I graduated in December of 2011, Tappy in May of 2012. Since then, my husband has applied to over 80 churches, has interviewed with eight to ten of them, and we have visited four. In the meanwhile, I have been working two part-time jobs, and the moment I clock out, my husband is clocking in at one of his three part-time jobs.
We have had small moments of excitement, followed by huge disappointments. Seemingly, most Churches are seeking someone who has three to five years of experience in a Church of two-hundred or more (which is hard to get, fresh out of college). It has been frustrating at times, but, ultimately, it has been a growing experience. We have learned to step back from these interviews and not get so attached – It is not about what this Church can do for us, but what can we do for this Church. Will we be stunting their growth, or will we be the proper instrument God needs to do His work?
In Acts, we find the story of Paul’s conversion. Paul, aka Saul, was working against Christianity, and was slaughtering God’s faithful servants. When God was ready to call Paul back onto His side, He asked His man Ananais to deliver the news.
Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.
Acts 9: 10ff
When we go to a concert and hear Kenny G. playing his saxophone, we are not mesmerized by the ability of the saxophone. The saxophone is simply a hollow tube, awaiting a master to breathe music into it. Similarly, we need to empty ourselves of our own ambitions, our selfishness and pride, and our sinfulness. That way we are ready to be used. Then, when God breathes the Holy Spirit into us and let’s His work come out of our God-given talents – People shouldn’t see us, but see the artist behind the instrument.
During this season in life, we have also struggled to accept that God’s timing is perfect, and in most cases it is not the same as the timezone we live in. God gets to see the end of the book simultaneously as he views what we call our present. He’s all-knowing, and He’s way smarter than us. Whenever a Church turned us down, or our plans didn’t go the way WE thought it would, I like to remember Jamie Sullivan’s (Mandy Moore) line in A Walk to Remember, “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself.” … and that He did!
Almost a year of searching has finally brought us to a full-time Worship Ministry & Creative Arts position at Troy Church of the Nazarene, in Troy, Ohio! Praise the Lord for His provision and always better plan!