For those closest to me, let me clarify that this is not about my upcoming 6 month wedding anniversary although I have MANY wonderful things to say about that special day coming up this Friday. This is more in reference to when I stepped away from paid church ministry 6 months ago today. I have learned some valuable lessons during this time.
1. I have learned who my true friends are. The rumors as to why I stepped down were entertaining, to say the least. Some assumed I had sinned. Others thought it was so I could get married. I heard through the grapevine that I was a popular topic of conversation for a season. I assume my “friends” have moved on, because there are quite a few people who don’t talk to me anymore since I’m not among the “elite” (I guess that me not currently being an active vocational minister means I’ve fallen from grace?).
2. Every minister needs rest. A pastor friend advised me to take a year off when I resigned the pastorate because of the family turmoil which happened simultaneously. However, I didn’t listen. I went to a wonderful church that loved me through that tough time, but it did catch up with me later. It really caught up with me when I went to a more demanding ministry and I had to drive a 4 1/2 hour turnaround trip to drop off kids and be back for a 6:00 service. By the time I resigned that ministry, I was totally exhausted. Sadly, most churches in my denomination don’t have ministries that are conducive for my situation or church members that are understanding of why you can’t be at all places at all times.
3. I have been afforded the opportunity to meet people and visit churches I never would have met and visited without this season. I have even attended those outside of my denomination (everyone gasps). Many people I know have never attended churches other than the one they grew up in. I can’t imagine having such a narrow experience of church.
Overall, these last 6 months have been nice. I do miss preaching. I cannot lie! Some will say I have no business doing that because I’m divorced and remarried, but I will let God determine that. With that said, it should be interesting what God does in the days ahead. He will make all things beautiful in His time!