My Weird Story
I have a weird story. The longer I live, the weirder I realize it is. I’ve had 3 jobs for a decent portion of my adult life. My primary vocation is as a pastor, but I have an engineering degree. I have worked for a huge corporation (Chevron, 62,500 employees), I’ve been an entrepreneur (RIP The Tailgate Co.), and I’ve worked for a small church (love you so much ABC). I want to say I’m on my third career, but it’s tricky because I’ve not had less than two careers at one time most of my working life. And that’s just professionally. I’ve been married for less than 6 years and have 3 kids (not sure where the line between weird and crazy is, but this one flirts with it). I was raised a fundamentalist…kind of…, and now I’m loving life in the SBC. I was homeschooled but spend a decent amount of time ministering to students at the local public high school. You get the idea. My story is weird.
At a bit deeper level, I’ve lived most of my life trying to impress everyone. I’ve believed that the carrot of approval was always just a few inches from the tip of my nose. This just about killed me. By God’s immeasurable kindness, I’ve stumbled and fumbled my way into grace. I am quite imperfectly the real me a surprisingly imperfect amount of the time. But I’ve tasted the reality of the gospel that I see in the pages of scripture through people who have chosen to love me, weird story warts and all.
My story is far longer than I have time to write down at the moment, but somewhere in there I got an engineering degree. God used that degree to land me a sweet, six figure income job…which he used to move me to Pascagoula, MS…which he used to get me volunteering in a youth group at a local church…which He used to get me on part-time staff at the same church…all while owning a small business…which He used to make it financially feasible for me to leave the six figure gig for full time work at said church and allow Taylor, my wife, to be home with the kids…and we lost the small business two months ago due to some policy changes at MSU (you can read about that here)…OK…I’m even confused. So big company, small church, small business (RIP). Don’t forget that God has drawn me into the glory of grace through community. Weird story, huh?
There are these rare moments of clarity where God let’s you peek behind the curtain and see how your small story is weaving in with his story. I’m in one of those moments right now. God has opened the door for me to serve at Pinelake as pastor of small groups at their Madison campus. Pinelake is a much larger church than where I serve right now, and a large part of my role will be launching new small groups, places where people find gospel community. I can’t help but believe that God has woven my big company/small church/big passion for community/small business past together to prepare me for this new role.
We are heavy hearted to be leaving Arlington and the things God is doing here. The people here have been so gracious to us. They have been our family in a place where we were far from family. My family has been so well loved here, and we dearly love the people of Arlington. While leaving is hard, we are also excited about what God has next. My weird story continues to unfold, but I’m thankful that God has faithfully prepared me for the next step. I could never come up with a plan like this, which makes me that much more sure it is His.