They told me I should take a year off from pastoring. It was exactly what I feared would happen: I went public with my failing marriage and as a result I lost my job. I openly disagreed with their assertion, but I had promised to submit to them. So I took a year off from full-time vocational ministry. June 30, 2014 was my final day as a pastor on staff at a church.
It has been a long year.
I’ve missed pastoring. I’ve missed having the front row seat watching God change lives. I’ve missed loving on people. I’ve missed teaching. I’ve missed coming alongside people and pointing them toward Jesus. I’ve really missed being a pastor.
But they were right. As frustrated as I was with my situation, they were right: I needed to take some time off. I needed to think through some things without hundreds of eyes watching me. I needed to not be needed.
It was a frightening time in my life. I trusted God, but I was scared about the future; scared of the unknown. I was scared of who I had become and scareder still of who I was becoming. I was scared for my career—the career I loved and was good at. I was scared for my family—the family I had invested my whole life in. I was scared for myself—my entire identity was shifting and I didn’t like it. I felt alone and misunderstood and betrayed. It truly was a frightening time in my life.
I never saw coming what God has done in the last year. I am amazed at how powerfully God has moved in my life in the last twelve months.
I couldn’t see how I was going to provide for my family, but God handled that. I couldn’t see how the divorce was going to impact the children, but God brought people into our lives to help us with that. I couldn’t see a vision for my future, but God supplied that. And I never dreamed there might be another person out there who would partner with me into that future, but God provided that too!
God is good my friends. God is working in ways we can’t imagine. God holds the future in his hands. God controls circumstances in ways we had never thought. God provides more than we can ask for. God is infinitely more capable, more powerful, more sovereign than our tiny little minds give him credit for.
Whatever we face in life, no matter how scary, no matter how overwhelming, remember this: God is bigger. When we can’t see what is next, God is bigger. When we don’t see how, God is bigger. When we don’t see why, God is bigger. God is bigger than our circumstances. God is bigger than our problems. God is bigger than our fears. God is bigger, my friends. It has been a year and all I can tell you is this: GOD IS BIGGER!!!