Sunday, October 30, 2016

One giant leap for Jeff-kind.

TL;DR: I'm moving to be close to my beautiful Lauren, I accepted an offer to be a worship pastor at Westminster Presbyterian in Lubbock, TX.

At the first of this year, I was at the end of my rope. Tragedy upon tragedy kept happening.  There was something drastic, dramatic, and emotionally crippling that happened the first seven days of 2016.  I cried, I freaked out, panicked, pretty much all the stages of grief smacking me in the face each day.

During my prayer I felt I needed to come home, something I didn't want to do and often said I never would unless God screamed at me that I had to go.  I reluctantly followed with the help and guidance of my best friend, Quinton, to come back.  Immediately there was a sense of relief and rest.  In that I was offered to help a new plant in Huntsville, Essential Church. Getting to know Tim, Lee, and Chase has been an experience I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

They were welcoming, comforting, and it was exciting to be with a group of people hungry to help the people of Huntsville.  The church body at essential was healthy and so active in helping in everything.  It was quite an amazing sight to see.

From March to June things were quiet in my life.  I felt rested and at peace, but still a bit shaky from coming back.  My prayer was that God would keep an adventure in my life burning and not to get complacent in this place.  At the end of the first week of June, I received a message from a woman that I've admired for many years, but hadn't spoken with for a time.  We spoke for two days and it felt like we'd never stopped.

Lauren Dunn had opened the door to my heart and drive for adventure.  While we spoke, I'd never felt such a peace to speak with someone before, it felt good to hear her honesty and for me, being able to tell her the things I've wanted to say for all these years.  She lit me up (and still continues to every day we speak).  Her desire for the Lord, the deep conversations, the freedom of expressing ourselves about life and faith, the fact that she laughed at my horrible jokes.  All of it made me fall into the deepest love I've felt in this time on earth.

Well... she lives in New Mexico.  The place that I've always wanted to live since the time we met as counselors/worship leaders at Lone Tree Ranch.  How on earth would it be possible to get there?

We discussed a bunch of different scenarios for about a month and I began applying to churches and other places near her.

I got a call back from two different churches in Lubbock, TX (three hours from where she is).  This was insane.  I had applied so many times to churches and never had a single response besides your generic “Thanks for contacting us” email.  I had a tremendous peace with the interview at Westminster Presbyterian, something I never get with interviews (yay anxiety!).

Cut to a month and half later, I was offered the job.

Never in my life have I seen or felt Christ outline a path for me and everything align so beautifully. I've always tried to follow Him, but reached out to whatever would grab back (which has been an amazing journey in itself). I am overwhelmed in this and cannot sing a higher praise and thank you to God and all my friends who've been praying for me.

Leaving Alabama, my friends, family, Essential, is definitely going to be bitter-sweet, every single one of you guys on the praise band we've got going, you guys are amazing and have blessed me so much and I am a better person to have met you.  But to all of you, know I love you and am so thankful I've gotten to be with you for this season in my life.

So on November 20th, I'm moving out as soon as we finish up the last service I'll be leading at with Essential to go onward to the west to be with the one I love.

God is good, even in the hurt, confusion, and loneliness. He knows what's best for you and will help you understand (which I still don't fully) in time of why things are going the way they are.  It's something that I always fight and question when I'm going through it, but He always holds on to me no matter how ridiculous I get. Keep your faith and trust in Him and run towards him as hard as you can.