Friday, 5 June 2015

It Has Been a Privilege

This week marks one year since Brandon and I started our journey into ministry, as pastors, as leaders of a very dynamic church.

It has been a privilege to walk through the various twists and turns that this year has brought. We have hiked up to some of the tallest peaks, breathing the fresh air, taking in the view. We have found ourselves all but lost in the densest forests, not sure which way to go next, all of the elements seemingly against us. We have had the opportunity to walk alongside others, seeing incredible breakthroughs, friendships, and leaps of faith take shape.

It has been a privilege.

This year has engraved memories into my mind and etched stories into my heart that will carry me through years to come. I have had the opportunity to sit around an office, chairs pulled into a loose circle after a long night at church, with others who have sacrificed their time, loading and unloading a Uhaul full of equipment, sharing the parts of the night that were most meaningful, a spurring on of the faith. I have had the opportunity to share coffee with amazing women, sitting across the table as we chat about life, love, and faith. I have spent many afternoons in our little apartment, with my husband moving around the house, perfecting his message and praying for guidance. I have flipped pancakes and handed out bottles of water for students who look at me bewildered, unsure of what the catch might be for this act of love. I have seen people make commitments to follow God that will not only change the direction of their entire life, but will affect the lives of generations to come.

It has been a privilege.

This year has taught me that leadership is far above principles, check-lists, and progress. It is about people. It is the people that we work alongside, who commit to this ministry in a tangible way that push this church forward. It is the people who sit in their living rooms praying for the students and for this church who make a quiet impact every week. It has taught me the true importance of saying thanks, of calling out the potential we see, and of facing the difficulties head on. I have learned that people have a lot to offer, and if you open your heart, you will always receive even when your focus is to give.

It has been a privilege.

This year has shown me God’s faithfulness in our lives. I have had the opportunity to be humble, receiving financial gifts from strangers and friends who simply felt that they wanted to bless us. I have had to recognize that money is not everything, and that God cares so deeply about us that he has not and will not lead us to a place to watch us fall. I have seen God’s faithfulness in our time, giving us health and sustainability. I have seen his faithfulness in bringing in just the right leader into just the right position to spur this church on. I have seen God’s faithfulness despite our mistakes, as he guides us and gently teaches us to make the better choice.

It has been a privilege.

I have witnessed God’s patience and am beginning to understand what unfailing love really looks like. In spite of my mess, persistence to try to do things my own way, and my sometimes overdependence on self, God always accepts me back. In the midst of my selfishness, doubt, and negative thoughts, he always makes a way to Him. His love truly keeps no record of wrong, and through my life I can share that with others. In this patience and love, I have had the opportunity to begin recognizing some of my own dreams coming to pass, and others just beginning to form.

It has been a privilege.

This year has brought me closer to my husband than any before. We have had to fight together, celebrating the gains, praying for the future, and grieving the hardships. We have learned more about our own relationship, one that contains two strong leaders. I have understood respect in a different dimension. I have learned what it looks like to really support and love another person. I have realized that I still have a lot more learning to do.

And so, for those of you who have been part of our journey over this past year in any way, I say thank-you. Perhaps you have stood alongside us in pre-service meetings as we pray over the night. Maybe you have helped us to learn how to lead better, giving us new experiences to face. Perhaps you have loaded or unloaded a Uhaul filled with equipment in the pouring rain or freezing snow. You may have pulled us aside to see how things are going, offering an encouraging word or slipping a cheque with The Embassy written across it into our hands. Maybe you have spent time on your knees, lifting up our names and this church, asking God to move over the campuses. Perhaps you have come to a service and taken part in what God is doing. No matter what the capacity, the time commitment, or the way, thank-you for being part of this amazing journey.

This year has been a privilege in many ways because of you.

And as we walk into our next year, and the one after that, and the one after that, it is a privilege to know that God is good and he will do great things.

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