i.had.just.about.given.up

god-is-faithful-tree

Have you ever reached that point where you were just ready to give up, quit, stop doing what you are doing?

I have.

I was thinking today about a place I was at just a few short months ago.

It was October of 2012, it had been a very rough several years for me, in ministry, personally and for my family as a whole. I had been laid off from three different churches, went from serving in ministry full-time to only being able to find part-time positions. (The nation’s economy had really effected the church’s economy.)

I was looking for full-time, praying for full-time, believing for full-time, but could not find that position anywhere. I was discouraged, unhappy, tired, and ready to quit being a worship leader.

In fact, I put that right out before God in my prayer journal on October 15, 2012. I put out a fleece before the Lord. (See Judges 6:36-40.) This is what it was: “If there is not something in the works for a full-time position by December 31, 2012, I will take that as a sign that God, You are done with me in vocational ministry and I will begin looking for a secular job and prepare to resign from vocational ministry.”

Still….nothing happened, no doors magically opened, nothing changed.

It was now the last Sunday of December 2012. It was a very emotional day for me personally. Perhaps because I was making more of it than what it really was, nonetheless, it was a hard day for me. It was afterall, the “last day” I would be leading with God’s call on my life to vocational ministry…after 20+ years of doing this, my time as a worship leader seemed to be coming to an end…or so I thought.

As I was leading worship that Sunday, I had put my phone on my music stand (not something I did on a regular basis) and during the second to last song of the worship set, I received a text message from a friend of mine. As I was leading worship, I looked down at the phone and read this message, “John, what is your church address and what time is your service? CrossRoads is interested in you and they are coming to see you lead next Sunday.”

It was all I could do to not laugh during worship. I mean, are you serious God? You seriously are waiting to the very last moment to show up? Wow!!!

Well, to keep this from becoming a book, I’ll skip some of the story.

I am now serving as the full-time interim worship leader of the contemporary service at CrossRoads Nazarene Church…and loving it. It’s a great church in Chandler, AZ with a bright future, lots of great staff, awesome facilities/equipment, and lots of wonderful people.

However, the story is not quite over just yet. I was hired to an “interim” role because the church was without a Lead Pastor. Well, we’ve now hired a new Lead Pastor (who arrives in August) and I’m hoping that he decides to keep me on staff and remove the “interim” part of my title.

Whether that happens or not, I know that God is in control, He has a plan for me, He knows what my future holds, and His plans for me are good! My goal, is to keep my trust in Him strong and constant.

I had just about given up…but thankfully, God is faithful and He hasn’t given up on me just yet.

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