God’s Voice on My First Day in Recovery

I haven’t yet had the inclination, energy or time to write about this, but – yesterday was the last worship gathering for Mt. Si Vineyard.  Our church has shut its doors and we are helping our folks to process the change as we continue to meet as a small group for another month.

I’ll write more in a short while about the why and the how, but the decision is good, and we are being given the opportunity to rest, reflect and recover a bit before considering what our next steps as church planters might be.

But this morning is the first time I’ve awakened in nearly four years that I’m not a church planter, and in five and a half that I’m not (by role) a pastor.  We’re in a hard place of grieving – sometimes feeling fine, sometimes feeling disappointed, sometimes worse.  The roller coaster continues.
For the first time in a long time today I pulled out my Celtic Daily Prayer book and turned to the Aidan series of readings.  This song accompanies the readings for today:

RESERVOIR:

You place my feet upon a larger place, Lord,

You give my hands a greater task for You.

You set my eyes upon the far horizon

and in my heart I know Your word is true.

You place a reservoir within my heart, Lord,

that all my tears

would come from a different place:

that all my ways would minister Your grace

to those who long

to see your face.

I can’t begin to describe how much that means to me.  Part of my processing time continues to be around ‘calling’.  I still feel called to the area in which I live.  I still feel called to lead a community of faith.  I battle against feelings of failure, of despair, wondering why I feel these calls if we are at the end.  I know that there is something more out there; I know that in my life story God has continued to transition us rapidly and without warning, and we soon knew why.  Though only in retrospect. I suspect that two years from now I’ll have a very different perspective, but my problem for today is that I don’t have those two years.  I have to live into them.

What’s next for us, I don’t know.  Where we attend church this coming Sunday or the one after is up in the air, though I have places I want to visit (I’ll have to write about this too).

But that song, that gives me great hope that, as an old friend of mine used to say when he didn’t know the way, “One thing is for sure.  God is still King, and He’s still on the throne.”.

I’ll have to settle for that.

  • http://www.vccvt.org erickeck

    pat if you get a chance send me your phone number… i bounced my other cell off the highway and lost your number…

    i would love to chat with ya and pick your brain

    eric [@] vccvt [dot ] org

  • http://jackswords.com jose

    I grieve with you, Pat, and look forward to see what God will do. “You give my hands a greater task… You set my eyes upon the far horizon.” Excellent.

  • http://poorinspirit.blogspot.com/ Gary Means

    Pat,
    A little over a year ago I watched as my close friend and pastor was pressured out of his position by a small group of ruthless men and women who usurped his authority and undermined his leadership in devious and unethical ways. This was in the fifth year of his church plant and he was too physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted to hold on. I have watched, listened, and prayed in the past months as we grieved together. His life is stabilizing now, but it is not clear if he will return to full-time professional ministry.

    A prayer for you:

    Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
    I ask that You would give Pat a strong sense of Your loving hand in this time of grief. I ask that You would encourage him, and provide the internal and external resources he needs to heal. I don’t know the circumstances he has been through, but You do, Lord. So I commit him and those he loves, to Your mercy, grace, and love. Please provide for his materials needs. Please give him a clear sense that Your view of him has not altered one iota. I ask that You would bring those along side him who can provide the tangible expression of Your love in this difficult time of adjustment. AMEN

  • http://eugenecho.wordpress.com e cho

    pat,
    somehow stumbled onto your website and read this post. i’m saddened at the closing but believe with my whole heart that the lessons learned and life experienced will serve you well in the days ahead.

    peace to you. eugene

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  • victorious

    Wow, Pat so sorry to hear but will pray for you.

    Something similar had happened to my family and I almost a year and half ago. Praise God the church that was birthed and nurtured is continuing with all the same people; except our family. We were shunned, especially my wife and I. In other words we have very strong and mutually opposed feelings in our battle to persevere and move forward.

    Gary's description about his friend was so similar to ours that I had to double check and make sure that I did not know him. As we were in another country on a missionary visa we had to uproot our family and move cross country (two of my kids being in high school).

    The church continues but markets itself as a church plant that began the day we were excommunicated and acts as if we never existed. We imparted the gospel and our very lives to these people including the shrewd leader; the young man I mentored. He is shrewd. I am not. However, for the future I have learned another area where I do need to be wise.

    There is a throne of grace for us today and tomorrow. If we recognize our need then we will recognize His grace.

    Sorry about this season of life but wanted to let you know that He will lead you and uphold you and never hold back His joy even though He lets the sorrow remain.

    Your desires to see communities of Christ birthed and nurtured is God given; I still have them stronger then ever but know I am in a season providing for my family in other ways.

    One of the blessings of having been bivocational for many years is the possession of skills. ;)

  • http://www.mathanz.com mathanz

    Pat, I know this is an old post, but I’d love to pick your brain about your church planting experience. I’m pretty new out of seminary and part of a 1.5 yr old church plant. If you’re so inclined, please feel free to contact me at matthew[at]gracewilco.com

    Blessings to you and wherever God has you these days.