“Strange Peace.” Sounds like it could be a conference title. It’s not. I call it strange because it really defies my explanation. When we were essentially forced to leave the church where I was pastoring within two weeks of having our second child it would be fair to say that I was in a bit of turmoil. We’d just lost our home, our livelihood, and had been removed from the place where God had led me to minister.
Those first few weeks at our new (temporary) home in Oklahoma City were especially hard. Not having any employment while feeling a great burden to provide for your family is a heavy load to bear. Yes, it was great to get to spend more time with my family but the honest truth is that being home was a constant reminder that I was not working and providing.
Thankfully, two job opportunities came along. Both of them are temporary but the fact that they both came along when they did provided not just much needed income but also something else. Strange peace. I call it strange because it was unexpected. I did not expect to be content at this stage in my life with working retail and doing data entry from home. I did not expect to enjoy selling gadgets to people. I didn’t realize how refreshing it would be to go to work every day and be around people who don’t use churchy language and put on churchy masks just because I’m a pastor. Shoot, I didn’t expect to enjoy learning so much about the metal industry for my data entry job.
So this strange peace has helped make the transition to this weird stage in my life a lot easier. That’s not to say things are easy. It is hard to sit in church on Sunday morning. Not because I dislike being at church but because I feel like I need to be teaching and preaching. I often find my mind thinking about what could have been had I continued as a pastor at our previous church. I think about the fruit we were starting to see but that we won’t get to finish watching grow. So there are definitely still struggles. But the strange peace, the little affirmations from co-workers and bosses, and countless other little things are all working together to remind me that God is still in control. He is still directing my life for his glory. He is the one who will grow the seeds planted in our previous pastorate. He is the one who will guide us down the path to wherever we are supposed to be next. But right now, he has guided us here and he is teaching us anew to rely on him and to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.