Around four years ago Jana and I were still working in Arkansas at what is now called Ecclesia College. As the ministry was transitioning and focusing full-time on the college aspect of its ministry, we were wondering what would be next for us. While we were excited for the future of the ministry there, we believed that it was not meant for us to be a part of as it entered this next stage.
I was earnestly seeking God as to what was next. Over the latter half of 2003 it became clear that we were suppose to move to Omaha. Initially I was against a move to Omaha because I thought it was the safe thing to do, but as I kept praying, seeking, talking to trusted people and researching it became abundantly clear we were suppose to go to Omaha.
There were numerous thoughts and reasons as to why this seemed right, but a few things kept coming to the forefront. First off, I wanted to pursue writing to a greater degree. I had managed to do some writing in Arkansas, writing some theatrical pieces that were performed locally, but the opportunities were few and far between. I was hoping to do more writing up in Omaha.
Secondly, and more importantly, I thought this new stage of life would be a vital training ground. The phrase that kept coming to mind was “this stage will be training for the next stage”. Yeah, no duh. Every stage prepares you for the next stage, but the phrase always resonated with me. If nothing else, we were never meant to be plateauing after we got going here in Omaha.
We moved up to Omaha in early 2004. Jana came in February and looked for employment and a place to live while I finished up some things in Arkansas and moved up in March. Jana got hired by Thrasher Basement Systems and I did nothing. Well, I was working feverishly on eBay, selling numerous collectibles, but I hardly ever left the apartment. I wasn’t sure what to be doing or looking for.
In June of 2004 I started moving forward. I was taking summer classes at Metro CC and also started getting involved at Christ Community Church. I met with Ian Vickers and he provided the opportunity to volunteer with some of the ministries he was over. I found myself involved with the Ministry & Missions Fair and Missions Fest. At the end of the year an admin position had opened up at CCC that would be helping Ian. I applied for the position. Kind of strange to be applying for an admin position? Perhaps. The first question posed to me in the interview was, “Why do you want this position, you’re overqualified”.
The interview went exceedingly well. The tone of the interview had gone from “why do you want this position” to “we could do this and this if you were working here”. We were envisioning some great things with missions and international partnerships. In the following days I had a number of staff come up to me excited about the prospect of working at CCC. It seemed in the bag. So naturally I didn’t get the position.
Why didn’t I get the position when it seemed like a sure thing? Ian told me he just didn’t think I was suppose to be in the position. It was nothing against me personally. So what then? I had some frustration toward life, and I was wondering what I was doing in Omaha. I was in a funk for almost two months.
In March of 2005 I attended a conference that was hosted at Christ Community. The guest speaker was Dan Allender. I didn’t really want to go to the conference, but felt obliged to since I was leading a small group at the time and it was a small group conference the church was hosting. I’m glad I went.
I was floored. Dan Allender’s words pierced my soul. What was it specifically? I’m not sure. Perhaps the vulnerability, the acumen of his words and delivery, the cultural relevance, the depth of his spiritual knowledge… Whatever it was it snapped me out of my funk and had me yearning to get back into life, ministry, what God wanted for me.