Monday, April 15, 2013

The week that was, but I wish wasn't

I can't lie about this, part of the reason I started writing this blog, made a list of books to read and things to do, is that I'm so frustrated with where my life is right now.

If you had asked me a year ago where my life would be right now, this was not it. This was nowhere near what I expected in my life. I can't overstate that enough.

So, I've spent the past 10 months trying to "right the ship," if you will. I've been trying to get things back into a place where I want them. I spent three months unemployed, but still drawing a salary, so I didn't do much. I sent my resume to every single Nazarene youth pastor opening I saw.

The next five have been spent working at a restaurant as a cook. I hate it. I thought I'd be there for a few weeks because surely I wouldn't be stuck in this place so long. Boy, that wasn't even close to correct.

So, a few weeks ago, things started to line up. We got an interview nailed down, and everything seemed like it was going to happen. I felt like God was finally bringing us out of this place. God had finally decided that it was time to move on from here.

I know a lot of people get excited when they have interviews and they think "this is it!" I had taken four interviews prior to this most recent one, I didn't feel that way about any of them. I was so sure that this was it, I was preparing the restaurant for my departure. Holly was preparing her employer for her departure. We even discussed timing plans with the in-laws regarding how/when we were going to move. I started collecting some boxes from work.

This wasn't all just fantasy, I promise. Every communication from the church we were heading to made it seem like the interview was just a formality. We were in. They even took our opinion on what color to paint a couple rooms in the parsonage.

We went for the interview and on Saturday night, after the interview, Holly and I talked, after talking with our hosts. We looked at each other and said, "this is it."

Well, it wasn't. Not by a long shot. Dreams were crushed. Plans were stopped. And now... nothing. I don't know what's next. Everyone likes to ask that, after a crushed soul, "What's next, Alex?"

The truth is, I have no idea. I literally have no idea what we're going to do next. Keep looking for a ministry position? Go into management at the restaurant I'm in (They're dying to have me do that)? Go back to school and get my MDiv? Go back to school and start a whole new career?

I have no idea what's next. Most of those are exclusive. If I do one, I can't do the rest. God says, "Ask, Seek, Knock."

I've asked. I mean, I've asked. I've begged and begged and begged. I've cried tears of desperation. I've asked everyone I know for advice. I've asked God for guidance and direction. I've asked. Over and over and over.

We've sought. I'm not sure I can even begin to count how many places I've sent my resume. I've sent it far and wide (as close as the NWO District, as far as Washington State). We've had interviews with churches on both sides of the country (literally: San Diego and Maryland). We've even discussed an over-seas opportunity at one point. Every single youth pastor opening that I've even been given wind of, I've contacted. More often than not, I'm getting no response. That's not figurative, it's literal, no response. I've sought.

I've knocked. Every single door I can think of, I've knocked. Career change? Knock knock. Youth pastor openings? Knock knock. Senior pastor? Knock knock. Discipleship pastor? Knock knock. Young adult pastor? Knock knock. Military chaplain? Knock knock. Military officer (non-chaplain)? Knock knock. I've never experienced something like this before. Every door we've knocked on, none have opened. The ones that seemed to be open have been shut in our faces.

I'm bone weary.

I'm completely exhausted.

I'm confused.

I'm doubting.

I'm questioning.

I'm broken.

I'm sad.

I'm angry.

I'm weak.

I'm hurting.

I'm at the end of my rope.

And here's where the cliches come in, "when you're at the end of your rope..."

"God gives rest to the weary..."

"God gives strength to the weak..."

"When one door closes..."

In my experience over the past ten months, none of that seems to be true. Every door that I've pursued has closed. Every window that I've pursued has been closed. Every small glimmer of light has gone dark.

I really thought this was it. I thought I was going to begin writing about starting a new ministry, moving to a new place, meeting new friends. Instead... none of that.

Last week was a complete bust. I didn't read anything. I didn't run a single mile.

This week will be different. I've got a list of things to do, going to turn it around, make something happen.

Be blessed, friends. Continue to pray for us as we continue to struggle through this time of Exile.

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you my friend. I feel for you like no other. As I hear of ANYTHING, I will pass it your direction.