Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lessons learned...

So, I have been very silent about this subject, intentionally, for the last few months.  For many reasons, but most of all to be slow to speak, and quick to listen {to GOD}.  Another was just to heal, and to get past all of my initial knee jerk reactions.  But, after many tears, much prayer, tons of conversations, and most of all listening for God's still small voice...I am ready to speak.  Why?  Because God has always intended for us to share our pains and triumphs with others, in hopes that we can learn from each other.

The first week in March, our lives changed as we knew it.  We left a church that the largest part of our ministry lives were spent in.  Our first 2 children were born into this church and was all they had ever known up until this point.  This was the first church in our ministry career that allowed us to so clearly see that our ministry was primarily to people far from God and not just to the people who already had a home in heaven.  We were leaving a church that our entire lives, hearts, and souls had been poured into...

I won't spend time talking about how it happened, why it happened, or anything of the sort.  But, what I do want to speak on is how it felt, what we went through, and what that means for us now.

In the beginning, I felt mad, scared, abandoned, alone, furious and so many more things.  The hardest part was being a mom to two young boys that couldn't understand why we weren't going to "our church" anymore. It was obviously especially hard for Caleb to understand and deal with.  He had so many adults and kids that were like family to him.  People who he saw every week, sometimes multiple times a week and that all changed in a matter of days.

It was also insanely hard being 35 weeks pregnant and losing pretty much our entire support system.  All of the sudden, realizing that all these relationships that I had, and thought I would have there to celebrate and support us in this new baby entering our lives, were now gone.  I was so sad that Cali wouldn't have the same relationships surrounding her that they boys did when they entered this world.  As I sit here and write this, that reality still brings me to tears.  These were the people who had dreamed with me, prayed with me, and celebrated with me when we found out we were having our precious Cali Grace.  I was so confused by the lack of people reaching out in the days, weeks, and months after this change.  It was so sad facing the fact that things were now going to be different.  And, THEY WERE.  When Cali was born it was so hard to keep the harsh reality out of my mind that I wouldn't be going to "our church" and show her off to all the people who had been awaiting her arrival with us.  It was so hard to stay strong in the beginning.  Sometimes, I just wasn't.  I couldn't be.  But then...I heard that still small voice...God's gentle nudges reminding me that HE was there, HE had created this precious girl, and HE was rejoicing with us.  Regardless of the relationships that failed to continue after Robbie's job change, my relationship with Him was even stronger than it had ever been.

Through the last 3 months of dealing with the hurt, confusion, and tons of transition God has continually reminded me of a couple things (Most of the time through music, it's really cool that this is how God chooses to speak to me time and time again.  It was through a song that the Holy Spirit compelled me to give my life to him, and now through songs that God continues to teach me and sustain me through tough situations.  This is one of the biggest reasons I am so passionate about worship through song.)

HIS love NEVER fails! "Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me."
Although, through our situation I felt like people had "failed me" in a way, or at least didn't know how to sustain their love for me after leaving our church...God's love had never failed, was not currently failing, and will never fail me in the future.  Our present situations may change, people may come in and out of our lives, but God's love is constant and never changing.  He is always there with arms wide open.  And His love is PERFECT!  How insanely comforting is that!?!?

God has HUGE plans for us!  "Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done..."
  God had allowed us to be a part of some really cool things at NLC over the years.  BUT, just because our time there had ended didn't mean God's plans had ended.  HE has constantly reminded me that His plans are so much greater than ours.  He has HUGE plans for us that He has just started to unfold.  There are greater things to come, and I must never forget that!

Here is what I want you to know after reading this...
Our situation has been insanely painful, confusing, agonizing, lonely...BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We can come out on the other side of this thing.  We have only begun to start to see that, but its there.  God has a plan and will continue to heal us.  There are some amazing people that God has placed in our lives and we are so very thankful for them!  We have grown closer to a couple of people through this (we love you Sam and Mo!), and we are starting to build some amazing new relationships through the church family God has allowed us to be a part of now.  I am so excited about where God is now taking us, and so excited to see us move on from here.  I am so thankful that God's work in us and through us is not done, just changing and becoming greater.  I am humbled and in awe to be able to watch his hand in our lives.

Thank you God for never letting me go, even in the moments of complete despair.  Thank you God for so quickly giving us a new mission.  AND thank you for how I know you will continue to bring joy and growth to our family's life!

5 comments:

jdjsallen said...

Love you...and am so thankful God answered our prayers with you, Robbie and the kiddos!

Samantha said...

Thanks Jess! We are excited for what God has in store!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.Please know that your family is missed by many of us at nlc.I don't know why you are not there anymore,but I am glad you know that even though people will let you down,God never will. Robbie has been such a great role model for my son Chris. He made a difference in his life and I am forever grateful. Robbie is such a great teacher,whenever I saw him come out on stage for the main service,I knew it was gonna be a great sermon and I was going to learn something. I hope I will get the opportunity to hear him teach again somewhere in the future......Cheryl

Angelina said...

ugh, i had no idea!!!!
My middle school kids, CJ and Morgan have been CONSTANTLY asking what happened to you guys......... they miss you so much!!!!!

I'm so sorry to hear that you have been through so much pain.

but, find great comfort in that God is with you no matter what. It's hard to let God work.... and not try to control what happens to us.

I admire you two for being so strong in your faith that you trust HIM with all you have.


MISS YOU!!!!!

Corey Travaglini said...

Sam.this post touched me. Thank you for sharing and pouring out your heart and being so transparent. So thankful that God used this situation no matter how painful and confusing it was to draw you close to Him. I know how you felt and have been there myself. So thankful He holds are future and directs our steps. There is always a time and purpose for everything under the Son. We are no longer at nlc ourselves...God was calling us to worship elsewhere and that was extremely hard following His guidance and leaving some amazing saints...but truth His we are only His vessels...we must go where He needed us..for His glory alone. Was a lot to digest ourselves...but now we see His plan clearly. Miss you guys and our LG. Hope yal are having beautiful summer!!