2010, we pray, will grab the trophy for “year of most changes” at the end of our lives (because we sure don’t want another year this full of changes)!
Shawn and I gave our FULL TIME, FULL ATTENTION, and FULL ENGAGEMENT to the ministry for 13 years. We bled ministry, but we didn’t bleed God. 2009 was our disaster year but the start of something beautiful. Our 4 month separation in 2009 was the break required to stop our complacency and acceptance of walking lame. It was a year of awakening and hurt and pain and more tears than either of us have ever cried over each other, ourselves and our kids. That is until 2010 came along.
What a year, and WHAT a year!
January: We told our church we were taking a sabbatical. Even though our marriage was saved, in ministry we were emotionally at our breaking point. When we did all we could do and we stood and we stood and we stood…..we finally decided to plop down right in His hands!
February: We moved less than 1/2 of our stuff to Florida and rented a town home on a short term lease to be near our Pastor whom we had most recently worked for and near my family during our rest and recoup time.
March: Healing began but hurt like heck! We went to a Pastoral restoration retreat in the hills of Colorado for 10 INTENSE days. We walked away, feeling like we had just finished a Doctorate in Theology. It was life-changing but we knew God wasn’t finished with our healing.
April: We met with our General Superintendant with Grace International and spent time walking out more healing. The meeting was set by our Regional Superintendant, Pastor Arnie Jacobson.
May: Shawn resigned from Real Life Church in order to give the people what they needed, a full-time Pastor. We felt thousands of pounds lifted in a matter of seconds, this is what God wanted all along….but we are “good” at holding on 😦
June: We waited and mourned and waited and dreamt and waited and hoped and waited more for our future. But the best part of June was Isaiah turning 7 years old and loving Jesus more. He is so sensitive to the Lord….his children’s Pastors have noticed that consistently.
July: We went to Life Skills Counseling Boot Camp for 10 days in Green Bay, WI. Pastor Arnie Jacobson had seen countless numbers of his congregation radically awakened in this process. Knowing Shawn’s past and our recent turmoil, he insisted we come. We did and WOW! Everyone in the World should go through Life Skills before they get married or have kids! We were shook to our core and a deeper level of healing unfolded. The more we peeled away, the more healing we saw was necessary and all this time we thought we should be doing “it” better and figuring life out……but we didn’t have the tools! Who does on their own??!
August: I was offered a job managing and marketing a 2nd location of an established Coffee House in Green Bay. The owner was in my Life Skills bootcamp and I had told her about wanting to open a coffee house someday (most of you know I’ve been chasing that dream for years….. I opened 2 in churches). We also moved to Green Bay to be near Pastor Arnie and Jan Jacobson, who had stepped up and become unbelievable spiritual mentors. Shawn was wanting to volunteer, work or somehow be more involved at Life Skills because of the 180 degree transformation he experienced.
September: The kids started school in a wonderfully warm and caring environment and became well adjusted in God’s speed. I began work setting up the store, decorating, getting artists, hiring etc. It’s been a wealth of knowledge for the future; Shawn calls it my “free college”. Shawn consulted in areas of Life Church where we attend and began work on a book, blog and website on Grief….something he and I have grown very familiar with over the years! God has miraculously placed Doug Wead in Shawn’s life to mentor him in writing, networking, speaking and business.
October: Shawn turned 37 and looks better than ever! This is MY blog so I can talk about his hotness :)! He has lost 105 lbs in under a year! Like I said, “year of most changes”. This weight will stay off too since he now eats like a bird and I feel like the football lineman!
November: My parents came to see us and bring the stuff we had moved and left in Florida in our wandering. They shared how excited they are to witness the marriage and family dynamic they now see in us four. That makes it all worth it!
December: For Christmas, we stayed home for 3 days straight (except a trip to see Yogi Bear) and created our own little family traditions. I feel more peace in the month of December than I have felt in all 12 months. We have less money, old beater cars, a rental home, no assets and we are the richest we have ever been! Shawn made my Christmas when he checked out 4 books from the Library, I have been wanting at Barnes and Noble, wrapped them, and gave them to me on Christmas rather than spending the money. God has taken poor stewards and made us into faithful stewards in 2010.
What a year! WHAT a year!