Over the last several months, we have been walking through a transition at our church. Our former pastor had stepped down and into a new season. Our new season started this past weekend with the announcement of our new pastors named Chad and Lindsay Garrison. As we walked through the transition, we were meeting all the candidates, and while all of them are people who love Jesus and love God’s people, there was something different about the way the Garrison’s journey was playing out. I want to share what I had heard and what I had seen with you. I want to give some background of what God has been up too. Before most of us here at the church knew that we would be in a transition, God was already speaking to the Garrison family about us. Even their children had dreams and prophetic words about the process without realizing what their parents had been praying. I believe that God is up to something good!
You know those moments when you are walking along in your journey and God gives you little markers of confirmation. I watched as Chad and Lindsay throughout the first weekend visit expressed intrigue as to what God was up too through little things like Chads favorite verse being on the wall in our building hallway, in the way our hospitality team leader cared for their kids in the gifts they were given, and how God provided them a friend in my son, David.
There is a lot that you can glean through meetings and even what provokes a person to tears. What did I glean through these meetings? Clarity! Each of the 3 candidates brought something special to the table that they imparted to me personally as a gift from God, which helped me to heal and move forward as we walked through this process. God has been gracious! I want to share with you what I experienced with the Garrisons. First of all, I am the kind of girl that sees a lot up close and uncovers even more in hindsight. I look for the touchstones and the grace notes of God as I walk through things.
Glimpses of God’s goodness to me:
The first touchstone for me was how the gift of tears express what the heart is experiencing.
– Tears that come from “the pain of the past.”
– Tears that come from “the pain of leaving what is.”
– Tears that come from “the joy of what could be.”
Lindsay Garrison is a deep-hearted girl – well balanced – and her tears of joy for what God was doing in and through them, in conjunction with a love for us that had been developing for some time, was a beautiful sight to me. It was a grace note called JOY! Both Chad and Lindsay were over the moon excited to finally be here after months of praying, crying out to God, and awaiting what His will was.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
The second touchstone for me was how we, as a staff team, were with the candidates at our dinner meeting. The staff team at the church is a close group of friends that have worked hard to be on the same page and to respect and love one another. I saw:
– A team that was “Forward-looking and ready to run.”
– A team that was “Backward-looking and expressing concern.”
– A team that “dropped their guard and revealed their hearts.”
For whatever reason, and I am guessing it is this unique quality of God in them that both Chad and Lindsay have, called deep listening. We all just opened up. I believe that was another grace note and gift from God to us to help us process and heal.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear…
The third touch stone for me is in how quickly the Lord has moved on their behalf. They were announced to the Leadership team on Monday, Nov. 1st. They put their house on the market Friday, Nov. 6th. They put an offer in on a home here on Sat. Nov 7th. They sold their home on Sat. Nov 7th back where they live. On Nov. 8th their offer was accepted on a home here. Talk about favor!
God is so good! He is a God who moves quick when it is time and He comes suddenly! #gracenotes
While transitions are never easy and they reveal of ton of what is going on in the hearts of people. I am convinced that the best thing to do during a transition is trust God with the process. Which I do believe was also the word of the Lord to Chad as he walked out this path to becoming the pastor of our church.
Thanks for Listening,