My journey began in the most unusual way. Let me explain. The doctor was looking at the files in his hand as he came into the examination room. After a few awkward moments of silence, he said, “I think the best thing for you do is to go home and let nature take its course. Your body simply will not carry this pregnancy to term.” He placed his hand on the stunned young woman’s shoulder and said, “I am sorry; but come back in next week and we will follow up with you.” With that he turned and left the room. “What am I to do,” she thought? Sobbing as she arrived home she curled up in her bed and cried out, “God if you give me this child, I will raise him to serve you.” It was about seven months later that I was born. I am the oldest of four and my mother kept her promise. I remember being dropped off at church as a child. I remember sleeping under pews as a child. I even remember being snatched by the hand by my mother for making fun of the lady the next pew over. I spent my entire life in the church. I guess it isn’t any surprise that I became a pastor; although that wasn’t by my choice. I went to college to become an accountant. While home on break the summer of my junior year, I had an encounter with the Lord that set me on the course that has lead to the journey that I am on today. It has indeed been a most unexpected journey.
The first time I left the traditional church was following a divorce—a much unplanned, unwanted divorce I might add—but a divorce nonetheless. Since I had been behind the pulpit since I was 18 years old and salaried as a pastor since I was 25 years old, a brief respite from pastoring seemed like a good idea. I understood that it was necessary given my situation. The fact that my denomination offered me a position at our college would allow me to continue being involved in ministry. The fact that I had just remarried prevented that from happening, but having some time off seemed like a good course of action. It was during this time that I discovered how unprepared I was at being a secular person. Even though I carried an impressive resume “in” the church, outside the church it was deemed that I had little or no experience. The fact that I went from college to Bible College to Seminary to full time pastoral ministry meant that I had not developed a workplace skill. This brought about considerable stress as I groped for a sustainable income for my family. My attempt to secure my Masters degree ended with the divorce, as financially I was now unable to handle the cost. I went through a myriad of jobs including direct sales positions that offered commission only income. After a few years passed my denomination offered me a position—housing only—at a struggling church that I had once been the superintendent over. In the cockiness of one who had been there before, I figured that I could certainly turn this struggling little church around and once again return to my position as “Pastor!” As it turned out, that struggling little church became the instrument that the Father used to bring me out of the matrix. Looking back causes you to see things considerably more clearly than when you are in the situation looking forward. The sad religious truth is the fact that I thought I’d show them, while the graciousness of the Lord was showing me! Through a series of events that will be left at that without specifics—it would harm people otherwise—the Holy Spirit began to position me in a place that would allow me to see this thing called church in a whole new light. It lead me as well as my family on what I have called an incredible journey. It is my sincere hope that the path the Father has lead me down will serve as a ray of sunshine as well as a beacon of hope for you and your journey.