For more than 6 years we prayed, “God who do you want to take the church to the next level? Who do you want to take over from us?” We never thought this church was ours until the end of time.
Before you read any further, you have to know that one of my core strengths is “Belief” – meaning, I have a deep conviction that everything that happens in life—there is a season, a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
God spoke to my husband Dave to start the church in 1992 and in the spring of 1993 the first public service was held. For nearly 30 years we have been faithful stewards (the average length of pastoral service in the same church is 4.4 years). God has opened many doors and He has shut some along the way. He brought us those who walked with us for a season, for a moment in time, and some for a lifetime.
On January 3, 2020, I read a prophetic word and received it for our lives. It said God was getting ready to garden. He would prepare the soil in 2020 and plant new seeds in 2021.
“2020 will be messy and confusing, but trust the process. It was a time for God to reframe the dead/dry/forgotten places, preparing the places where life would appear.”
Forgiveness would be the key. Those who held onto unforgiveness or bitterness would miss out on what God was about to do. It was time to take a fresh look through HIS eyes and allow HIM to till the soil.
It finished off with, “God will plant new seeds in 2021 which will then grow and bear fruit in the future.”
All we needed to do was keep our hearts soft, free from fear, bitterness, and offense – to fill our hearts and mouth with faith and trust in the Great Gardener.
In the spring of 2021, we knew a transition needed to take place. Not just for our church but for our own lives. I felt that new beginnings were in the works.
The fall came along and around Rosh Hashanah, I again heard the word STRENGTH. This time followed by LEADERSHIP and LEGACY.
In November 2021, we announced we would be retiring from being the senior pastors. Our church would come under the authority of another church we have walked with for over two decades.
In preparation for the new year, I wrote to our church in December of 2021 that 2022 would be a year of alignment. I knew that in order for strength to come, getting lined up was important. Who or what you align with will determine your destiny! Choose your side: faith or fear – the Kingdom or the World. The Keys to the House of David are available to those who believe and trust God and align themselves with His ways. Doors God opens, no one can shut. Isaiah 22:22
In May of 2022, we finally transitioned the leadership. These are the photos from that service.
It was a powerful service. Probably the most powerful and meaningful transition service I have ever been to. Both churches came together as one family, now they move forward with two campuses, Hamilton and Kitchener. Stay tuned this fall for news of their next phase…
It was only after this service that our personal transition became public news. We felt people needed to digest all of this newness in order of importance. First the church and then us.
In June we put our kid’s childhood home up for sale and in mid-August, we are moving with three of our four kids back to my hometown in British Columbia. It has been a sacrifice on many levels. We were told by specialists to sell in the spring but we wanted to follow God’s timeline. We are trusting God as we sell in the most severe downturn in the real estate market that the last 4 decades have seen. And… between the dream and the delivery, our oldest son, his wife, and our only grandchild made the decision to remain in Ontario. They won’t be coming with us on this new journey. Not to mention all the friends we leave behind! And to be honest… we’ve never church shopped… for the first time in our lives, we will have to look for a new church family to be a part of. It’s a lot to take in.
One thing that doesn’t change… I’ll still be the PR and Community Manager for Graf-Martin Communications, just working remote now.
Looking back, all of these transitions make sense now of course. But that’s the fun part of being obedient, trusting God, and walking by Faith. Everything may appear and feel like it’s out of control, or that things look bleak… but if we trust God to do what He said He would do, stand by the people God has placed in our lives, be obedient to His Word, speak words of Faith, keep our hearts free from offense (which is living in fear) then we will see the Promise Land!!
“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”Romans 8:28
“Here’s the story I’ll tell my friends when they come to worship, and punctate it with Hallelujahs: Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore Him, you daughters of Israel. He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do His own thing; He has been right there, listening.”Psalms 22:22-24