“Man of God, I need to see you in my office today.”
It was the week after our trip to California. I know Barry felt a sense of dread as he made his way across town to meet with his boss. After he resigned from the church, he got a job working for one of the premier home builders in the area. The owner was a kind man, with a generous heart. But there was one thing that could not be ignored. He was best friends with the senior pastor at the church in Louisiana. To say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is somewhat laughable when you are talking about friends, not children. But when you have been discipled by someone with so much control and arrogance, it seeps into conversations and interactions like the words are coming straight from the source.
After the meeting ended, Barry called and recounted the conversation to me over my lunch break. With a pit in my stomach I quickly asked a few questions and sighed at the answers that followed. There we were. Back in the vortex of their attempts at control.
Phrases like, Who do you think you are? Man of God, you need to…
Same old song and dance. Different face.
It was like he had talked to the head pastor at the church in Louisiana. Our year of time off had already come to a close. They knew they weren’t getting us back. Shoot, they didn’t even want us. But, what they did want…was control. And it came in the form of this statement from the homebuilder,
“You didn’t even ask Pastor if you should take that job in California.”
To look back on it now, we can laugh. The audacity of someone thinking they could tell a grown man to ask for permission to take another job is insane. Unless of course, you have been discipled and trained by a man that wanted everyone under his thumb. Even past employees.
I think the hardest part about stuff like this is that Barry really liked his boss. He gave Barry a great job and even paid for him to go on a missions trip to Peru. All of his interactions were positive, until this one. In it’s own way it served as the final sign, that no matter what, it was time for us to move.
We stayed in Lafayette, trusting that God had a plan.
When we wanted to move far away from the place that had caused us so much confusion and heartache, God asked us to stay.
And there we were, caught in the middle of two futures. Eagerly awaiting the next steps. Knowing that Barry couldn’t continue working for his boss if he didn’t get the job in California, and facing the fact that we didn’t have a plan B. All of the chips were in the middle of the table. Now, it was just a matter of time.