Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dry-Part 2

It was a December morning (2006) at Compass Church, and our daughter was playing a sheep in the Christmas program. A chain of events had led to our pastor stepping down for what I thought was just a few months, and although I was looking to transition out of my church job, I was still currently loving every minute of it, and loving in every way my church family, and my place inside it.

I remember doing the announcements that morning with genuine excitement and joy. I remember announcing that we were having a church family meeting that evening to discuss the situation surrounding our Pastor’s current step-down and return.

The evening came, and as the meeting progressed I watched for one of the first times in my life as a few sheep of God’s family proceeded to verbally rip to shreds the man who was my co-worker, my pastor, and most of all, my friend. Something crumpled in my spirit that night, and I will not grace the months that followed with many comments except to say that it was one of the more miserable experiences of my life.

Please know that although I questioned God as to why this was happening, I didn’t blame Him ever, at all, for what happened. I didn’t even realize that I was allowing (and would allow) this wound to distance me from my Heavenly Father.

The months that followed that meeting were full of my husband and I seeking new direction from God. Some of our oldest and best friends had felt the call of God to start a church plant sometime in 2007, and they asked if we would come and be a part of it. They wanted my husband to help lead worship. We weren’t sure though, since we were strongly considering a move out-of-state to Oklahoma, where my sister and her husband both lived.

We felt like our family was ready for a big change, and so on our anniversary, March 2007, my hubby and I flew out to Norman to visit my sister and brother-in-law, look at houses, and spend some time in prayer about what then next step would be for our family. In short, we loved it, but after a LOT of prayer, we both felt that God was asking us to stay in Phoenix for now and be obedient to help start the church plant.

I can’t say I said "Yes" to the church plant with joy, though. In a way, although I knew we were obeying, I was angry at God for saying “No” to Oklahoma. Most of you who know me well know that I desire a smaller, slower pace-of-life outside of Phoenix, and have for some time. I couldn’t understand why God said “No” to such a big desire of my heart.

The river drained dry just a little more, as I allowed more distance to develop between my Lord and I.

So, in September 2007, we helped open the doors for The Way Christian Fellowship.

And my heart has been stuck in a muddy, dried-up place ever since. I am currently doing children’s ministry, which I really, really, really, don’t feel called to, and am struggling with guilt over because I just don’t enjoy it at all. I won’t stay there forever, I’m sure, but with a church so small there really is no-one else to do it. The core families’ wives that helped to start the church plant are the ones working nursery/kids right now (including the pastor’s wife) because it has to be that way. And my husband is leading worship again, but I have struggled with all of the time commitments that means – including worship band practices, extra church meetings with the pastor, and not getting to see and/or go to the church with my husband on Sunday morning.

And, looking back, I can tell you this – I MISS my church family at Compass. My original, beautiful, vibrant church family. Where I watched church softball games, and had my girls dedicated, and listened to the truth being spoken, and singing “How Great Is Our God” at the top of my lungs with both arms raised high. I miss it SO much, and pockets of my heart still ache for it.

And most of all, I miss the JOY and INTIMACY that I have always had with my Heavenly Papa.

.......I want it back.

Please pray for this season of spiritual dryness in my life.


Lindsay said...

Stacy, Thanks so much for sharing. I can understand your dry place and I pray that through the realization of how these events have affected you that God is lighting your fire again, renewing you, and preparing you to be blessed in your time with Him. I am praying for you and I love you! There is no doubt in my mind that God is going to use you in powerful ways!

Andrea said...

I too miss Compass with every part of my being. I wish so deeply that everything could go back to the way it was. Interesting that my relationship with Christ has seemed to strengthen despite the circumstances. It's not something I understand, but I am thankful for it. I will certainly continue to pray for you as you work through this time in your walk with Christ. I do believe this experience has a reason and it will someday be revealed to you. Until then...hang in there and know that all us Sisterchicks are here to hold you up and stand in the gap for you.

Crock Pot Mom said...

Oh, Stacy, how I can relate to your frustrations. The first time I realized I was mad at God during a dry spell it was amazing to me (I hadn't considered that possible). It freed me up to re-connect, though, as I repented of my selfishness...

God is GOOD above all things. He so desires YOU ALONE ~ away from all of your hearts desires and wishes...He is raising up His church to serve others in Christ, and all He wants is a willing and obedient spirit, which He alone can provide when our hearts are open to this...

His ways are so far beyond ours. His refining fires have purposes so far beyond our limited scope of understanding. In the hurting, He holds us closest, though we often cannot feel His arms. Draw near to Him, let Him relight the fires, pour out your heart and anger to His willing and welcome arms. He will light the passion within you and illumine each step of the way...but it may be only step by step ~ yet always enough for joy.

God Bless you, sweet sister - you are loved and highly favored. Don't let self rule; it always changes our mind and the enemy gets the tap on despair and despondency. Kick out those thoughts that feel so real and focus on the Truths that He alone can give ~ you will soon find yourself laughing with the children or find God moving in miraculous ways in your church body...Bless you, bless you, bless you.