What do you get when an Anglican man marries a non-denominational woman? A couple of United Methodists.
At least that’s how it’s working out for Nick and I.
I’ve been raised almost my entire life in a non-denominational church. I went to a non-denominational Bible college. And when I moved to Champaign, I immediately looked for a non-denominational church to attend. I believe that where the Bible speaks we speak and where the Bible is silent we are silent. I believe baptism is by immersion. You get my drift?
But Nick doesn’t come from the same background. He grew up United Methodist and started the ordination process in that church. He left the UMC and finished out his ordination in the Anglican Church. For years he tried to find a pastorate position in the Anglican Church without any success. And then I entered his life.
In the beginning of our relationship, I was naive enough to think I would be fine being a part of the Anglican Church. But all it took was one experience at an Anglican worship service and I knew I would never be at home in that church. Thinking that would mean the end of our relationship, Nick surprised me when he said we would find a place to worship together. His calling to be my husband was more important than a specific church. Wow. He loves me.
It wasn’t easy for us to find a compromise. I work at my non-denominational church and love it here. But Nick candidly told me he could never work at a non-denominational church. I pretended like that was ok, but secretly I prayed God would change his heart. I didn’t want to leave my church, the place I consider home.
But Nick is meant to be a pastor. He’s totally in his element when he preaches and he’s amazing at pastoral care. As much as I prayed he would change his mind about the non-denominational church, I eventually realized that it was never going to happen. And worse, that I was the obstacle for him living out his calling. I finally conceded. Next month Nick starts his first pastorate position in the United Methodist Church.
I’m nervous and excited about this next chapter in our lives. Already there are parts of Nick coming back to life that I’ve never seen. We have a beautiful house that the church is putting so much time and money into renovating for us. And I get to be a stay-at-home mom. We both feeling like God is leading us into the place that He has made for our family.
But there’s a lot of compromise that comes with it. I’m entering into a church tradition that is pretty unfamiliar and that I know I will not always see eye to eye with. I’m leaving the life that I made, that I chose, for myself behind along with the relationships I’ve built.
There is a reassurance that I often have to return to: God has called Nick and I together. God has called Nick to be a pastor at this place. I have my place in this calling too and God has been preparing me. Over and over again I remind myself of these truths because if I didn’t the unknowns would be too much for me. My fears and grievances of leaving would drown me. I would try to hold Nick back, to find another way.
God has called Nick and I together. God has called Nick to be a pastor at this place. I have my place in this calling and God has been preparing me.