Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where we are today....the conclusion to the story

Well friends....here we are at the end of the story. But, you know what? I don't think it's the end. I think it's the beginning. It all depends on how you look at it. Seasons come and go. Why on earth did I really think life would be the exact same for years and years?? Nah.....God is way too exciting for that nonsense. ;)

So....let's wrap this thing up with some hope ok?

I went to my pastor in August and told him that I had wrestled the thing out with God and even though I had been a mess of emotions, I believed God was very clearly saying...."it's time for you to go Fran."

Gulp.

I sat in shock again. This was indeed real. My life as I knew it was officially over. I quietly snuck out of the church spotlight and packed up my office on Labor Day and left with intense peace in my heart.

But, I was still scared to death.

What I didn't tell you was that my job paid for two of my boys private school tuition. And, yes....that job was gone. And, yes....they still needed to go to school.

So, how are we going to handle this Lord?

I remember saying to someone that the calendar became my enemy. I never wanted to know the date because then I would know that tuition is due in X amount of days and momma had no job.

Gulp again.

A lot of praying now.

For the month of September and the month of October....our sweet Lord took care of the tuition in most unexpected ways. Oh, how I marvel at His provision and the use of others. Wow!! Those 2 months allowed us to not have to dip into savings. Thank you Lord.

In the mean time...I was pursuing some job opportunities that could help things out. Keep in mind...I'm not trained in any thing. I'm a college graduate, but that was FOREVER ago and I never really worked until I landed in ministry at our church.

Hello unqualified...nice to meet you.

After a series of very calculated events....the good Lord basically placed a job in my lap. No lie. Honest to goodness this was not the job I had ever pursued. Is it in ministry? No. Is it in a church? No. Will I get to love on people in a Christian environment?? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

Wow! I'm amazed at His work and His faithfulness and His provision. He really does have our best interest at heart.

This new job will be very different for me and my family, but why in the world would I worry about the new challenges we will face when I have just seen first hand....He WILL provide.

We have some adjustments to make within the family, but it is not hard and can be done.

I have walked a road that I never, ever saw coming and won't ever forget how it all felt. But, I am coming out of the wilderness ready to tell others just how awesome God is to those who love Him and pursue His desires over their life.

I have learned so much about loss, grief, pride, humility, and God's character through all this and I wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world.

He may not take you down the shiny, pretty road, but I can promise you you'll be glad you hung on for the ride.

Thank you for your words of encouragement and love. It means the absolute world to me.

I hope you know the One who heals, restores, redeems, and tends to the ones He has sought out.
He loves you so!!

And, one more thing....I love the church and all that is in it. I pray we all find ourselves in a place where we are loved, taught the word of God, and are a part of something so special in that community.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Hugs and blessings~
Fran

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here we go....part 2

I have stewed and stewed about how to continue the story. I've actually put this off for as long as I can. I have to pick up the kids here soon so I need to get busy and tell you the next part! ;)

Please know that my point in telling my story is NOT to tear anyone down within my church or even tear down the church itself. My point is simply showing how God sometimes works. And, it's not all clean and pretty and easy. Ok, here we go......

I believe we left off yesterday with things going south in late July and my world had just been devastated. That is completely true. I'm going to stay away from some specifics because in the big scheme of it all......it really doesn't matter. God will do whatever He wants to do and however He wants to do it.

So, where were we??

During the summer months, something big was happening within children's ministry that was about to either be really good or really bad. I had a tough decision to make and I took the hard road and went with what I truly believed to be the direction that God was telling me to go. I had prayed like mad and sought advice and wisdom from others around me as well.

That decision did not go over well with some church members. The decision prompted some discussions and ideas to take place and during that process I was asked to leave my current position at the church and develop a new ministry. That doesn't sad so bad right?

This is where I'm going to leave out the bulk of the story because it honestly doesn't effect how God was already orchestrating this all anyway.

You see, let me back up a year and a half and let you know that I had been through a really tough year in ministry. I felt completely alone in so many ways and was borderline frustrated with some things going on and really began to wonder if this is where God would have me.

Again...I'm going to leave out some details here. Please forgive me.

