Dear Child of Mine,
We are really looking forward to you joining us in this next stage of our lives. The past 10 years of have been full of transitions. I graduated from high school and moved out of the only home I’d ever known to attend college in Spring Arbor, Michigan. During the summers, I worked at a camp in Somerset Center, Michigan. After your Dad and I got married, we lived in Detroit for 5 months where he attended grad school. Then we proceeded to live in Monroe, Michigan for 3 years as youth leaders at the Free Methodist Church. This led us to a nearly-three-year stint in Albion, New York, working, ministering, attending seminary.
And all of that brings us to the present.
We’re less than one month away from one of the biggest moves yet. Your Daddy is going to be appointed as the Senior Pastor of the Free Methodist Church in Monroe, Michigan. What’s that you say?? Monroe? Didn’t you live there before? YES! And we’re moving back. Back into the same home – the parsonage. Back to the same church. Back to (many of) the same people.
The grieving process of leaving behind so many dear friends will be ongoing. We’ve made friends in Albion who’ve become deeply engrained in our hearts. I can’t remember a day when I didn’t know and love these people, and I plan to never “move on” from their friendships.
In the other half of our hearts, we’re gearing up for moving back to Monroe. We’re honestly so excited! I never could have predicted our return to this congregation when we bid farewell three years ago and left for seminary. But God has brought our life full circle. When the opportunity for this full time ministry was brought to us, Kevin and I talked for an hour or two and by the end of the conversation we both smiled and said, “Let’s do it.” I feel a peace deep within me, the Holy Spirit assuring me that THIS is our next step. We feel equipped. We feel called. We feel responsible.
I didn’t realize that these past 6 years I’ve been holding my breath, praying for the day when I can say, “I’m home.” And with this decision made, my heart feels relief. We’re believing Monroe is the place we’re going to be for a good, long time. (Not predictable, of course, but we’re going into this for the long haul.)
I have watched my husband become a pastor. God has shaped him, taught him, and used him. He has become my pastor – a reality I never anticipated. I love sitting in the front row, eagerly taking in the truths of Scripture from the teaching of my husband, Pastor Kevin. He interacts with individuals with such tenderness and genuine care, and the way little children flock to him speaks of his trustworthiness. He is gifted in administration – data, finances, policies – and does well preparing leaders for ministry. I am incredibly proud of him, and honored to be serving at his side. I will have the privilege of leading worship, planning and prayerfully preparing the songs of our people.
We look forward to engaging in the community. Connecting to the people around us – both inside and outside of the church – has proven to be essential. Since our natural instinct is to stay home and keep to ourselves, we made a conscious choice to connect when we moved to Albion. It’s a great feeling when I go just about anywhere and run into a friend or acquaintance. Having someone wave every time I’m out for a walk or stopping for a chat as I’m grocery shopping. This is real life. We’re going to be intentional to really know people, listen to their stories, be a part of their lives.
We have plans and hopes and dreams for Monroe. But our deepest cry remains,
God, go before us.
Beyond all of our thoughts of ministry, our spirits remained focused on our desire to bring you and your siblings into our lives, Child. How wonderful would it be to enter into this ministerial transition with the blessed end to our barrenness?! Our new home has many bedrooms just waiting for you and your siblings, and there’s plenty of room to run and play and make believe. Come quickly, Child. We’re eager for you to join us!