So today marks one month exactly since our last day in ministry. The road has not been easy. There have been many things that have happened. I look back to the day we packed the truck in Waterboro. There was so much confusion as we realized we had to leave so many things behind. There was my hurried goodbyes as I drove off with Scott and Aaron Chapman to pick Michele and Dennis up at the airport in Boston. As bad as the weather was that night, I look back on that ride and feel it was a wonderful time of ministry with Scott and Aaron. A time I would not exchange easily for anything. It all seems so much longer ago.
This, however, is a post about lessons learned more than memories cited. In no way do I claim to have a lot of answers. I also do not think I have learned very many things just yet. I do want to share some of the things God is showing me.
1. Even Though You Have Bad Days, God Can Still Surprise You
I have had some pretty low moments in all of this. I have mourned the passing (even if only for a season) of my life in ministry. I have felt the inadequacy of living in a home that is not my own. I have been humbled by my wife working to support us while I send out dozens of resumes a week.
Still in the midst of those hard times, when I am at rock bottom, God pokes a ray of the sun through the clouds. This comes in many forms. Some are humorous like driving to church without a jacket while calling friends who are snowed in with two feet of snow in Maine. Others are profound. Like when I had hit rock bottom in my job hunt and God brought me four offers in one day followed with an interview for a dream job the next. There have been many blessings in our darkest times. I am thanking God for that.
2. Satan Is Always Trying To Steal, Kill and Destroy
I have had some really bad spiritual days in all of this time. I have learned that Satan is always prowling. He takes every chance to knock me down and make me doubt. He has put many questions into my heart. I have learned that I have to stay on track and acknowledge God's plan and my role in it. If I ignore God's will, I can miss His blessing. My quiet time has to remain a priority. When I ignore God, Satan certainly does not ignore me. I have to fix my eyes on Jesus. That is harder when I focus on my agenda and Satan just loves to see me fall.
3. Starting Over Is Hard
This one seems like a no brainer but I really thought things would be easier than this. I guess I assumed moving back to my hometown would be a natural and easy transition. What we have found is that four and a half years really changes things. Most of our friends have moved at least an hour away. We have no social life. Even though Kendra has a job it is not challenging and she doesn't feel complete there. I have learned that we all need a reason to get up in the morning. I spend my days surfing the web for jobs and watching bad daytime TV. I don't have a reason right now and it is driving me crazy!
So there are many lessons still ahead I am sure. I am trying to be positive and learn all that God has for me. I would like to say that I am always happy to learn. I would like to say that I know how to be content in all things. God is still working on me. I know that in the end I will be a better man and a better Christian for living through this. Easy words to say and write, not as easy words to live.