February 16, 2014

(About To Be) Married in Ministry: Season 2

It's another night, another weekend when He's gone. This is one of my hardest deals of life in ministry-the late nights alone, the calendar that quickly fills up with ministry in early mornings, nights and weekends, and the long days spent solo-parenting. It's something I'll share more in later season's stories, but for today I'm sharing the total opposite aka season 2: our engagement & when ministry was a 9-5 gig. Yes really!

I shared previously how our dating story began in a ministry internship. During the spring we had a ministry break; we fell more in love and Nate proposed. It was so romantic of a time. We were looking for jobs for the fall and about to start serving in our summer mission program roles, time zones away from each other. It felt heavy to be separated by distance so quickly after the height of our engagement.

And it was during this summer that I painfully experienced that I DID NOT do well in youth ministry outreach, that teens and especially crowds of teens were not not my calling. I felt awkward and uninspired (in my own efforts). I hadn't really processed what that would mean for marrying a youth pastor and had no idea how our life would later be shaped by his career...

The 3 months apart came & went and then life became exciting and stressful with moving plans, wedding plans, and new jobs and Craigslist roommates. Our life was full of transition and I think this is when we began relying on each other instead of God to see us through. Which of course, didn't work. I'm giving you my best "don't try this at home (or in your relationship)" wisdom right now. Just don't.

If you're in the midst of transition or trials, get plugged into Christian community fast & keep your eyes on Him and His truth. Preaching to myself today too.

As for this season we never had more free time than in 2008! We were working 9-5 schedules and so work was work and our time was our time. Nate was working full time in a para-church organization and had all the benefits of working in a youth minded Christian environment along with a predictable schedule. We had dinner every night together, could go out any night, had nearly every weekend free to do whatever aka mainly kissing & wedding planning & celebrating friend's weddings. We were simply love drunk

However we were NOT plugged into life-giving community, not committed to a church, not earnestly seeking pre-marital counseling or accountability, really we were directionless there for a bit. It was hard. And just as I discovered working with youth was not for me, Nate was discovering his soul needed more than doing all administrative work behind a screen and phone. He missed the relationships, the discipleship, and the leadership of ministry. It was time for another change...

(to be continued)

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  1. I am so thankful you are sharing your story. When I met my husband I had made a decision to go off to the mission field. Although that was not His calling, so we both remained where we were and continued serving as youth leaders. Looking forward to the next installment.

    1. This is so neat Barbie, I feel the Lord definitely connected us for a reason. Thanks for all your support!!