It is so hard to believe that it has been a year since I got a call asking if I would accept a ministry position at a wonderful United Methodist faith community in Huntsville Alabama. A year since I quit a job that was literally killing me, packed my things, and loaded my family up to move to a new place, to start a new job, and to start a new chapter of our life doing the one thing that had almost left us completely broken just a few years prior.
I never thought I would be back in ministry. Hell, if I am being honest I was not even sure I would ever be committed to a local church again.
Several years ago through a combination of ignorance and growth my faith crumbled, I left the faith community that I had served for years and preceded to not be able to step back foot into a church with out feeling like I was going to have a panic attack. I wanted nothing more but could never seem to get past the shakes and the tightness in my chest.
I only attended Church eight times that following year, and the number got less as the years came. I never thought I would get over the whole ordeal. I was hurt. I am still hurt. But I am breathing. I am healing. And slowly but surely I am trusting the Spirit and all her infinite wisdom to make all things new again.
Yesterday something seemingly insignificant happened during the last song of our Sunday morning worship gathering. During the last verse and chorus of one of my all time favorite hymns, I raised my hand in a posture of praise. I know that does not seem like much to you or anyone for that matter, but that is the first time I have been able to raise my hand in praise of God since I left our previous church years ago. (Which is saying something for someone who cut his Christian teeth in the Pentecostal/charismatic faith tradition.) I still have not made sense of the depths of what it all means yet, but It feels like freedom. And though I am more convinced than ever that sometimes resurrection takes too damn long…
Here I am learning to surrender all again, one raised hand at a time.