I'm done with school (for now) ... what I am learning and what God has done!

     First, I am incredibly grateful for those who have been praying for my family and I, as I finished something that should have been done 22 years ago. Yes, 22 years in the making and I can finally say that I am a college graduate. I completed 14 classes in 8 months and I am exhausted. I finished with a 3.62 GPA and will have made the Dean's List twice (I would have made it three times but they didn't count the fist term back because I wasn't full time at that moment, but who is bitter?). Okay, I think the humble brag is done ... did I tell you I finished with a 3.62 GPA after starting with a 3.5 GPA in March?

     I cannot take credit for one ounce of what has happened the last 8 months. It has been God's Grace that has kept me from giving up when times were hard or money was scarce. It has been His strength that got me alone three-four days a week to read and write. I didn't think I was going to make  that last week with three of my harder classes requiring an immense amount of work. My government professor put 40% of our grade in the final two weeks ... talk about pressure. However, God was faithful to what He called us to and by His grace, I am done with my Bachelor's degree. When we started this journey in March, after resigning Faith Community, I could not see the finish line. I thought our money would only make it through September and that I would have to stop school to work full time. God had a different path and He secured our present while providing for our future. I started working part time for Urbancrest Baptist Resource Ministry in August while I was limited to 3 days of school per week. God also allowed me to fill the pulpit at Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro for two months, which provided us with a little financial cushion and also renewed my love for preaching (pray for them as they continue to search for their next pastor). As I look back, I see God's provision and beautiful Grace through these last months. He even gave us a little more money this month to purchase a gift or two for our kids this Christmas. He has not been lax in His giving to us and I am sure He will continue to take us on His journey for my family ...

     Again, I find myself wondering what's next? Two weeks ago, I interviewed for a staff position in Texas, however God closed that door quickly and has not shown us another path ... yet! I say yet because He has never failed to provide for us, even when I had failed to faithfully obey and trust Him. God has given to us time and time again, with each time building a greater foundation of trusting His plan and His journey. We have not gone without and we will not go without because of His Grace not my work. However ...

     Last week, I struggled to trust Him for this provision even though He had never failed to provide. Money was tight(still is) and I was contemplating taking back the presents we purchase for the kids and each other. I had gone into last week believing that God would have provided another position or a job by the time I finished my last week of school, but He had not shown it to us yet. I failed to trust Him for His provision and that these last eight months were not a waste. I failed to abide in Him and failed to lead my family to abide in Him! It was not a fun week.

     Although I failed, God has not. Even though we are almost out of money (sounds like a theme in my life over the last 3 years), He is faithful. These last eight months have not been a waste but a launching point to where He is taking us next. I don't know what's next, but I know what He has done and that He has never failed to get us where He wants us. I would like to return to the pastorate, but am open to whatever His plan is in making disciples through us. Even now, when I should be panicking about money, He has set me down within His peace and wonder. He is faithful to His promises to never leave me nor forsake me. Christmas this year has changed for us and I pray I will not forget what He has done in us.

     Please pray for us as we wait on what is next. Pray that He will reveal His provision through the next few months as we wait. Pray that I will not forget that He has us on His journey. Pray that my family and I will be completely satisfied in Him so that He will be completely glorified in us. I don't know what's next, but I know God and He has never failed!


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