Monday, November 17, 2008


About 2 years ago at this very time, Daniel and I began to feel a possibility of a calling to be church planters. We had an amazing youth ministry and people we loved that we'd have to leave behind, but we were going to finish my degree at ETBU in youth ministry and then possibly start a church...and we were going to be there in Marshall with our very best friends; Jeff and Sarah and Jenni as well as my brother/friend; Tim. It was going to be great; we were going to change the whole world! And things began to deviate from the plan almost immediately. Sarah found out she was pregnant, which was wonderful and amazing, but would definitely make things different and possibly harder when moving and finding a job. Daniel confessed his sin to the church to take a break from ministry earlier than planned to beat this sin and work on our marriage. We all moved. Then I found out I was preganant! Again, wonderful and amazing!! I could still go to school and we could still start a church. Then I had a threatened miscarriage, and I would never forgive myself if I had continued school and lost the baby (even if it hadn't been my fault). So I quit. We found a new home and job. We helped start an amazing small group. The group was sooo diverse in age, political/religious views, and where we were in life; but we challenged each other, and it was amazing. Our marriage was restored with much work, prayer and faith (and Jeff and Sarah). Tim and Jenni got engaged; one of my best friends would now be my sister!!! I had our beautiful daughter Hannah. And they changed the degree I wanted at ETBU. I couldn't get what I had been going for and I didn't want or need the degree they changed it to. And all along, Daniel and I are going stir crazy wanting to do ministry again. Or more ministry than we had been doing. We felt like we were supposed to come here to Ennis for a youth position or to start a church possibly. I felt like God was asking a lot from us; but I felt that if we did this, we'd get to do what we were made for...whatever that was. We'd have to leave our best friends in the whole world...but we felt like God would "make up for that" in some way.

And in that thought of entitlement; that God would make up for that sacrifice; I have felt severely disappointed. "I gave up everything He's asked for...and for what?!" We have no youth ministry position....we haven't started a church nor do we know if we ever will or if we're even supoosed to! We have no idea what in the world we're supposed to be doing right now.

But I do know what we've done (and what God's done) since we've moved here. Lots. Tim/Jenni and Jeff/Sarah have become very close since we've left. Usually, I get jealous, badly. But I think that maybe that needed to happen without Daniel and I being around. Who knows. Also, I know this sounds silly and immature; but I became very dependent on Sarah. She's helped me through and with so much; I couldn't imagine life without her. And I mean that seriously. I never said this to anyone besides Daniel; but I DID NOT want to leave Marshall unless it was with Jeff and Sarah. And then we'd just move to where ever they went and we'd do whatever we'd do..together. But moving away from them, I've realized that I still need Sarah very much; but it's GOD who's going to be with me the rest of my life, no matter what. (It would still be cool if the Nortlepats foundation started, but it's I need to depend on God more; no matter what or who God blesses me with in this life. There's more God's taught me...but on to other things.

Since we've moved here and not had a job; I've been able to take care of my niece, Kaylee. My sister would have to find a stranger who could be trusted and reliable to take care of her precious daughter with a flexible schedule (because of Carolyn and Nick's work schedule.) I get to help in this way, and we get some income as well! Also, Daniel's 67 year old Dad is trying to finish building their house in Bay City. He would have had to be doing this by himself, but Daniel has been able to go down there to help him finish it, and spend valuable time alone with his Dad. This would have been impossible in any other situation. AND, my mom is going to be having surgery that will have her bed-ridden for quite awhile. My dad works night shifts and will only be able to take care of her for a little bit during the day. But since we're living here with them, we will be ready made servants to take care of her!

I don't know what we will be doing for the rest of our lives. I don't know if we're going to do youth ministry or eventually start a church somewhere. But I know that God doesn't waste. He doesn't waste time, and He doesn't waste hurts. He has multiple reasons for His actions; and He has plans so big sometimes that only a God as big as He is can see them.


Taylor said...

Confession... I was very jealous of your relationship with Sarah and felt that when she moved, that you might have time for me. But then you guys decided to move too and I was jealous that you were moving to Marshall with her.. both pregnant and I was once again left in the dust. I wanted to be close to you when you lived here... but I was in such a terrible, TERRIBLE emotional place that I shut myself off from everyone, including Sarah who was like a sister to me. I'm sorry. But just know that I wanted more of a friendship than we ever had the chance to develop. And I know that is my fault.

Sarah said...

Mary I love you...and I know that you have always loved me. But I never knew you felt that way about me. Since (you know) that words of affirmation are my love language, reading that just meant the world to me! Please know that you are still my best friend. Yes, Jenni and Tim I love dearly. But I don't love them the same way I love yall. Those are 2 different relationships with 2 different sets of memories and I can't compare. You are wonderful and have helped ME through more than you even know. I really wouldn't be here without your challenging me. I can't wait to see you when we stop through next Saturday. I'm sorry we won't be here when you guys come. We haven't been home since July. Thankyou for being my friend. I've always told Jeff (this may be selfish) that I have never had a friend who has made me feel like they are my biggest fan! Know that I am YOUR biggest fan!