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Uncomfortable Silence

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I’ll never forget my first week as a student minister. It was a small church in east Dallas. I had graduated college in Arkansas that Saturday and arrived the next morning to be presented in front of the church and meet my students.
That Wednesday night, only a week and a half before our wedding, Holly came out to the church with me to meet everyone. While we were all eating dinner together, one of the girls visiting that night asked Holly, “So are you the youth minister’s wife?”

She replied, “Uhh..well yeah, about to be. Why do you ask?”

“Can we go out to the hall and talk for a second?”

Holly nervously followed her out. This is when I should probably mention that Holly hadn’t ever pictured herself as a minister’s wife. She knew (kind of) what she was getting into by marrying me but really hadn’t imagined the dark secrets you’re exposed to while in leadership at a church. You really see how badly people are hurting, how deep their insecurities really lie, and what they’re really capable of. You’re reminded every day of how powerful God is to transform lives but you couldn’t possibly understand that without seeing the brokenness first. It’s a beautiful thing but it means getting over your idea that everyone is living a tidy Christian life and not experiencing any struggles.

When Holly got into the poorly lit hallway, the girl dropped a bombshell on her. Pulling out a positive pregnancy test, she looked Holly in the eye.

“I’m pregnant. What should I do?”

Baptism by Fire

I love how God sometimes baptizes us by fire. I’ll never forget that car ride home. It was so silent. For a second, I was sure Holly was trying to find a way out of marrying me. It isn’t that she didn’t want to rub shoulders with hurting people. She just didn’t think she could possibly be the one offering advice or answers. The thought of it scared her to death. I encouraged her and told her about my first time confronting similar situations and the complete shock I felt.

Four years later, my introverted wife is still stretched by those situations but has risen to the challenge every time. When we first got married, she was sure she couldn’t walk someone through a difficult time but now the girls in churches where I’ve served look up to her. One even insisted they were twins and gravitated to her every Sunday. She became a role model without even trying.

That wasn’t our only pregnancy at that church. Nine months later, the girl delivered a beautiful baby boy. A few months after that, two sisters joined our youth group. One was pregnant and our entire group got to celebrate the birth of her child.

Using the Unexpected to Do the Unexpected

Sometimes God throws us into situations we aren’t prepared for. At times, we fail miserably while other times we surprise ourselves. As scary as they might be, these “sink or swim” situations are amazing opportunities to see what God can do through our weaknesses. They remind us that we don’t have to hold the answers or be the expert. God will speak through us and transform lives when we simply surrender to his plan.

God took a murderer in Moses and made him the deliverer for his people.

God took an introverted kid in Jeremiah and made him a fearless prophet.

God took a barren couple in Abraham and Sarah and made them the patriarch and matriarch of an entire nation.

God took a homicidal maniac in Paul and made him the greatest missionary for Christianity in human history.

Jesus took twelve rejects and made them his disciples and the future leaders of his church.

God took a quiet kid who was scared of everyone around him and called him to preach. (That would be me.)

What unexpected thing will he do with you?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.dube Stephanie Dube Wilson

    Saw your link to this on Facebook – what a great blog! And I love this post. My husband and I have certainly had our fair share of the unexpected! This is a great lesson and story to share. :)

    • http://www.mattmorrison.org/ Matt Morrison

      Thanks Stephanie! I hope you guys are doing well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/douglasmbuckner Mark Buckner

    It’s easy to forget that Paul, Moses and the 12 were just these random guys before Jesus came into their lives and used them in great ways. Thanks for the reminder.

    • http://www.mattmorrison.org/ Matt Morrison

      It’s true. Thanks for the comment Mark!