With Everything

With Everything August 19, 2013

It’s crazy to think that it’s been over two years, since I left the pastorate.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on this, this summer.

You see, I quit more than my job. It was my career. It was what I built my entire life around, what I chose to pour my heart into. Though it didn’t take me long to find that, I had it all wrong. That what we were doing was ineffective. It was a great business model, but not so much of an awesome kingdom model (pretty sure there isn’t a “kingdom model”, and if there is, it’s called The Holy Spirit).

Since leaving, I’ve lost family and friends, I’ve lost job opportunities, I’ve been chewed out by pastors, and have been as close as a protestant can get to being “excommunicated.”

On the other end:

I’ve gained speaking shots, gained job opportunities, and received far more emails from all of you and others who randomly come across this site, which has been such a blessing!

But in the end…

I’ve found and experienced freedom.

I’ve learned to embrace and accept my calling…

I’ve been forced to have faith, and depend on Him, as opposed to my paycheck, or health insurance.

I’ve learned what it means to experience hardship and peace simultaneously.

All in all, I’ve found meaning and purpose. I’ve found Jesus.

Having said all that I’m honestly not sure if I’m ready to lead the charge and tell everyone to, “Jump on board… Follow Jesus, commit their lives to Him!”

I mean I know I should be that guy, but to be honest, and as authentic as I possibly can, following Jesus, it’s hard, it’s tough! I’ve wanted to quit, shoot I tried to quit Jesus. But in some messed up non-romantic way, I always come back and have been all like, “I can’t quit you…” (it’s always said with a southern accent, at least that’s how I imagine Nicholas Sparks sounds in real life #waitwhat?)

But, getting back on track…

I read about the apostles, who were all killed.

I read about Jeremiah, who was promised the world, but yet the last we see of him, is him beaten by religious leaders, crying out in a ditch, “GOD YOU DECEIVED ME!” (I think the word in Hebrew is “Petah.” No reason for me to say that, other than so you know I’m in seminary and have no real use for all the hours I’ve spent learning Hebrew.)

I mean look at Jesus… Dude lived a perfect life, and was crucified.

All I’m saying is, it doesn’t bode well for Him or His followers, I think Isaiah was right, when he encountered God, and was anointed by God, and cried out, “For I am RUINED!

Man – I’m still ruined, I’m still messed up, this whole process of sanctification… it sucks. It wasn’t what I thought it would be… (but i’ll write on that later).

Following Jesus, meeting Him, has been simultaneously the best thing and the worst thing that has happened to me.

So I guess all in all I can say this… if you want an easy life I’m not sure that’s going to be found in Jesus, maybe, but doubtful, but if you want a meaningful, adventurous life, then there’s a cross with your name on it, waiting for you to pick up and carry.

Two years removed. I look back and reflect, and I have no regrets…

I might have nothing, but in Him I’ve found everything!


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  • @Lcevallos14

    I may not know what’s the reason you stepped down, but one thing is true my brotha is that Humility is evidence of growth. We also know that growth in sanctification is brought forth by the Holy Spirit, so be Joyful that this fruit is Alive in you clearly seen in this blog.. God bless, as believers we get knocked down but Christ’s glorious power picks us up..He’s the perfect one

  • @Lcevallos14

    I may not know what’s the reason you stepped down, but one thing is true my brotha is that Humility is evidence of growth. We also know that growth in sanctification is brought forth by the Holy Spirit, so be Joyful that this fruit is Alive in you clearly seen in this blog.. God bless, as believers we get knocked down but Christ’s glorious power picks us up..He’s the perfect one

  • so well said.d I’m sorry that the way has been rough going. I completely get this post and although I wasn’t excommunicated, in a way I did it to myself when my world got shaken up. Jesus is what I want, not guilt and shame and works. It’s freeing and scary too. Love what CS Lewis says about Aslan, Is he safe? No but he’s good.

  • so well said.d I’m sorry that the way has been rough going. I completely get this post and although I wasn’t excommunicated, in a way I did it to myself when my world got shaken up. Jesus is what I want, not guilt and shame and works. It’s freeing and scary too. Love what CS Lewis says about Aslan, Is he safe? No but he’s good.

  • escott6151

    Andy,

    Your story has been great to follow and your words have been fun to read so far. I’m in the same boat as the two previous comments, that I don’t fully know why you stepped down from your pastoral role or why, in the past, you left the church – but I don’t care. All I know is that you so obviously have a heart for Jesus as Lord and that you want to follow Him. That’s all I need to know. So other than that, I think you’re a highly interesting guy. Thanks for writing so that I can read!

    Elliott

  • escott6151

    Andy,

    Your story has been great to follow and your words have been fun to read so far. I’m in the same boat as the two previous comments, that I don’t fully know why you stepped down from your pastoral role or why, in the past, you left the church – but I don’t care. All I know is that you so obviously have a heart for Jesus as Lord and that you want to follow Him. That’s all I need to know. So other than that, I think you’re a highly interesting guy. Thanks for writing so that I can read!

    Elliott

  • I appreciate the words of encouragement!

  • I appreciate the words of encouragement!

  • Love that CS Lewis quote…

  • Thanks Elliot :)

  • Thanks Elliot :)

  • Laura Lawson Visconti

    It is amazing how similar our stories look… while simultaneously incredibly different. At an extremely low point recently I told God I didn’t believe in him but I laughed to myself while saying it… I cannot get away from his grace no matter how hard I try. The Christian walk is an incredible thing… and so very different from how I used to think it was supposed to go. Anyway, I have loved watching your growth from afar and I’ve learned an incredible amount from you. Thank you for your vulnerability – I think we all can relate to some degree or another and it’s comforting to know we’re all in this together.

    PS Please visit Seattle and meet my husband. You two would have the most incredible conversations.

  • Laura Lawson Visconti

    It is amazing how similar our stories look… while simultaneously incredibly different. At an extremely low point recently I told God I didn’t believe in him but I laughed to myself while saying it… I cannot get away from his grace no matter how hard I try. The Christian walk is an incredible thing… and so very different from how I used to think it was supposed to go. Anyway, I have loved watching your growth from afar and I’ve learned an incredible amount from you. Thank you for your vulnerability – I think we all can relate to some degree or another and it’s comforting to know we’re all in this together.

    PS Please visit Seattle and meet my husband. You two would have the most incredible conversations.

  • Ciprian Samson

    so true and thank you everyday reading on your website and get inspired thanks for sharing is such an impact on us as your friends to have a leader like you
    thank you andy

  • Ciprian Samson

    so true and thank you everyday reading on your website and get inspired thanks for sharing is such an impact on us as your friends to have a leader like you
    thank you andy

  • Thanks man, comments like these from friends, mean so much, ‘preciate you brother!

  • Thanks man, comments like these from friends, mean so much, ‘preciate you brother!