There’s a song I love by The Martins from their Windows CD called “Higher Than My Ways.” It has really shaped my heart and my attitude about God’s plans for my life since I first heard it years ago. And these past few months, He’s continued to show me that His ways are most definitely higher than my ways!
As I sat in church at Second Baptist Church in Arkadelphia a couple of weeks before my time at Sweet Sleep came to an end, I was trying to make my plan for what the coming weeks and months might look like. I could feel God preparing me to not be at Sweet Sleep but what would I do in Arkadelphia? Emily had this great dream job at Ouachita but those come along once in a lifetime. Maybe I could get my masters degree and teach middle school since I love working with that age group at church? Maybe I could write and speak full time? Many thoughts were flying around in my head and heart.
That Sunday, the church unveiled the new Master Plan for their campus – and I was excited to offer input on how to lay out the kids ministry rooms, to make things accessible for those with disabilities, etc. I met with our wonderful pastor, Stan Parris, and just hurled out dreams, ideas — all sorts of thoughts I had on how to continue the great ministries at Second and grow them to reach and impact more people in Arkadelphia and to strengthen our discipleship processes. By the end of our talk, I think we both knew God was up to something but we weren’t quite sure what.
The next time we met, we prayed about what it might look like for me to come on staff in some way at the church – to work with Community Groups, Sunday School, Men’s/Women’s ministry, Kids Ministry/Student Ministry – to look at what we’re doing and make sure we’re doing what is best to disciple our folks and what is best for our families.
As I left that meeting, I was excited about what God was up to! I sped to work, temping at Ouachita, grinning ear to ear! Then I sat down at my desk and my phone started buzzing. That’s when I learned of the dream position opening in the Ouachita Alumni office. I was torn knowing that I would love both positions! I prayed and sought great Godly counsel from a dear friend in ministry that knows me, my heart, my passions and my giftings so well. As we talked, we began to see how God could potentially call me to serve in both capacities – since the Ouachita position was not quite full-time and with Wednesday and Sunday ministry time I wouldn’t need to devote many hours during the Ouachita work week for the ministry work at Second.
So I accepted the job as Director of Ouachita Alumni in January and I’ve loved every minute of it. I get to plan reunions, Homecoming, give scholarships to deserving students – its so perfect! And when I met again with Brother Stan to talk about what a part-time position would look like, it lined up even better than we could have planned ourselves – because His ways are higher than our ways!
So last night, the church voted for me to begin my new role as Discipleship Minister at Second Baptist on March 1! (…which also happens to be our 7th wedding anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the Arkadelphia tornado – which is how I first met Emily – serving chili-mac to her family as I volunteered with the Red Cross.)
I would love your prayers as Emily and I step back into, even part time, church work. We’re excited to see what the Lord has planned for our church as old buildings come down and new ones spring up to best minister to people of Arkadelphia. God is doing amazing things in His church and Emily and I are excited to be a part of it!
So if you’re keeping count, I went from no job to a few jobs in a very short time. That’s because God is awesome – and He has a plan for our lives that is perfect. In more ways than I could have imagined, God is using me. He wouldn’t let me sit idle long – there is much work to be done and I pray that you are letting Him use you, too. I’ll be sure to update you on things here at Ouachita, at Second and with my writing and speaking, too. :) And if I show up at the wrong place at the wrong time – please turn me around and send me in the right direction. :)