It's been just over a year since I joined in the family at the gathering. I reflect back on the emotions and train of thought that I was going through during that time of transition. I remember as I would try to explain to fellow congregants how I sensed God was calling me to leave that church to somewhere else. Most likely a place two blocks down the road. I explained that this was simply a matter of following God's lead and it was nothing against them. I explained further some well thought out list of whys and how comes but there was also something else that wasn't so logical (and a litte weird so I don't mention it much). The call to leave and go was in my head/heart for a few years and it became more consistent as time went on. I like to call it a prayerful itch for change. In the beginning it was once every few months. I would then bring it to God in prayer. A year or two later it was once every other month. I would bring it to God in prayer. A year later it was every couple of weeks. I would bring it to God in prayer. A few months later it was every couple of days. I would bring it to God in prayer. It was then for a week or two I would "hear it" every day. I then caved. No offense towards the guiding voice of God but I needed peace.
I've wondered before if I should of answered the call the first time. I now think not. It was just God's way of preparing my heart to leave. Fear of man and fear of making others feal rejected is what kept me(or was it God's infinite wisdom?), especially towards the end. I thought people might misunderstand and accuse me of seeking my own "needs" in a self consumerist kind of way. (sidenote) Here is an interesting article in christianity today on this.
There were signs in my inner life and circumstances in my outer life that served as signals as well. Some examples are random things my wife said, new people that came into our life, questions and frustrations we had, evolutions of current relationships we had... to name a few. After many conversations with Melissa along with trying to listen to God (a hard thing to do) we finally made the decision.
Since being in community with the gathering I have been loved, grown in love, challenged in my attitude of service and in my own theological thought. Hallelujah.
5 weeks ago