Friday, July 11, 2008

The Last Two Years: One Amazing, Providential Ride

The last two years have been difficult and amazing for our family. I was just re-reading a post that I wrote in June of last year (read it by clicking here). At that point, Bobby had just recently completed chemotherapy and we had no idea where we would end up living or what we would be doing. We knew God was in control, but that was about it.

In late May of last year, Bobby completed chemotherapy. By the end of his treatments, we were worn out, homeless, and clueless about a lot of things.

Over the summer and autumn of last year, God gave us time to heal mentally and emotionally. Prior to that, we had been going, going, going since 2002. That's when I began seminary. After seminary, we went to missions training, and then to South Asia. As you know, we left India and dove straight into chemotherapy.

God provided several opportunities to see our extended family during last summer. We attended Alice's parents' 50th wedding anniversary in New York. We also greatly enjoyed Bobby's Make-A-Wish trip to San Diego.

Toward Christmas of last year, we began to sense that God was directly us to resign from the International Mission Board. This was very difficult for us. We had been so focused on living and serving overseas that is was hard to let that go. However, in January we finally made the decision to "cut the cord" from the IMB.

We believed (and still do) that resigning was what God wanted us to do, but at the time we still had absolutely no idea what was coming next for us. However, God knew and was in control over the entire situation.

About one month after we resigned, I heard through a friend that a baptist church named Chevis Oaks was without a pastor and needed someone to preach. When I was contacted by one of the deacons, I gladly accepted. It did not take long for me to begin to feel at home at Chevis Oaks. This scared me a bit because I did not want to get close emotionally only to have to later say "good-bye."

God worked everything out for me to continue to preach at Chevis Oaks. Eventually, I was asked to preach every Sunday and to lead prayer meeting on Wednesday nights. Throughout this time, I increasingly sensed God moving me toward the pastorate at this particular church. I did not want to hope it would happen, but I couldn't help it.

As of last month, I was asked to be pastor. What a huge answer to prayer! I am overjoyed and relieved to know where our place of ministry is, and where we can call home. I look forward to serving here for many years to come.

In looking back over the last two years, it has been filled with highs and lows. Some would call it a roller coaster ride of sorts. However, I can now see God's hand in all of it. He guided all that happened to work out His purposes, which was also the best thing for me and my family. When I graduated two years ago, I never would have guessed that this is where I would now be.

God has bigger and better plans than we do. He providentially governs all things in my life and yours. For this, He deserves great praise!


Stephanie Deal said...

Wow. What a great post. God does have everything in control. Enjoy your new mission that Gods set before you.
Your Sister in Christ,
Stephanie Deal

Eric said...


Thank you! God is so good, and continues to be good to us each day. He controls all things for His glory and our good.

I hope you are doing well!