Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV). I had always thought I was Godly … until Frank came home and told me that we were moving, uprooting.....we were leaving all that I knew as familiar.....we were moving into our first parsonage...the Wednesday before Father's Day. If you are unfamiliar with a parsonage....they are fully (and I do mean fully furnished). So, if you want to measure your faith, just decide to pack up everything you own, put it in cardboard boxes, and move into a house that is furnished with odds and ends furniture that does not match. We moved into the parsonage as the current pastor and his wife moved out. She was cleaning as she walked out the door and handed us the keys. I had visions of our new congregation turning out to help us unload all our belongings that we had not sold at the yard sale....what Frank ended up with was me....and my friend Mary. Our congregation worked. This was Wednesday. We had a giant yard sale before we left.....and sold almost everything we owned. When we packed up in Alex City all of our friends came and helped us pack the truck....and we had the biggest U-Haul there was. I know they wondered about us.....if you have ever moved you know that liquor boxes make the best moving boxes.....and there we were....with a ton of alcohol boxes. I found myself explaining the choice. Normally when the new pastor moves in....between one leaving and one arriving the ladies of the church come in and make sure all is well. The ladies of the church did come....but after we were unloaded....they brought the most amazing foods. That first night after every one left...I was so overwhelmed that I sat down and cried. What kind of impression had I made on them. I was tired, dirty...tired....cranky....well.....snarky.......and did I mention tired. Exhaustion was oozing from every pore on my body. Mary went home....and Frank and I began locating necessities like the coffee pot...and cups. We put our bed together and made it so we would have a place to lay our weary heads in our bright blue room. We ate off paper plates for days because I could not find my dishes. We moved in on Weds afternoon....and the church had a huge fund-raiser on Saturday....all day. I still did not know where things were. It took a month to get the boxes totally unloaded....and I believe that six+ years later there are still a few in the shed. Next move I am hiring Two Men And A Truck to come and load up what we have...and unload it when we get there. With all my stuff in place....and the boxes in the shed we settled into being the new pastor and wife in Rock Mills. The chicken-que was great fun and I got to meet a lot of the members that way. Life rolled into some routine....I began to thrive.....I found my niche....and I knew I never wanted to leave this place. God knew what he was doing when he talked me into setting aside my personal comfort and letting him "move my cheese". He knew what he was doing when he asked me to forfeit my convenience. I worked in Alex City....I lived there....I would be driving an hour each way....and sometimes it would be very dark when I began or ended my drive. I learned to serve God to the fullest of my abilities and whereever I was sent.....and while I was serving Him I would be doing it in joy, with a servants heart.....and not a black heart. I sometimes fall into a rut of a complaining spirit and I whine....but I remember when I am in this pit that most of the stuff I am whining about do not matter in the grand scheme of things. It is then that I have to hit my knees and ask God to show me how to focus on the things that do matter. I am learning when I face a difficult situation to seek God first...no matter how large....or how small.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
10 months ago