Moving on in my thoughts on redemption…I have two more areas of my life the Lord has redeemed recently. They both kinda happened at the same time so I’ll just pick our experience at our previous church, and we’ll talk about Cora’s birth story later.
We were called to the church (I’ll not use the name to protect the not-so-innocent) and moved there and started working 2 weeks after we were married. Looking back, we can see all of the red flags very clearly and even as we were there they started flying furiously for us. Strange things happened right from the start. As we were unloading the moving truck (with the help of my parents and the church people) David saw “M” (who would very soon become one of our greatest opposers) talking to the interim pastor “privately” in a corner. David remembers thinking this was strange, but didn’t think too much about it and kept unloading. We learned later that M was telling the interim pastor that he should really stay and how can they get David and Jeni to leave? Yes, that’s right, on the day we were moving in, we had not yet even had the chance to make people mad, they were trying to get us out. Trouble was being started, the pot was being stirred.
Six months after being at the church things really started to unravel. I won’t tell any of the stories, because it’s not necessary. And, to be honest I don’t really want to rehash it all, it just brings about unnecessary pain. In any case, even though we knew pretty quickly after arriving, we definitely knew six months in that we were heading down a very rough and bumpy road. Things went from ok, to bad, to worse, to pretty much unbearable. David lost his gall bladder due to all the stress. Every decision, every direction, was met with opposition. Now, let me clarify. This was not opposition from the entire church. Nope. Would you believe it was done by 4 people, mostly 2 men, one of whom was told what to do by his wife? That’s right, the screaming minority was ruling the silent majority. We went through so much pain, anguish, uncertainty, PRAYER, tears, questioning. We knew we were not there to grow the church in numbers. We knew we were not there to create a fantastic children’s ministry. We were there to name the elephant in the room. We were there to open the eyes of this body to the cancer that was eating this church alive.
David had the backing of the deacon board. They all knew what needed to be done, but when push came to shove it was too painful to the body to rid itself of the cancer. So, with that we knew God had released us. We knew we had done what God had sent us to do. We knew we could leave with God’s blessing and knew we had done the best we could. (I am saying “we” because David and I went through this very much together. He was the pastor and dealt the the brunt of it, but do not be mistaken, the opposers tried to get as much of their venom in me as possible, too.)
Fast forward to present day. After two years of job-searching God brought us to where we are now. WOW! How do I describe the place God has brought us other than the complete opposite of where we were? We were in the country, we’re now in an urban setting. We have been received with such grace, love and peace, I can’t even really describe it. Again, I want to say that in our previous church most of the people there were wonderful, dear people. However, the overall spirit of the church was wrought with everything opposite of where we are now. We have been loved, we have been accepted. I have not been myself most of the time we’ve been here due to being pregnant. This congregation has not even acted offended. Many helped me and others asked how to help.
God has redeemed a terrible situation. He has brought back peace and love and faith into a ministry that we were becoming just plain disgusted. He has allowed us to have a season of peace and rest–not only in ministry but also in our home and marriage. Does this mean life is perfect? Does this mean the church we’re in now doesn’t have it’s issues? Does this mean we never disagree or have moments of unrest in our marriage/family? Heavens no! But, the overall feeling in our life right now is one of peace. God is healing us. God is making better a situation that could have destroyed us in so many ways. God is showing us his mercies ARE new every morning.
I’m so thankful God has redeemed this part of my/our lives. We both feel so called to ministry and know God wants us to be a pastor and pastor’s wife. I’m thankful God has brought us to a place that is willing to let us both use our gifts and strengths for the benefit of the church. Again I want to say, praise God, from Whom ALL blessings flow.