Well, finally after nine long months…you thought I was gonna say I had a baby or something didn’t you? Not so much. However, there is a big change that has finally been announced publicly at church and in our family about which 2nd man and I are extremely excited. I’m gonna backtrack about nine or ten months to when it all began (at least for us).
Last June of 2011 2nd man and I found ourselves having a heart to heart on the back porch of the chow hall at Indian Creek Baptist Camp. It was at this time that we both started to realize that God seemed to be working something in the both of us to move us out of youth ministry. This may seem negative having happened at a youth camp, but it truly wasn’t. We weren’t having a complaint fest or anything like that. We were actually having a great week at camp and enjoying the kids tremendously. There was just yhis urging that had been placed in both of our hearts that seemed to be letting us know this was the time.
I can’t speak for him, but I was full of butterflies and all sorts of thoughts and plans immediately after our talk. As a woman, wife and mom, I was already trying to figure out “how do we do this?” Sorting through thoughts like, “How does one sell a house in this economy?” and “where will God lead us?” Also thoughts of, “I love my church and will anyone else love us like this?” “What about the kids?” was another biggie. 2nd man still didn’t feel called to a senior pastorate, but he was feeling called out of the youth ministry aspect, so it also made me wonder about our ages and so forth. Knowing God had it all sorted out was a relief in my heart and mind, but a woman still likes to know the plan ya know.
When we arrived back at the church, and I mean immediately when we arrived, Pastor met 2nd man and I in 2nd man’s office. He had just found out while we were away, that the Outreach minister and his family were moving to Texas! We were totally blown away as this was not on our radar at all. 2nd man jokingly said something like, “maybe I’ll take that job.” To which Pastor didn’t laugh but responded seriously with, “actually I was going to talk to you about that. If you at all feel like it’s time to move out of youth ministry, I would like you to consider stepping into this role of adult ministries and outreach.” 2nd man told him we’d pray about it, but I knew immediately that God had orchestrated this timing perfectly. Imagine my sigh of relief when I (as a wife and mom) realized that we weren’t going to be uprooted physically.
What I didn’t plan for was the timeframe in which all of this would take place. I now look back and see God working it all out perfectly. Unfortunately (or so we thought at the time), the timing of the Kelsey family leaving wasn’t the best. College graduation had already taken place, and most all of the newly graduated youth ministers were already taken or involved in internships. We hoped the pastor’s son, who was interning in Chicago, would end up taking the position. However, Pastor wisely wanted to see what God’s will was with the opportunity there before he approached his son with the position at Central Baptist. His son ended up being called to the church there in Chicago, which, by the way, has turned out to be a wonderful situation for him. So, now here we were, looking at least at another school year before we could find someone.
That’s where the beauty of God’s timing and planning came into play. In those months instead of just “checking out”, 2nd man and I totally embraced the “lasts” knowing that we wouldn’t be doing this anymore. Nobody else knew about the changes except pastor, his wife and the leadership. It made it a sweet time for us though.
I liken it to pregnancy (at least my own personal experiences with being pregnant). I’ve always thought it brilliant of God to give women those nine months to prepare both physically and emotionally. He leads women through thoughts of fear and apprehension to excitement and expectation. Then, towards the end of the pregnancy you’re just ready to accept it and embrace the change that is coming. Then on the day of delivery you go back to through all of those emotions in a matter of hours. By the end of the day you have this new baby and are ready to take on the challenge. That’s how this change has been for us. We’ve run the gamut of emotion from apprehension, to excitement of walking down memory lane. Now, we’re ready to embrace this new baby! What’s totally cool is that we don’t have to move and can still see the teens we’re leaving.
Some may notice that I say we a lot here. Those in ministry may understand this more than others. I know we’re talking about 2nd man’s job here, but ministry is so different. Yes, he is definitely the one laboring here and the spiritual giant that God is using. But, we do look at ourselves as a team in all areas. He asked me to write out exactly what all I did for him as a youth pastor’s wife so that he can pass on some of those duties to the new man. It was a pretty long list of stuff. Nothing showy or out front, but a ton of behind the scenes, secretarial, assistant kind of things that have been extremely time and mind consuming. Will I continue to do this? Yes, of course. However, I anticipate the time and stress consumption being far less in adult ministries. No more dress code cop for me, and… no more fundraising or youth account, and no more all nighters -Woo hoo!
Oh, I will definitely miss some things too. In youth ministry there are a lot of camps and retreats where you’re exposed to lots of different preaching and fun bonding times with the teens. I may be weird here, but I’m really gonna miss camp. I love camp! It was at camp that I first got to know 2nd man. It was at camp where my life was turned to God, and it was at camp that 2nd man and I felt the leading to move to a different ministry. Yes, camp is going to be greatly missed. (except for the bugs and bunks of course).
This past Sunday, Pastor finally announced that the church has hired a new Youth pastor. I am so glad the cat is out of the bag. Some think it will be hard for 2nd man and me to give it over, but I really don’t anticipate that. Because of that whole nine months we’ve really been able to process through the whole change, and are ready to move on. When Bro. Russell and his wife came to teach in front of the youth, I was listening not only as a youth pastor’s wife, but also as a mom. Our oldest daughter will be in the youth department in just another year. We’ve had a vested interest in making sure we bring on the right guy. As I sat in Sunday school that morning, I was convinced that this was the man who I could trust my children to as they move into this important ministry as well. I’m excited to see how Bro. Tim and his wife Heather take on the ministry and even, yes, change some things. We’re not so fooled as to think we did it the only or best way. 2nd man ran it the best way he knew God would have him to do, but we know Bro. Tim will want to make some changes, and we’re good with that. We just hope and pray that the teens will be good and accepting of it. We told the youth workers that we wanted to hear that it is all going well. But, I did add that I didn’t want to hear that it was horribly different or that it was way better either. Hey, let’s be realistic here…I’m a melancholy personality. I need a little tenderness.
So now, here I am still a 2nd mans wife, but embarking on a new adventure. Can’t wait to see what God has in store!