Over the past few years, I have worked hard to try and align myself and my life with the will of God. I have tried to be accepting of situations that have occurred to test my strength and resolve. I have tried to keep my eye on the bigger picture, to see my life lived in the grand scheme of things, rather than the smallness of myself. Chris and I have known for a long while now that this would be our last year at Platte Woods Church. We have both been praying for several months about the next appointment Chris would receive. I, myself, have prayed that we would end up exactly where God wanted us to be, a place where we could both grow professionally and personally. We were both excited and energized at the prospect of moving forward, to go on to bigger and better things. Well, we might be moving on to better, but it certainly won't be bigger.
Chris got the call last week that he was being appointed to First United Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon, Missouri. For those of you who don't know (we didn't) Mt. Vernon is a small community about 25 miles west of Springfield, Missouri. There is one main street that runs through the town, and a business district in serious need of revitalization. Although there is some projected growth in the area, it is not coming fast. After years of living and working in urban and suburban areas, we were both pretty shocked. I immediately started looking around at all I would be giving up. No more Target, no more Starbucks. No more trendy shopping districts and upscale restaurants. No more theater, no more concerts. No more Barnes and Noble. More importantly, what was I going to do? I looked to God and asked, "Are you serious?" I quickly began to come to terms with my own snobbishness and materialism when we took a trip down to see the church last weekend. The people were friendly and seemed genuinely excited to have us there. The district superintendent was especially excited, and I think sees potential for a lot of growth.
Chris and I have since been praying Jesus's prayer of submission in Gethsemane on a regular basis. It really is a good appointment, and southwest Missouri is a nice area to be in. There is a city close by, and living in a small town will give us the opportunity to be more involved in a community than living in a city allows. More importantly, I know we have both placed ourselves in the center of God's will, and that God has a definite purpose for bringing us to this church. So, instead of saying, "WHAT?", I am changing my response to "YES!" and trusting in God's greater vision.
Blessings and Peace,