For the past couple of years, I have wondered if God might have something else for me. I have really been missing being able to be in children's ministry more full-time. It is what "fills my cup". When I did try to work 40 hours/week and serve in my church in children's ministry, I basically hit burn-out and had to give up much. Over time, I knew God was releasing me - at some point - from my role with the Canadian National Baptist Convention as the assistant for the Missions division and leader of Missions education and promotion for our churches across Canada. For most of last year, I was praying lots about what God was saying about my life and future. Did He still want me in Canada in a different role? Over the course of time, I knew He was releasing me from Canada. The whole serving in Canada thing in the first place just kinda happened...the whole releasing me from Canada just kinda happened. It's kinda hard to explain it...
Also, I have sensed for a while that it is time to live closer to family. It's just something that needs to happen at this point in our lives and I know God is saying it's ok for me to do that. I'm grateful for my family's support. They have supported me through my initial calling to study in seminary here, and my ministry roles across this great country, though there were times they did not understand why I was doing what I was doing. Through the course of everything, I have not really sought out any new ministry role. I was just waiting to see what God was saying about my future. There was one possibility for ministry that I thought I might have, but it was not meant to be.
A couple weeks ago, I made some decisions about my future and I have a peace about it. Due to the course of events in my life the past few years and even months, I feel it is time for me to take a mini-sabbatical. My last day with the CNBC will be May 22. Crazy to think that this time next month, I will have wrapped up my time there after 6 1/2 years. I will take the last week of May to finalize things for my move south. My stuff will be shipped and I'll fly. I'm still finalizing my exact leave date. I will stay with my parents in Mississippi for a time as they have room for me. I'll spend the summer with family and friends, volunteering in different ministries, and just resting in whatever way God would have me to. I may need to get a part-time job seeing I'll have to be paying for healthcare! I really have no idea what God has past a couple of months but I know He will show me in time. I'll be getting my resume out soon enough. Some have asked me if I am excited about this new journey I'll be on. I'm not quite there yet cause I have tons to do between now and when I leave!! I am relieved to have a plan.
Last Saturday, I attended a Lifeway VBS training. I learned that the theme verse for this year is: "Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21. This is the verse I am claiming for this next season of life. God has used this verse to help confirm that my decision is what I am to do...that He goes before me...and that He has a plan. I will know in time. I am to trust Him.
This week has been one filled with all sorts of emotions as I have shared with more people what is going on with me. Canada has been home for most of my adult life. It is what I have known. I have an incredible support system here. Without the prayers of many, the support of many...near and far...and of course, by God's grace, I could not have made it through the past couple of years and months. God has allowed me to be a part of so many different ministries and meet so many people. I am overwhelmed by His goodness and faithfulness. I am sad because I will be leaving so many dear friends who are like family to me. I am looking forward to being with family more. I will continue to be a HUGE mobilizer for missions in Canada and just maybe get to come back on mission trips myself! I will continue to love missionaries and support them however I can. Because of my role with the Convention, this passion has grown even more. I will leave a HUGE part of my heart here...
As I have much to do in the next weeks, I would ask that you pray for me and the many details surrounding my move:
- I am training someone at work to take on some of what I have been doing. Pray for transitions at CNBC.
- Decisions about moving my stuff, sorting, packing, etc
- my car sells quickly
- all the "see ya laters" I am making
- financial resources as it's not cheap to make an international move
- leaving Canada
- getting settled into life back in the southern US
- for the new ministry role God has for me
- my family
- my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health
Thank you for your prayers and support during this season of my life! It means so much to me! I will try to post as I have more to share.
"So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10. This is the verse for the next few weeks in my grade 3/4 Sunday School class! Ok, God, I know, I know...