than the hand of God going before us. This was just the beginning.

God was preparing to move us and also move our obstacles . . . big looming obstacles.  But not without faith and obedience on our part, at times burning bridges behind us. I will tell you about that next time.  This concludes part one of a three part story.  I hope you'll stick around to hear the rest of it.

1 comment:

  1. I love to hear the stories that come with God moving in our lives! Looking forward to seeing more of this! Thanks for sharing ...

    We also experienced undeniable God-movement when we moved here ... it's so fun to remember and reflect on!