Every Ending is a New Beginning

As I left the courthouse, I went straight to my car and called my mom. As soon as I heard her voice, tears started streaming down my face. I was sobbing so hard I could hardly get the words out. Breathe, she said. Take a deep breath. What happened?

She told me to go back to being a lawyer. She said it didn't matter that I felt called to ministry - if I can't afford my obligations, I should do the very thing that I went to school for. After all, it will pay a lot more, and I won't leave him footing the bill. MOM - IT'S NOT FAIR! I don't deserve this! I thought this would make things better ... but how am I going to survive on my own?? Did I make a terrible mistake??

Some memories are so vivid, you know? If there was ever a time in my life when I thought I had it all figured out, it was then. I was certain God was calling me out of this marriage - a marriage that was destructive to both of us - a marriage that wasn't fulfilling either of us. A marriage that was broken - and one that, when it came right down to it, I just didn't have the energy to try to fix. I was so certain God was calling me out of this little mountain town and into the big city. Calling me out of the lawyering world and into the world of professional staff ministry. Certain that God had provided me with a church community that would sustain and support me through this darkest time of my life.

So, I left the marriage. I moved to the city. I accepted a full-time ministry position. I had it all sorted out.

And then it was over.

Although it was a no-fault divorce, it felt like the judge declared me to be the one solely at fault. The selfish one. The one who didn't care about my marriage, or about the person I was married to. And although they claimed to be neutral, it felt like most of our mutual friends took his side. And to top it all off, not long after, that ministry position I picked up and moved to the city for was eliminated - a mere 6 weeks after I accepted it and began work.

Fast forward 7 years. I'm in a second marriage - a marriage that is incredibly healthy, wholesome, fulfilling. A marriage that builds up our confidence rather than destroys our souls. A marriage that is faith-filled and oh-so-happy. We are a couple that strives for faith-based community. A couple that takes church seriously. A couple, with two children, who is determined to find a faithful place that fulfills the needs of everyone in the family. A family who had it all sorted out.

And then we didn't. A few months ago, we found ourselves in limbo once again - searching for that perfect church home - the one that would offer us everything we hoped for - a place for each one of us in our family to worship, to learn, to grow. Not because we didn't love that new place we found, because we did ... but our tinies didn't. So we found ourselves swallowing our pride, acknowledging that sometimes the voice of God comes in the form of a child's request to return to a place she loved - a place she cherished - a place she considered home.

In the first chapter of her new book, Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey says this book is

About Jesus and why I love him and follow him. It's about church and church people and why both make me crazy but why I can't seem to quit either.
It's a book about not being afraid.
A book about how feeling out of sorts leads us to sorting it out.

Amen, sister ... Amen.

Here's to not being afraid. To sorting it out. To embracing church and church people and following Jesus - even when it all makes us crazy.

This post was originally written in 2015, in response to Chapter One of Sarah Bessey's book, Out of Sorts.  

Photo Credit

Faith, BooksCrystal RoweComment