I prayed for a solid 18 months about what to do. I knew that if I were to leave it would not be without God going ahead of me. However, at this point, in my heart of hearts, I never imagined I would have to make a choice in all this questioning. I believed God was going to teach me something else. I never thought anything other than "stick it out, Fran."

So, we come back to the summer of '09. I never imagined that God would speak in such a way that would be so devastatingly ugly. Sometimes God won't speak so sweetly into our hearts that gives us the "go or stay" answer that we are looking for. Sometimes the writing is on the wall after something so hurtful that we can clearly hear Him saying......."it's time for you to go Fran."

Huh?

What?

This is NOT how I thought He would tell me the answer to the million dollar question that I had been seeking for a very long time.

I had been hurt deeply to my core and I tried to move past it and keep "doing the thing," but with each day and each week that went by, I knew in my heart......"it's time to go Fran."

And, then came the intense grieving process that felt like death. It felt like life would not go on.
It felt as if everything I had cared about within children's ministry and the church was finished.

One day your passion is alive and the next day it's gone.

It was time to let my leaders know what my next step would be. Would I be willing to get past the hurt or would I walk away from the most meaningful time in my life and let it all go? Did I hear God correctly? Maybe I misunderstood. After all, there is no perfect church or perfect ministry. We are all broken, messed up people for cryin' out loud. I needed more time.

Some serious second guessing began to take place.

I was scared to death. For the sake of my own children and my own family....I got really scared. Maybe God isn't telling me to go now at all. You see....my income was a huge contribution to our family that I couldn't just walk away from.

"Please don't leave me now Lord. You can't leave me here in this place."

*the story continues tomorrow*

Monday, October 26, 2009

The whole truth and nothin' but the truth.....

I have been on a bit of a bloggy break and I'll share with you most of the story starting today....

My last post was October 6th and I just titled it "Life=Hard." I think every single one of us understand those two small, but powerful words. I have been in a season of life truly being so very hard. It flat out stinks and I never saw it coming.

Let me explain a part of my story that began back in late July......

I had been working at our church for the last 5 years as Director of Children's Ministry. This has been our home church for the last 9 years when we moved here in 2000. It's all I've ever known in our town. This church was my family, my life, my breath, my thoughts, my passions, my hopes, my dreams, my frustrations, my future, my growth......my people. This is where I truly began to blossom in my growth as a Christian. These were the 1st steps that I took after really coming to know Him in Memphis at this Mom's group.

I took the job over children's ministry when my youngest son was just 3. He is now almost 9. Blows me away at the time that has gone by. I was asked to step in as the director because we had been through some rough spots in that position and my name was suggested. I had no idea what I was doing. The only thing I did know was my heart cared so deeply for the kids and their families at our church. I agreed to take the position. This was the fall of 2004.

God took me on a ride that would be absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, the most amazing ride over these next 5 years. Not only did I care so much about children's ministry, I cared about the whole church. I almost cared too much. If that is a crime....call me guilty. I would spend countless hours, days, and weeks thinking, planning, meeting, organizing, and living life for Christ and the future of this church.

I began to facilitate some bible studies. I began to strategize with other leaders about the future of the church. I could honestly see endless possibilities about the future and where we could possibly go. I wonder how many hours I spent in meetings?! HA!

My position was flexible in hours and that allowed me much freedom to keep my family and boys first. I truly appreciated that luxury and freedom.

The joy came crashing down around me this past summer and I had no idea what was about to happen to my life, my family, and my future within the church....

Everything changed. And it has been absolutely devastating. I wonder will I ever be the same? Will that passion ever return? Will I ever trust and believe again?

*to be continued tomorrow*

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life=hard

Hey friends....
I just want you to know that I have not updated the ole blog because life has hit and I need to deal with it. Obviously life is happening for all of us, but this has been a season of intense wilderness and causing me to lean on God like never before. That's not such a bad thing. ;)

So, when you walk in the wilderness, it's hard to write and be fun and funny and share.

That is why I'm taking a break.

I can't wait to come back and share with you how awesome this whole thing WILL turn out.

God is good. He is faithful. He is in control of every last thing going on. My dependence on Him has never been greater and even though this season is incredibly hard, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Love you all!

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

Boy 1

Boy 1

Boy 2

Boy 2

Boy 3

Boy 3

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