Sunday, January 18, 2009
I just have to take a few minutes to stop and recognize my man. I love my husband and have been really seeking the Lord for him these last 4 years. Wow, has it really been 4 years. Our journey started on a day when life as we had known it came to an end. God ripped the security blanket we had been clinging to off in a sudden movement, and has been guiding us ever since. The sting of the memory of the night Darin was fired from his first pastorate has faded a little. Although the scars are not completely healed. I will never forget the sound of his voice and the hurt in his eyes, as he came down to the nursery where the kids and I were waiting for him, and choked out the words. The sense of rejection that fell over us like a cloud was heavy and harsh. It's not that we did not see it coming. It had been brewing for months and I just wanted to finish the pregnancy before we lost our insurance. But all along I kept waiting for God to move and to rescue us. I never truly believed that it would come down to Darin being fired. I watched over the next six months as Darin started to process of becoming a church planter and trying to find a secular job to sustain us in the interim time. Still living with my parents Darin chopped trees for people, rode a bike for Schlitterbahn and worked for his dad. The secular world really did not recognize his Master's in Divinity and pastoring as real life experience. I prayed that God would pull him out of the depression I saw him slipping into. He was hungry for acceptance and guidance as he walked this road. Through a highschool acquaintance he was able to get a job at Whataburger as a manager to allow us to get back on our feet. He worked 70 hour weeks for 18 months. Most days sleeping during the day and working the early bird shift all night long. We hardly saw him and he rarely made it to church with me on Sundays. He was withdrawing further inside himself and the purple under his tired eyes were growing deeper. Other minister's didn't understand why he was doing this. He had a Seminary degree and he was well connected. He could pick up the phone and have another pastorate in Texas whenever he wanted. But that was not his calling and he knew it. We stood firm on what we believed God had called us to even when nothing was falling into place. I knew Darin doubted himself but he never doubted his God and he kept on going. Darin sought other minister's out for encouragement and some spoke words over him but none connected. It is a sad reality when minister's can really show vulnerability with each other and areas of weakness because they will lose face and cause speculation on "their calling". The day came when we were finally placed on the field here in New Braunfels and we thought we had "arrived." He had such high ideals and expectations of how the ministry of the Journey Church was going to be. His mentor had him created in his own image of "how things were to be run if you want to be successful in church planting." Darin diligently followed and modeled himself completely. A year and half into our church and things were not well. We had struggled since day one in this new field and did not know what to do. Darin became shell shocked and so afraid of making a mistake that he did nothing. He jumped from one idea to another and was lost. After I got over the initial frustrated and fear of this failing too I began to seek God because that was all I had left. I did not see how I could endure another set back and watch Darin go deeper into depression. God moved quickly and began to let me see Darin through His eyes. Darin was struggling and had lost himself. Who he was, what he was good at, his passion, his calling and he was floundering. Of course he did not trust his own instincts and preaching style, that got him fired. But when he was not true to himself and tried to be someone else no one wanted to follow a fake. God has recently blessed him with friends that believe and encourage him and have helped shake him awake. He lost his friend and mentor through the process and he has taken it in stride because for the first time in a long time he is realizing who he is in Christ. I am also so proud of the fact that he is driving for Dominos 3o hours a week to supplement what the church can't pay. He truly is doing what ever it takes to stay on the course of church planting and taking care of his family. Darin may not be the most out going person that grabs the center of attention but he is loyal and not to good for any job. I have always wanted others to see and admire his servants heart like I do. These are the things I have concentrated on these last four years as I watched him struggle. I have tried to draw him out of himself and breath confidence into him with little success. It was only through prayer that I began to see Darin wake up. Then today at church I saw the old Darin. He had his passion back and his sermon inspiring. I was so proud as I watched him today and heard him speak. The journey has been a long and a hard road to walk. We are not out of the woods by any means. We still have to grow a church to self supporting in a very short time. But I have the faith in the God who called Darin to lead us and confidence in the man who has rediscovered his passion for this calling.