What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time we had just left Lubbock and were living upstairs at my grandparents house in Purcell. Neither Chris or I had a job or any real plans. But all of that changed a year ago today. One year ago we were offered the position as Youth Minister at First Baptist Church of Sayre. After one interview I was scared and hesitant even though it was at least an option.
We had already moved twice in four months and left two churches in as much time. My heart hurt and I didn't know if I wanted to open myself up to the kind of hurt I was still sorting through. Chickasha, our first ministry together, was never ideal. It was a mediocre place with wonderful people who were very comfortable and didn't see much need for progress. Because there was no push or no evidence that anything we did mattered, we didn't do much. Nothing we did was ever wrong, per say, but it was never the right thing either. When we moved to Lubbock we were so sure God was moving us there and that He had big plans for us in a bigger church and a bigger city. I knew it would stretch us, partly because I was 7 hours away from home and family and partly because of how the church was ran. We arrived in mid-May and straight out of the gate were met with one adversity after another, mostly from the same people over and over. One Thursday in September my husband came to me and said he was done. After much prayer, advice, and disappointment we loaded our things and by the following Tuesday were home. Sayre is Chris' home town and so we'd been here several times to visit family and I NEVER thought I'd live here. I'm from a small town but this is a smaller one that is way more remote than I was used to. It seemed so dirty and poor and kinda sad. But after a four hour interview and my husband asking me to trust his confidence that this is where we were supposed to be I submitted to a third move in 2008. On the morning of October 2nd, 2008 we met with our pastor for the second day in a row and he offered us the job and said he needed to know that day. We went to lunch and I tried to think of every reason we shouldn't come while Chris played the opposite role. I was gun shy and didn't think we could make a difference.
But on this side of that crazy situation I can't imagine being anywhere else. My prayers have changed from "move us" to ones for longevity. We talk regularly about watching different kids graduate and this being our last youth ministry because we never want to leave. Our pastor is perfectly suited for our ministry style and is constantly encouraging us. Last summer we were able to do everything we wanted, now maybe we shouldn't have crammed it all into one summer, but still we had never been allowed that freedom before. And we have just finished interviews for a leadership team, which is what we are most excited about. I can't imagine if I'd held on to my fears and if my husband was selling cars or houses or insurance right now. What countless blessings we would've missed out on. Feeling settled does something for my soul, maybe a women's soul, I don't know. It makes me feel secure and at home, if that makes any sense. I'm just so thankful to be home and for the shape our ministry here has taken. It was a bumpy ride but now that we're here it was worth it.