Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Journey {part 4}

We are in the midst of a 6 part series of posts where I am sort of “unpacking” some of what I’ve been walking through and processing over the last year.  You may find the previous posts here:

The Journey {part 1}
The Journey {part 2}
The Journey {part 3}


My answer was, “Yes.”

My answer was yes to God.  Yes, I will do whatever you ask me to do.  Yes, I will stay at this church that you brought us to and caused us to fall in love with 13 years ago.  Yes, I will seek to do whatever it takes to encourage my daughter in her spiritual walk rather than throw uncertainty into it.  Yes, I will work alongside people with whom I have not had the best relationship  in order to build and edify the body of Christ.  Yes was my answer. 

And so the work began just a few short weeks later.  The work of which I speak is that of seeking who God had in store to come to our church as the Children’s Pastor who could lead us as we follow God’s plan to take our children’s ministry to the next level.  It promised to be a long process and one that I was sure would have its ups and downs. 

But in the midst of all those ups and downs, the Lord was faithful to minister to my heart and give me what I needed to do the job.  He timed it such that I was doing the Beth Moore Bible study on Esther and allowed me to hear her teach on Hebrews 10:35-36 regarding throwing away our confidence that summer just as much of this was happening. 

And I tell you, there has never been a time in my life that I have felt more under-qualified, over-anxious, over-responsible, under attack, under-rated and over-shadowed (the 7 main “It’s tough to be a woman” points in the Esther Bible study).  And there has never been a time that I have needed to remember the confidence that God gives me and to not allow others to trash it like I have in the past.  Not only because of the process we were going through on the search committee, but that coupled with continuing to have to make choices and difficult decisions where are family was concerned due to the difficult circumstances we found ourselves in because of our lack of income.  God sowed those words and scriptures in my heart for me to return to and lean on every step of the way.  The timing, very simply put, could not have been any better.

Because this Children’s Pastor search process has largely consumed my time and life outside of family and work these last few months , I’m going to walk you through the process a little.  I think it’s important to my story as a whole for you to see where I’ve been these last few months.  But I could not write about it at the time as it happened because I could not say that I was walking in victory and some of the process was confidential.  As consuming as it was it, therefore, greatly impacted how much and what I was able to blog.  I can say now that the process is over and I am walking in victory, so hang with me here today and tomorrow as you review these last few months with me.

In January of this year things really began to pick up for us on the Children’s Pastor search committee after already several months of considering the type of person we were looking for and accumulating prospective candidates.  We were finally at a point where we had 5 finalists out of all the resumes that had been submitted.  We needed to talk to these people to get a better feel for if they would truly be a “fit” for our church. 

So, one week in January, the eleven committee members and eight  pastors interviewed five candidates in two evenings.  First of all, can you imagine having to interview in front of 19 people?  To say it was a beating for both us and the candidates would be an understatement of gigantic proportions.  But, it was also exciting to see how our work was coming together and that we might be nearing a decision. 

We were to meet the following week and we were to come to that meeting with the candidates ranked in order – 1 to 5.  There were three of them that were very close for me as I poured back over all the written information we had and all the notes I took during the interviews.  So, I set all of that aside and spent the next two days fasting during lunchtime, praying and seeking God. 

I came away from that time with a verse.  2 Samuel 16:7 says “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” 

And I came away from that time with a name.  A name that I sensed the Lord lay directly on my heart.  I knew, then, how I would rank these candidates.