Change: a word that many people fear or try to stay away from.
If you are anything like me, you like to have a routine and find comfort in knowing what is in store for you. I have been working full time at my church for a full year now, however this was not always my plan. In March of 2015 I was working at The University of Sioux Falls as a resident director, going to school for a Masters in Higher Education, and was a part time youth coordinator at King of Glory. I had found my routine and was enjoying all of it – except maybe some of the homework that came with grad school. After the school year I would have been living at USF the past 6 of 7 years (I lived at home my sophomore year of college) and was planning on staying another two while I finished my degree. I thought I had plenty of time to decide what was next.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..."
I then went and helped with a thing called Teens Encounter Christ or TEC. I had worked with TEC a few times before and love being able to share the love of Christ with the youth that come. Each TEC has a theme verse and this TEC’s verse was Proverbs 3:5 -6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths” (ESV). I was use to going to TEC and encouraging others in their faith. This TEC, God would work in my life. I remember driving home after an awesome weekend and turning off the music in my car. I rarely do that, but I couldn’t concentrate on the music as this verse continued to take control of my thoughts. So on I-29, as I drove home alone, I sat silently praying. During this time two new words kept coming up – choose one. After wrestling with these thoughts and spending the next few days to think, pray and listen, I knew what I had to do. I had to choose between higher education and church ministry. Two things I loved doing.
I began to spend time talking with people I trusted and looked up to, asking for their wisdom or feedback they had. I sat down with my wife and we talked through everything together. I continued to pray and spend time reading scripture. At the end, I don’t know if there was a right or wrong answer, but I did end up choosing one. Together with my wife, we decided to move on from life at college. This decision came with many unknowns for us. Where were we going to live? What does our budget look like now that I will not get free housing as a part of my job? What was I going to do to fill the gap financially? Normally I would have been freaking out a little bit. My wife would have also been anxious and uncomfortable with the idea. Yet, Proverbs 3:5-6 continued to be the center of my thoughts. Trust in the Lord. I knew that things were going to be ok. I didn’t know what I would be doing or how it would come to be, but I knew I didn’t have to worry.
I learned something extremely valuable last spring. I learned that my security does not come from a job or what others may think. I learned that I could not lean on my own understanding. I was telling myself along with a few others during this time that I was crazy for ending my time at USF. I was giving up free housing, a meal plan, and a free education. Still, I was at peace with my decision. My comfort was in knowing that the Lord is good. I didn’t have all the answers and I didn’t know what was ahead for me, but I found security in the one who does!