A few weeks ago, God solidified His plans for another transition for our family. In the past, these decisions have always come with ease, as we packed up our toddlers and our belongings and moved to the place God had for us. Years have passed, those toddlers are now teenagers and many friends have been made, which makes transition a little harder. Not harder to follow God … harder to leave the wonderful friends the Lord has given to each of us in very pivotal times in our lives.
My husband Hal has accepted a position as a Professor of Discipleship in the Christian Education Division of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. We will leave serving the local church in a ministerial roll, a position Hal and our family have been a part of for 13 years, 4 states and 5 churches. Life will be so different for us all.
Between the years of 2004 - 2007, I was a student at NOBTS, pursuing the Women’s Ministry Certificate and a BACM through Leavell college. I always looked forward to each time that I was able to be on campus for classes. Then….Katrina hit. We were serving in North Mississippi at the time and were able to house and minister to countless people who evacuated to our area due to the storm. This was a pivotal time in my life. At that time God began to knit my heart to the people of the New Orleans area and to the city itself. In the spring of 2006, I was able to attend a workshop on campus, for the first time since Katrina hit. From that point on, I took every workshop I could on campus, just so I could be there. I absolutely loved it. I remember telling my husband, that New Orleans was a place where I thought I could live. Little did I know…..
Seven years have passed, another child has been born to our family and Hal has graduated from NOBTS with a PhD in Christian Education. All the years of ministry in the local church, move after move, and every trail and triumph in our life, has prepared us for our new calling. I stand in awe of what God has done in our lives and the fact that He called me there so many years ago. We accept this calling with gratitude and great humbleness. NOBTS is filled with faculty and staff that exude Christ. They are among the most gifted, Christ-filled and passionate people I know. Several of them have been great mentors in my life and have been a part of shaping the minister’s wife, mother and leader I am today. To think that we could be counted among them is a humbling feeling. What an honor.
As I look back on all the moves in the past 13 years, I see God’s hand and the lessons we learned along the way. My two oldest children have lived in 4 states and have had 8 different addresses. This transition is hard for them as a rising freshman and junior in high school. Oh, the lessons I have learned in parenting through transition! (Another post for another time!)
To some, this may seem like a great sacrifice for our family, and in some ways it is. However, when we are obedient to Christ, it will cost us something. But, disobedience to Christ will cost us even more. No matter what it costs us, our family wants to be obedient. We sacrifice earthly things to gain the eternal lessons of following God.
10 things I have learned in transitioning ministry:
1 - This earth is not our home. We live in the tents of transition and never conform to the world.
2 - Every triumph and trial prepares you for your next assignment.
3 - Be faithful to do what God tells you to do, until He tells you to do something different.
4 - When we are faithful to follow God, He multiplies our family and friends.
5 - God always prepares you for the place/ministry He is sending you to.
6 - God never sends you to a place He hasn’t prepared for you.
7 - God holds your children dear and blesses them with each transition.
8 - Make eternal relationships in every place you serve. Leave a legacy.
9 - Always finish well.
10 - Even though your surroundings change, our God never does!
One thing I will do, is serve the Lord as faithful as I can and strive to bring honor and glory to Him. One thing I wont do, is eat a crawfish!