Pursuit of Happiness — by Nancy

Happiness_NLawrenceSo here we go … Jake has asked me many times if I would be interested in writing a blog for Journey. I always said NO. He would come back at me with the words “It doesn’t have to be super spiritual or anything very deep.” Well, I decided to finally give it a shot.

Not long ago, Pastor Jesse posted a question on Facebook: “How has your LIFE been impacted at Journey Church?” This is my answer.

I can’t explain the emotions I have felt while being a part of this church. When Jake and I got married, we hoped to go back and do more missions work, but instead we found ourselves pregnant with our honeymoon baby, Isaiah. So we put our dream on hold. At the time, we attended the church Jake grew up in. It was stagnant. To me, we were drowning and withering away because we were not living out our dream of doing missions. I found myself feeling alone, away from family and friends.

It took about five years before Jake felt released to move on from that church. When we heard that Jesse and Missy had returned to the area (Jake knew them from their youth group days) to start a church, we decided to check it out. It only took one Sunday for Jake to say it would be our new church home. But, by then, I really hated living in Missouri. I was still waiting for our dream of doing missions to come to life. I didn’t get why God was keeping us here. Surely He knows our desires. I cried tears asking God, “WHEN?!”

We got involved with the worship team near the beginning. Jesse then asked me to help with youth worship. With very much hesitancy, I went with it. My first night with the youth was almost enough for me to never do it again. However, through it I began to feel a sense of purpose. I was doing something, and I started to love it.

Still through tears and prayers I continued to ask God when our dream would come true. Finally, one day I felt God saying “Stop asking me when! I can’t use you until you are content where you are. This I have in front of you is a mission field. These youth need you.” That kind of shut me up. Eventually, Jake joined the Journey Youth team, and we took on the role of Junior High youth pastors. More and more, I began to love the youth.

Fast forward a bit … I’m working at Dollar General and pursuing a goal to manage my own store, having favor in district and regional managers’ eyes. Knowing Jake was going to be joining the Journey staff soon, I found myself content. Jake would finally get to live out something he had wanted to do, and I was doing well in a job I enjoyed. I was content! Well, words began to come to mind saying I needed to quit. I thought to myself, “No, I’m just having an off day.” Around the same time I transferred to a different store and continued to ignore what God was telling me. I was one step closer to getting my own store!

On a random Friday night, I took our two boys on a date. At an arcade in Mid Rivers Mall, I clearly heard the words, “Quit your job. Your boys need you to spend more time with them.” Feeling a bit lost; I eventually put in my two-week notice. I quit and began to think, “Now what? What is my purpose besides working with the youth?”

That was about four months ago, and I must confess that I still don’t fully know what my purpose is. And I am not one to talk openly about my dreams or passions. I don’t really know why; I guess I get scared that it will take years to achieve my dream. With all that being said, I am learning to share and to speak my dreams out loud.

With tears and much excitement, I SPEAK THIS TO THE WORLD: I long to see a Youth Center in Troy, Missouri. My heart and passion is to see the youth of Lincoln County have a place to go to be in a positive environment. I believe our youth have a purpose, and they have dreams to accomplish. I believe it is our job as adults to help them find those dreams and passions.

So even though my (our) initial dream of doing missions out of country with my family isn’t happening right now I (we) have a purpose here. God has a plan for me. God has a plan and a purpose for you, too. Whether it is very small or extremely huge, for right now or later in life, trust that you will achieve that dream and that He is going to walk with you through the tears, the pain, the happiness AND the accomplishment.

Nancy

Friend Nancy or Facebook or follow Journey Church on Twitter @Journey_MO

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