Saturday, July 20, 2013

What I Think About Our Transition

      Well, here we are! Our transition from being youth pastors is officially completed. Whew. What a journey! So, here I sit pondering it all. Sixteen years in one place for me and 20 for Scotty...and we have LOVED it.

     We have loved knowing the people and being a part of their lives. We have loved leading the teens and watching them all mature into Godly young people. We have loved seeing the move of God causing such growth in the church through salvations, discipleship, and outreaches. And we have loved how leadership has caused us to grow and depend on the Lord in ways we would not have otherwise. Yes, our hearts are full of love for the season and church God allowed us to serve in over the past numerous years.

      In addition, we were so honored by the going away reception at Realife from the students, leaders, and parents as well as the card reception after the main service with the adults this past Sunday. Many of you have been gracious to offer encouraging messages, emails, notes, texts and hugs of your heart for us and prayers for our future. From the depths of our gratitude...THANK YOU! Each word has truly brought such joy. We don't take it lightly and appreciate your time and support.

      So what do I think about all of this? How are we doing? What will life look like now for us? What is the exact plan? Will we move? I have been thinking on this for some weeks now. In fact, this blog has had some Selah time because the answers to these questions has been "I don't know." Sounds unreal but this Realife girl is speaking how it is. Aside from my feelings of love for the past and the people we have done life with for two decades (and, of course, the emotions of leaving it all behind) I really don't know anything else.

       Since the day we knew it was time to transition, it has been a trust walk with God. Have you even been a part of a trust walk? It's one of those games played in camp settings when you are blind folded and someone has to tell you each step to take without you knowing where you are or where you are heading. The goal is to get there safely simply off following the voice of the one you trust leading you. That has been us!

     We are 7 people blindfolded walking with our hands out as we take baby steps based on what the Lord speaks. We simply don't know many of the answers to questions we have or that others are asking us.

      It would have been so much easier to have everything planned out in timing, circumstances, plans, emotions, calendar, logistics etc. but for whatever reason God decided He wanted us to completely surrender during this time so that all answers are His. It is clear He didn't want us to be in control or to lead ourselves. Thus, we don't know many things. This is an interesting place to be. Perhaps you are in a situation somewhat similar in your life. It may not be a life direction change such as ours but in one or another you find yourself not knowing what you would like to know. I feel for ya, sister. I am there.

      For me personally, being in a place of not knowing is torture! I enjoy a set direction! I need vision...people perish without it, right?! I crave clarity. I desire logistic sanity! I am good to go as long as I know where we are going! I DEMAND A PLAN!!!!!

     However, there are some other people who may have felt this that I am learning from that didn't know what was going on as they also walked the trust walk. Mary didn't know she would mother Jesus. David didn't know He would become King. Abraham didn't know where he was going. Paul didn't know what to say until the moment he needed it. Esther didn't know if she would live or not. Noah didn't know how to build a boat. Moses didn't know how to deliver people. Joshua didn't know he was going to lead the people into the Promised Land.

     This is how God works in people all throughout scripture. And yet, all of these people were completely where God wanted them to be as they walked step by step listening to the Father tell them what they could not tell themselves.

      To this, my spirit takes a deep breath and has complete peace and joy. Conversely, this is opposite of my flesh. When I don't set my mind to align with scripture, when I don't pray, when I don't read my Bible, when I don't worship, and when I don't allow the right people to speak into my life I feel frustrated and unsettled. I panic and say things like, "whatever will we do?!" "Why now?" "Pack the house because we are all moving to who knows where!" "Does this mean we can't have anymore kids?" "Wait, I think I am pregnant!!!! No, okay the test said I am not." "But what about my friends in the ministry that I will miss?" "The students I am mentoring will go off the deep end without me!" "What about insurance?! No one will insure us!" "Should we sign up for Co-Op this fall or are we moving to the mission field in the inner city gangster district of Detroit and my girls need to go to school?" "Are we still Pastors? Are we Evangelist? Or do we say Speakers and Authors?" "I think I am pregnant again. Okay, the test still said no." "Do I have to wear crazy heels if I go speak at a women's event? Hope not!" "Am I your new admin person that has to plan all the engagements?! Not my strength!"

     On and on and on and on it goes inside my brain. This should tell me something. This tells me I need God's help. I need His voice to lead this blind girl. I need to trust Him and not myself.

      Knowing that I don't know anything, I am in a new place of craving God's presence more than ever before. He is drawing me in. I feel Him calling my name all day long. Even in the mundane of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and raising little ones, He is whispering to us the next step. I am blind as to where we are going and what all He has. But it is His voice I will follow. The peace only comes supernaturally. The joy only comes supernaturally. The favor and future will only come supernaturally. ALL the answers will come supernaturally.

     God is in this. God knew this before we did. God isn't surprised by anything. God is in control. God is with us! And we are already seeing Him work as He is giving us more and more answers every day!

      So what do I think about our transition? Honestly, I don't know. But I know Someone who does know and I trust Him.


  1. The trust walk is amazing and once again, you and Scotty are allowing all of us to watch you completely trusting our Lord. It is such a beautiful thing to observe. I can barely put words to how it makes my heart sparkle, Casey & Scotty. God is loving, wonderful and His peace and joy that He gifts to our flesh is a necessary part of the trust walk. I'm sure many of us can say that we've gone through a similar time or season in our lives. The growth, the experiences and the knowledge that we gain from is is so worth it!
    Thank you Casey and Scotty for taking the time after 2nd service Sunday to patiently stand in front and allow us to share an experience of how God has worked through you in a way that has directly impacted our lives without you even knowing He did! I'm so excited to see what the Lord has planned for you. You both make such a HUGE difference in so many lives in so many ways. It's a heaven sent wonder to observe, be a part of, to watch from afar, or to behold His majestic work that He is directing through each of your family members. Yes, the precious, beautiful young spirited daughters you have been blessed with are a big part of this plan. They impact lives like the two of you do and they may not even know at times how vast that is in the flesh for the spirit and healing of others who are observing! What a wonderful responsibility the Lord is gently allowing in their lives. How blessed they are to be gifted to you, Godly parents, who are following His plan to share His word and works.
    Hmmm....maybe pregnant, no, not this time. Not the plan. But, I, like others have always rejoiced the moments that you were! More stories to tell and share with others. Such joy, love of the Lord, and much laughter you all have given us through the young ones, your family, by being just who they are!
    At last I must say, thank you from the very depths of my heart for the service Scotty, you, sweet woman of God and of course, all of your daughters who have given joy, shared the Lord with this church and all of the places and people that you have touched & encountered in one form or another. Thank you for being so real in who you are and who you represent, our Lord and Savior. Thank you for your profound, Godly effect that gifts so many others. You are a joy to this heart, and certainly His heart. Thank you. Be blessed as He blesses you and continue to trust Him in this new, very effective path of your "trust walk". The very essence of your path creates an afterglow that shines His light on others.
    From your sister in Christ, God bless you and your family and receive His peace in Jesus holy name, amen.
    Much love and heart sparkles! Be on your way!
    Debbie Rude

    1. Debbie,
      You are a TREASURE! Thank you for your kind words on my blog post concerning transition. Your words are light to us. Much love to you.