2007 – Broussard, LA
We sat in a booth at a local Mexican restaurant, across from some dear friends who were also pastors on staff. They were like Switzerland for us. Neutral ground…folks that we could talk openly with. But as our marriage continued to show signs of falling apart, our friends became very worried. They heard the despair and exhaustion in our voices. And they witnessed how quickly our willingness to hang in there was declining. In that conversation a decision was made to contact the senior pastor once again so that he knew how desperate we felt inside. We knew things could not continue as they were. To say that we were on the brink of a separation is not an exaggeration. Plans were underway. We were both hurting and when you are in that type of situation…Hurt people, hurt people. It’s an endless cycle and unfortunately the ones you love the most are usually caused the most pain.
I was hurt because I felt as though Barry was chosing the church and the pastor over me and our marriage. And Barry was upset at my lack of trust and respect for his decisions. We were headed for destruction…until God intervened.
Barry sat across from our senior pastor, completely wiped out from weeks of meetings and turmoil. And in that moment, God spoke to our pastors heart. Out of the blue he told Barry that he felt like we should take time away from the ministry. He gave Barry two options:
1. Take a year off to work on our marriage and enjoy a normal schedule.
2. Take a short sabbatical
Still feeling as though it was a test or trap, Barry asked him what he really had in mind for us. Our pastor responded by saying he felt it was best for us to resign and take the year off. He mentioned that there might be something available on staff after the year period, but there were no guarantees. Although in a state of shock, Barry agreed, we did need to resign. He realized this was the moment we had been praying for.
He called me and for the first time in years his voice seemed lighter, his tone towards me even carried a hint of excitement. When we finally sat down to talk, we could not believe what had happened.
155 days after praying that God would number our days on staff… HE DID IT! He reached down into the most difficult situation of our lives and provided an avenue of escape.
We had our way out and we both knew we would not go back in a year…we were FREE!
I think it’s amazing to look back on this season of our lives. We resigned in the summer of 2007 after 4 years of faithfully serving on staff. During that time we were blessed and cursed, loved and hated…and ultimately abused.
We knew without a doubt that even though we were free to move anywhere and do anything, we felt as though we were supposed to stay in Louisiana and just get regular jobs. At the time we did not understand why God had not released us to move away. We so desperately wanted to move…but, as months went by we began to see the bigger plans of God unfold. Even now I can’t help but tear up when I recall how amazing the Lord was to us after such trying years in ministry and marriage. We felt His healing touch on our lives right away and as miracle after miracle happened, we were able to see God restore what was lost and redeem what was stolen. The God of Universe took us under His wing and began binding up wounds and healing our broken hearts.
I can’t wait to tell you all about our journey to forgiveness, healing and freedom. So stay tuned folks…the good stuff is just getting started. 🙂