Evans' Summer Whirlwind: Part 2
The exciting news is…Ben got a job :) …at our home church nonetheless!!! I don’t know which of the two of us is more excited. I’m excited for him because I’ve seen the passion he has for the local church, and to serve God through it. I’m just so joyful that he now has a bigger outlet to let that flow out of him. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that being in the local church is where Ben is supposed to be. He has a passion for people, and an even bigger passion to show God’s love to them. You can see the change in his face, and the joy in his spirit is just overflowing in him. I can’t wait to see what God does in the years to come. And I’ll also admit I’m just a little excited for me because I love my home church, Westover. I was a little sad when we started thinking about leaving to pursue other things and places to serve and minister. I grew up at Westover (been there since I was 5 or so years old) and I have seen the love this church has for God’s Word and His truth. What I learned about God, His love and His truth (through the many ministries I’ve been a part of) has been truly life changing. I don’t know that I would’ve gotten through the hard times in my life without the solid foundation I have, which was built into me through my family and the church in my early years. I’m excited that God opened a door that allowed us to stay here…to give more kids that gift of a solid foundation in Christ, one that will hopefully steady them throughout the rest of their lives.
Real talk for a minute though…I was actually extremely sad when I heard that the person who was originally in this role said they were leaving. We were looking forward to stepping into a new position alongside them this upcoming year, and when we heard that were left feeling a little scared and confused. We absolutely loved serving alongside them, and were looking forward to learning the ins and outs of this ministry from them! But you know what’s so cool…they’re actually partnering with churches in our area to help local families pursue adoption in their new job. How awesome is that! That’s probably why we so were looking forward to working with her, because our hearts were beating for so many of the same things. In case I needed any other reason to doubt God’s leading in this, how he opened so many doors for so many different people all to lead us to this place, how could you not see Him in the midst of all of it. It’s just so cool when you see glimpses of God’s plan begin to unfold. I hope this is only the beginning for Ben, our family, and our church. I know God’s up to something amazing. I also know that there will be challenges and struggles and difficulties as we face these changes, but knowing that His hand is right in the midst of all of it is the comfort that we need to keep going when the days do get hard.
I will say though God had to break me down personally during this whole process. I actually feel a little bad, because I feel like Ben had to wait on this opportunity till I learned what God wanted to teach me through the process. If you know me, even just a little bit, you know I love a plan. I love to know what’s coming down the road and prepare myself for what were about to face. But that’s living by faith in myself, and my ability to control my life. That’s not what we’re called to do as believers though. We’re called to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Now don’t get me wrong I am not a believer in the fact that you totally just let go and let God. I think there has to be wisdom in the choices you make, and some responsibility taken. But I also know myself and know that I tend to want to say “God here’s my plan can you be ok with it?” instead of saying “God your will be done, not mine.” I think I needed a little reminder in this process that I can go through all the right motions, doing what I think God wants me to be doing, and still not be trusting him in the process. God brought me a the place in this journey where I had to be willing to let go of something good to trust Him for something better…even if it didn’t feel better in the moment. The waiting was hard but God showed me once again that His plan is far greater than my own. A friend actually sent me this photo as we were going through the process…what an amazing picture of how much our heavenly father loves us.
I was holding on the wonderful gift I’ve been given of Westover, and I really didn’t want to leave and give it up to God. But literally a couple weeks after we started talking about leaving to go visit other churches and explore other directions, after I finally said ok God maybe you have a different plan for us than I thought, God began revealing to us that He actually had a plan here at Westover all along. He gave us a chance to step into volunteer leadership with TNT in AWANA, and then also gave Ben a chance to speak at VBXtreme this year. All without us seeking out any of those opportunities. It was totally God at work. From there, relationships formed and we felt that God was saying stay here a little while longer. So we decided to stay and maybe pursue education here in Greensboro while we waited to see what God was doing. Then within a month or so Ben got the chance to step into this role with elementary children as a full-time job. What a blessing, and what a God-thing! We are so very excited to be staying here in Greensboro and serving with the place we’ve gotten to grow to love so much.
If y’all read this far you’re amazing! We would so appreciate your prayers as Ben transitions into this new role. We know it isn’t gonna be all smooth sailing, and that ministry is hard (really hard sometimes). But knowing that God opened the doors to lead us here is such an encouragement to us.
Were also SUPER excited that we can maybe put some roots down here in Greensboro, and that gets us one step closer to really taking further steps with the adoption process. I know that’s probably what you were thinking this announcement was ;) We’ve been waiting for a little more stability so we didn’t have to do a home study only to have it amended, costing us extra money. And now we can start looking into that a little more. So stay tuned…we know this is only the beginning of what God is doing in our family. Thanks for letting us share a little about it with you!