Tears easing out the corners of my eyes, I sat there and listened to a man who had given his entire life to ministry speak passionately about his love for the Lord and serving others. Something awakened within me that had been buried for quite some time. I had allowed life’s circumstances to suppress the fire that once burned within. For the last several years, I have been in survival mode because striving to get back up might cause disappointment. Have you been there?
Such is the story of my life. The year 2012 was a year of struggle and victory. It was the most passionate year of ministry I ever had. I went into 2013 with that same passion, but the circumstances that lurked around the corner were some for which I was not adequately prepared.
The demise of my family had been long in the making. It was in 2013 that everything came to a head. By mid-December, my wife (now ex) and the kids were out of the parsonage, I was unemployed, and I was alone in a parsonage with a few of the church people who were bold enough to vocally be on my side. I was alone in a town of 117 people, and I was unsure who I could trust.
Move forward a month. I was back in South Carolina, still unemployed, and wondering who would hire me since I was told that my years of church experience and education were either too good or not good enough. Because of my circumstances of kids living 4 hours away, along with my broken heart, full-time ministry was nowhere in sight.
After a few attempts at part-time ministry and a church plant, I walked away with no desire to serve in a church again. Oddly enough, a few interview processes began with churches in our area shortly thereafter. After each one, I was relieved it didn’t happen. They weren’t bad churches, but I did not see myself serving in those capacities. I had no calling nor desire. I returned to my home church after the last one, determined I really didn’t want another church vocational role. The vocational church scene had changed so much from 2013 to 2019 that I did not see myself fitting in at all. The thrill and passion for ministry were gone. It was obvious.
This past October, our home church asked me to serve in an interim role with the traditional service music. It has been a good experience. I know it will be for a season, but it has been refreshing to serve in a different denominational context.
Now…why all this history? I sat there yesterday, realizing my passion for ministry was buried beneath years of disappointment. I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way.
Let’s connect to your life. It may not be ministry, but your marriage has been in survival mode and you’re longing for renewed life. Your kids have broken your heart, and you have put up a wall to keep from more heartbreak. You’ve experienced another financial disaster, and you just can’t take another one. You’ve received another bad health report, and you just don’t want to live like this.
God is the God of resurrection! He wants to breathe life into the dead places of your life. He wants to heal your broken heart. But remember it is a process!
I’m still God’s resurrection project. But I rest in His promise that He who started the work WILL complete it (Philippians 1:6). Let’s believe God together that we will rise again.