May 16, 2010

The One where God's Plan Trumps ALL

Where do I begin? 
Kevin and I have been experiencing the hand of God is some undeniable ways these past days. 
Our plan for our lives has been, well, uprooted. 

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says the only way to truly hand over our whole selves to God, is to "be ploughed up and resown."  
"Christ says, 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time 
and so much of your money
and so much of your work.
I want You. 
I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it...
I don't want to cut off a branch here and branch there, 
I want to have the whole tree down. 
Hand over the whle natural self, 
all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked--
the whole outfit. 
I will give you a new self instead. 
In fact, I will give Myself;
my own shall become yours."

What does that look like in our lives?
I am a planner
I am also a worrier.
The first quality has its place, its positive attributes. 
The second is sin. Plain and simple. 
But when things don't go as I plan or when I can't seem to figure out a plan, the worry seeps in.
Sometimes slowly, taking its foothold inch by inch.
Other times so quickly before I know it I am gasping for air, frantically swimming for the surface, drowning in my lack of faith. 
But if I were to just stop striving, relax, lay back and float, I could experience the love and provision of God. 
(That concept first came to me in Surrender to Love. Read it.)

Now that we have my sin nature established, I can begin to describe to you the progression of events that led to a decision that only God could have originated. 
The peace I have been given is definitely not of my own mustering.
It is all Jesus. 
He alone must receive the glory for this.

[to read Kevin's version of the story click here.]

My brilliant husband, Kevin, left his biophysics PhD program in October to pursue a career in high school science education. 
God had taken a man obviously gifted in the scientific realm and planted within him a desire to minister more fully to teens. 
His colleagues did not understand this choice. 
But we knew it was the right one. 
We'd been leading the youth group just over a year and those teens had dug themselves deep into our hearts. 

We lived for three months with no income, thankful for the funds we had saved for a such a time as that. 
At the end of December, Kevin started substitute teaching and has continued to do so to the present. 
(In fact his full-time sub job begins tomorrow and finishes at the end school year.
We're way excited to have a consistent job schedule!) 
In the meantime Kevin had been working with Eastern Michigan University in hopes of quickly enrolling in their post-baccalaureate certification program. 
Door after door kept slamming in our faces on that front, however. 
It was frustrating but God finally had our attention. 

The afternoon after Kevin realized he would have to choose between the full-time sub job and 2 classes at EMU, was the moment everything began changing. 
He said something to the affect of, 
"I'm going to sound totally crazy for a second, 
but I want to throw this idea out there.
What if I took a different career path?" 
"What if I became a pastor?" 
"Ok," I said.
"Wait, WHAT?!" Kevin replied.
"I thought you'd freak out about this."

Believe me, he's totally right on.
Anyone could have predicted Mel's *insert freak out moment here*
But all the more proof this was GOD,
and not just my husband being absolutely out of his mind. 
I feel like I could have predicted those words that Kevin was about to announce.
The fateful words that would launch us into a fast and furious pursuit of God's will.
Yeah, God had evidently placed the same thought in my mind.

So we talked to Pastor Dale about it. 
We thought he'd tell us we were crazy. 
That we needed to take a chill pill and "pray about it for a while."
Not so much.
He sat there listening. smiling. nodding.
And was in complete agreement that this must be a word from the Lord. 

We talked to Kevin's parents.
And my parents.
And it was same song, second (and third) verse.
They were a bit surprised.
(Well yeah. Biophysicist to pastor?!)
But they were completely excited and supportive. 

Kevin has officially been accepted by the church leadership board as a Local Ministerial Candidate (or LMC) for the Free Methodist Church.
The steps to Conference Ministerial Candidate (CMC) and elder ordination will take a few years but in the meantime we'll be serving together at our church.
Leading the youth group as a team.
This, friends, this is why God brought us together in holy matrimony.
To be a powerful partnership in lifelong obedient service for HIS Kingdom.

How does this affect me
God brought to memory a secret dream I had of being a pastor's wife
It may have to do with the fact that two of the most influential women in my life were pastors' wives, I don't know.
And if you would have asked me if I wanted to be a pastor's wife I probably would have said it didn't matter.
And it didn't.
But that's how great my God is.
He knows my inmost thoughts.
Thoughts even I do not know about. 
I look forward to a life of ministry alongside my husband. 
Working with him to lead the youth group as long as God has us here.
Maybe in the future we could do marriage counseling.
I could lead women's ministries. or children's ministry. 
We make fabulous pair in music leadership.
(or in whatever ministry God leads us to for that matter.)

No matter the capacity, our lives will revolve around the ministry of God. 
To wait on Him. 
Not to rush ahead of his plan. 
But to be so closely in tune with His voice, that we know where He wants to lead us next. 
All of this connects closely with the post I wrote about the most productive way to spend my time.
And after reading my friend, Jenilee's, devotional post a few weeks back, I felt even more strengthened and equipped. 

Our immediate plan coordinates with our summer activity. 
Seeing how substitute teaching doesn't pay much in the summer, we were wondering how to keep finances in check for these few months. 
We jokingly mentioned working at Somerset--the camp both of us have spend many a summer of work.
We didn't think it would be possible given our lifestyle and responsibilities now. 
But alas, God had perfect plans.
We are thrilled to announce we're going to be living at SBC this summer. 
I'm going to be working full time in the Welcome Center office.
Kevin will be working with Kyle & Sara on youth camp programming.
And we'll still be back home on Sundays for church and evening youth group.
Business as usual. 
With a twist. :)
A beautiful twist we are so excited to experience together.

And with that I leave you with the fullest expression of my heart--
I will go, Lord, send me.


  1. Wow! What a career change! That's awesome news though! God's great...he makes life such an adventure :) Life would be SO boring without Him :)

  2. That is awesome!
    God is in the bussiness of changing lives, bringing Him glory all the more one step at a time.
    Read my newly released booktitled "The Sword and the Spear"

  3. that is great! how exciting for both of you!!! :)

  4. Wow, a pastor?!?!? That is the last thing that I would have expected however I know a few things about slamming doors. If things were not working out with EMU to do the teacher certification there was a reason! Things like that don't happen "by coincidence."

  5. Awesome! How exciting for you and your Kevin :)

  6. Mel! that is AWESOME! Sounds wonderful and so exciting!!! Life is so full of twists and turns.. I love how God works out things that we would never expect would really happen! SO COOL!

  7. I literally teared up I was so excited for you guys! God is amazing. Also- I miss seeing you guys!

  8. It's a scary first step, but one you'll look back on and appreciate! :)

  9. Well, I am not astonished. Remember me asking Kevin in my office if he thought of ministry or seminary and he said to me, "Being a High School teacher is a great way to do ministry." It would have saved the two of you a lot of WORRY, if you just listen to me!


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