For those who know me or have been following my blog, you may have a few crazy thoughts in your mind when you read the title. You may be thinking I am talking about the two wedding anniversaries (one with my ex and one with my wife now). Others may be thinking I’m going to discuss the anniversary of my first marriage and the anniversary of the divorce date. While I might be crazy, I’m not that crazy.
I find it a bit ironic that this time frame holds two significant anniversaries in my life – one that was a bit sad and one that was very joyful. One happened in 2003, while the other happened in 2009 (ten years ago). The first was the anniversary of my departure from a church I dearly loved. I was 22 at the time, and the people followed my leadership so much better than I deserved. It was a ministry that I would consider my best days of ministry until 6 years later.
Ten years ago, I moved to this area. I was 28 and much more ready for this opportunity than I could have been at 22. After 6 years of micromanagement and only one or two compliments from the pastor, I was sure I would not take for granted the blessings I would potentially experience in this new ministry. I had a fresh vision and some lessons under my belt of how I would enter a new ministry better than I did the previous one. I did everything in this new ministry I wish I would have done in 2003. We live and learn.
In 2009, I sensed that I was entering a place where I spend a great deal of my future. For the first time, I felt like I was home. The people loved me, followed my leadership, and sent me off with mixed emotions as I entered my first pastorate. In my spirit, I knew I would return to the upstate of South Carolina. Little did I know it would be a year later.
The month of August is a month of transition for many. Many students begin a new year of school, college students begin a new year, and many people relocate with their work. We view anniversaries as celebrations, but they are also beginnings of transitioning into another year, another season.
Maybe this post is about more than two anniversaries. As I continue to write, I remember other scary transitions that took place in August – leaving my home state to attend Bible college in August 1998, leaving Bible college in 2001 to transfer to Liberty University Online and step into the unknown with full faith that God had a ministry opportunity that was not “in the bag”, and the realization August 2018 that my season as Lead Pastor of a church plant was coming to an end.
It is now August 2019, and I am in yet another transition. There are a few unknowns at this time, but there is ONE HUGE THING I KNOW – GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL AND HOLDS MY WORLD IN HIS HANDS! So I move forward…trading my fear for faith, trading past mistakes for insight I would not have had otherwise, trading my insecurities for security in who Christ is.
So here’s to many more Augusts where the God of the mountain is still God in the valley…