Moving, Part 2
I started searching for a new ministry position just after resigning. It has been six-plus months of spurts and stops in scanning job postings for Christian colleges, Wesleyan pastorates, churches in other denominations, parachurch organizations. I’ve had contact with 17 churches so far, with a few of them still active. For one reason or another, we’ve not landed yet.
One reason, we know, is that we’ve been needed here in Radford, Virginia. When we left, we had asked Jamie’s parents if we could stay with them “for a few weeks, if necessary.” You know, because the plan was not to be on the lookout for this long. Right, God?
Staying in Radford was Plan B, a just-in-case-we-need-to option. We are so grateful for the way that our Plans A and B and C and whatever other letter are irrelevant to God. He does not start in alphabetical order, even if he is the Alpha and Omega. He knew, beyond our wildest imaginations, that being in Virginia for three months was and is a part of his intentions for our family and the churches here.
Jamie’s dad is a pastor, and his church, through a long, windy, Virginia-mountain-drive kind of way has found itself without a building and now, has entered into the beginning stages of a merger with the closest Wesleyan church, 10 miles away.
If we were not here, we would’ve missed things like a church moving sale, multiple trailer loads of moving church furnishings and office supplies, introducing and implementing Orange as a new children’s ministry, preaching a sermon about how the church might respond in a situation like this, sharing the platform in a Hilty-family special music number (including, but not limited to, a 5-year-old boy swaying his hips as he sang along. If you know our son, you can laugh out loud here, because it was just as funny as you are imagining).
We would’ve missed the late night conversations with Jamie’s family about the what-ifs and hey-there-God’s and the opportunities to intercede for one another. We would’ve missed time with grandparents spoiling their grandkids.
Our Plan B has turned out to be all about blessing. Seeking to be a blessing to these Wesleyans as best we can. Not that we are what they’ve been missing, or that we are somehow saviors they were in desperate need of. Far from that. But like Abraham, God calls each one of us who are children of Abraham through the faithfulness of Christ to be a blessing to the world.
We moved, like Abraham’s trip from Haran to Canaan, not initially intending to heed God’s call to be a blessing, but finding ourselves smack dab in the middle of the story he was writing in this neck of the woods of the kingdom. And we’re grateful for being included, grafted in, to the churches here. While we long for the phone call that says, “You’re hired!” we wouldn’t trade the waiting or expedite the timing. Our Alpha and Omega certainly isn’t going to, so why should we?