We are moving to Watertown, NY, where Nik has accepted a position at Life Church of the Nazarene as an Associate Pastor.
We have known about this for awhile, but needed to share with our church family before we put it out as public knowledge. Our families knew and I’m sure they have had a hard time keeping it secret. I have had a hard time keeping it secret!
FYI - that is why I have not been posting many blogs…Our life right now consists of getting ready to move and not much else!
So here is the official story of all of this happening. Obviously, I am not sharing every single detail. For one, that would be really hard to do, and two, somethings are just too private for the blog. But I love having an official story (like the birth story, or the story of us moving to Temple) because it is fun to look back on, it’s nice to reference dates and there are some details that I will forget over the years.
Also - through this story, you need to know… God has ordained this long ago. Even as I write this, Nik came to me and shared one way in particular of God’s provision for us moving to NY. Something small, that we never thought much about, but it is now evident that God was in the details even before we ever knew what was coming! Isn’t that the great thing about God? His provision. Life throws us curve balls that we never expect, but nothing is a curve ball for God!
And you also need to know that this is not easy. Yes we are excited. Yes it is a really good thing. But that does not make it easy. I have always said that leaving NM to come to TX was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I remember the way I felt as we drove off, out of the town, out of the county, and out of the state. I cried almost the whole trip. There will probably be a replay of those moments when we leave here. What we are leaving behind to move (literally) across the country is great. And it will be hard to leave. Our jobs, church, friends, town, and even family (even though they are not in the same town). The distance is far. And we feel it too.
But…we are ready. And it is exciting!
And I’m sure you’re ready for some details after all that rambling I just did! Here you go -
This past July (2013) we started to feel a sense of “release” from our current church. That is kind of a hard thing to explain unless you have felt it before. But not knowing exactly what that meant, what we were feeling, or what God had in store for us - we started praying. Both of us. We just really felt that God was working in us, preparing us for something a bit different.
At one point in the fall, Nik saw a job opening for a youth pastor and submitted a resume to that church. And almost as immediately as he did…it did not feel right. But we prayed about it, and after one conversation with that pastor, we knew that was not where God was leading.
So we kept doing what we were doing, and praying for God’s direction in our lives.
In November, the Pastor of our church informed us that he was taking another position at a church in Washington.
That same week, I received a phone call from my friend, Becky (who moved to Watertown, NY, about 1 1/2 years ago). She commented about our Pastor leaving and then she said "Well, you know, you could always come here and work...our church is looking for someone.” I actually laughed it off but told Nik about it later that night and he had the same reaction.
The next day, I get a text from her that they really were looking for a person to come on staff at her church. She was not kidding. I texted back and asked about the type of position they were trying to fill. She replied that they were not looking for a certain position, just the right person who would fit in with their church and who could use their gifts to minister. When I told Nik what she said, he was very intrigued with that.
I received one more text from her about the position the next day. All in all - We really knew nothing of the position, or the church, but we were curious and wanted to know more. Nik was not sure whether or not to call and talk to the pastor - so we decided that we were each going to pray about it over the weekend and not talk to each other about it until Monday morning. Monday morning came, and we both felt God leading that Nik needed to make the phone call.
So Nik called the pastor and had a very brief conversation (literally 5 minutes) with him and then followed up that phone call with an email that included Nik’s resume and a couple of his sermons.
Sometime in mid-December the pastor told Nik he wanted to have a more extensive conversation with him. So they scheduled a time. During that conversation, the pastor asked Nik just a few questions and was more interested in hearing about the calling that God placed on his life to serve and what his passions were in ministry, than even what he was currently doing. I’m sure Nik shared a lot of information with him about his current role at the church, and even what he had done in the past - but it meant a lot to Nik that this pastor was interested in his gifts and passions versus the programs he could implement in a youth group.
Nik also had the chance to ask the pastor what areas in the church he was looking for help. The end result was…the places the pastor felt he could use an additional staff person were all areas that Nik had experience or gifts and passions for. When Nik hung up the phone from that conversation, he was excited. I think just excited about the possibility of what God might be doing through this situation.
Things at our church were going well for him. We were not looking to leave due to conflict or anything else. But the excitement that grew over the weeks as we were praying about this and the way we saw God working in this situation - it was evident that He was opening up some doors. After some time of prayer, Nik and I agreed that we were going to walk through those open doors and pray that God would close them if this was not His will for our life at this time.
At one point - I even wondered if God was just seeing if we would be faithful to what he was asking. Not saying I didn’t think God was leading us to NY - but it was so surreal for awhile that I wondered if God was asking us to be faithful to his leading…even if it meant it might not work out. Nik and I talked about it not working out - and as long as we knew that it was God closing the doors, we would be okay with it.
But obviously…it worked out!
We kept following God’s leading and the week of January 6 (2014), the interview was scheduled for January 27-30….
The Story of Watertown, NY - Part II
“The Interview” up next….