I fought long and hard not to make this move. I liked the way my life was. I finally felt settled - I knew the flow of my job after more than three years in my position. I had finally made good friends, and I felt at home when I was with my life group at church. I had found my place in ministry, discipling girls through the Baptist Student Ministry where my husband worked part time and teaching GAs at our church. I even knew the traffic patterns so well that I could maneuver the streets of this big metro area like the best of them!
But last fall, something changed. Deep down inside I heard whispers saying this season was fading and that a new one was dawning. But I wouldn't listen… not now, not ever. This was finally feeling like home and I was NOT going to move.
But the whispers still came. And they grew louder. I turned up the music and the busyness to drown them out, and I gave God a long list about why Dallas was the perfect place for us. There are thousands of college students in this area who need someone to love them and share Christ's love with them. And I love working at my job. Isn't that a good reason to stay, God?
During this time, some of the ladies I know who help their husbands with students at Baptist Student Ministries around the state began to talk about seasons in life, not even knowing what was stirring inside of me and my husband. These ladies said that God leads us to different places, jobs and roles to be with other people, to bless us and to teach us. I didn't want to listen at first. I liked the season I was in and wanted to make it work… surely I could serve God here.
But the whispers grew stronger and louder. The whispers said to trust. They said to take a leap and allow the next season to begin. And I cried. I cried long and hard because I knew that God was moving me and my husband to a new place, a new season, a new ministry, a new lesson.
I cried first out of grief. I didn't want to leave my friends. I didn't want to move farther away from my family. I didn't want to leave my wonderful job. But then I came to a place of crying out in surrender, coming to a point of accepting the new season and trusting the Lord. And that's when the peace came.
It hasn't been a peace that causes all chaos around me to calm. Not at all. I feel like I'm in the most chaotic season I've experienced to date. But there is an inner calm, an inner hope from the Lord that keeps me going and knowing we are walking the best journey for us right now.
It has taking a long time, but my heart is ready to move to this next season. I am taking dear friendships and wonderful blessings and memories from my time in Dallas with me, knowing that God will help me keep these dear connections no matter where I am in life.
I'm learning that life is about seasons, some glorious, some tough. But one thing is true through it all - God is with us and he knows the big picture of how all these seasons connect and the goals of each. Some days I don't feel this truth as the chaos swirls around me. But it's at that time when He has sent wonderful people to remind me of His truth, giving me strength during my days of seasonal doubt.
As this season closes and another one opens, I'm doing my best to remember all that God has done and look to what He wants to do in and through me in this next season. I'm striving to put my trust in the Lord and set my face towards the journey ahead, learning to enjoy each season and trust well in the plans of our good Father.
In the next few blogs to post here on the Texas Baptists blog, you will hear from Katie Swafford, our Texas Baptists Counseling Ministries director, and several other women who have served beside their husbands during years of ministry across the nation. I hope that their words of wisdom and experiences will bless your heart, whether you are a church member learning how to encourage and support your ministers and their families or a minister's wife who needs a little encouragement today. May these blogs help you follow Christ to the best of your ability in whatever season you are in right now.