Last spring was a time of anxious waiting for our family. Nick was in process with the United Methodist Church to receive his first appointment. (You may not be familiar with the UMC appointment system. If that’s the case, read a quick summary here.) We didn’t know if there would be an appointment available, if it would be full time, or where it would be. A lot of unknowns with nothing we could do to get answers except wait.
The call came in May, which is on the later side for receiving an appointment. But it came and it was good. A full time position in a small community near family. It was by far the best situation we could possibly ask for.
We’ve been in Bartonville now for 9 months. Life has settled into routines. Nick is dreaming about expanding the ministry of the church and I am dreaming about a garden in my backyard. While there are things we wish were different, you just take the good with the bad and we mostly have good.
But it’s spring again and we are once again faced with the reality that it’s appointment season. While this is just our first year at Bartonville and they usually wouldn’t move a pastor after a year, we’re not exempt. If the Bishop feels we belong somewhere else, he will move us. We’ll face this uncertainty every spring, for as long as we’re part of the United Methodist Church.
Truthfully, I kind of don’t like it. I like control, I like plans, I like stability and I get none of that. Instead, I trust my fate to a man I’ve never met. I’m afraid we’ll get sent to the most southern tip of Illinois, putting us hours away from family. I’m afraid of starting over every couple of years.
This week a friend of Nick’s announced he had been reappointed. While it’s all of my worst fears, they had only been at their current church for 2 years and have been reappointed 3 hours away, the announcement he posted actually gave me some peace and renewed my faith. He said that what brought him here was taking him there.
My fear is trusting the bishop, but my hope should be in God’s control.
My fear is being away from family, my faith should be that I find family wherever I go.
My fear is in the unknown, my trust should be in our known God.
So we wait. We keep doing what we’re doing, where we’re at, until we’re told to pack it up and head on. Oh Lord, grant me peace.