Labor Day 2011 Corrine and I moved into Worthington. We basically traded gas money driving to work for rent. It has been one of the best decisions we've made. Not only are we closer to work/church/daycare, because of living in town it's like we've gained an hour of time each day that was previously taken up in our daily commute.
October 17, 2011. Corrine, Melody and I welcome little Charles Dwayne into our family. He's a hoot. Big head, blue eyes, and out of sheer will, he's been walking for a month already.
|This is Melody and Charlie in June.|
March 2012. I trade my drumset for a non-running motorcycle. Waiting on two parts before she runs like a champ, can't wait!
June 2012. Back in the youth ministry game. Still working at Ag Parts, but Pastor John asked me to lead a High School guys' youth group. I felt it was God telling me it was time to get off my duff and get back into it. Up to this point I had felt that something was missing in my life. Since getting back in, it's been wonderful. It's a fairly small group, but it has been fantastic getting to know these guys.
July 2012. Pastor John and his wife Grace decide to move down to Hot-lanta to be closer to their family. They made it safely and are enjoying their time down there. I miss his wisdom and guidance.
August 2012. It's announced that Pastor Brad is going to be taking over John's role in leading Journey. Brad is a Fuller Sem. graduate that had been a pastor in a neighboring town. He got burnt out over there and has been the county's family counselor for the past year. They started coming to Journey about a year and a half ago. Brad's one cool guy. I'm really looking forward to what's in store for our community with Brad at the helm.
And that brings us to today.
Brad had asked to get together sometime and learn more about each other. I thought it was a good idea since I knew who he was, but I didn't know anything about him except what he said in his little meet and greet at church.
We met tonight in a little, semi-trendy cafe in a town halfway between where we both live. It was about a 30 mile dive for me, but that's alright, I like driving. Drive time for me is a time to reflect on the day and process through the stress.
Brad was already there when I arrived. What I thought was going to be a nice little "get to know you" type evening turned into a "Kyle-sees-a-therapist" type evening. Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad. But he did ask about when I worked at First Methodist. And from then on it turned into a dish-session. It wasn't so much a time for me to put everything out there. But it was a time to talk through a couple of the things that have been lingering over the past two years. I kind of amazed myself in how much I still had to say about getting fired. To be perfectly honest it was a terrible thing to go through. But in all reality, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.
If I wouldn't have gotten fired, I would still be there, and I would be miserable. I would be a burnt out pile of garbage youth pastor that would probably be in the process of getting fired. But the bigger thing is that I wouldn't have been able to be part of the Journey community if I wouldn't have gotten fired.
Journey has been a place of healing and a place of spiritual sanctuary for me. Without getting fired I would have never had to rely on God as much as I have in these past two years. Before I got fired, I was floating along just trying to keep my head above water. But then I started sinking and I needed someone to help me back to the top.
I know God doesn't heap coals onto us just to make us draw closer to him. That's a selfish god. But I do believe that sometimes you find yourself in hell and the only way out is to look to God. I believe that's where I'm at right now. I believe that I have a long ways to go, but little by little, as we rely more and more on God, we find ourselves further and further from hell.
Just remember what the Psalmist wrote, "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." May we hold the hope of morning close to our hearts. And if we wake and find ourselves in the middle of the night, hold fast to God, for he is the morning.