On April 14, a tornado hit the Oaklawn area. Lighthouse became the headquarters for relief in the aftermath. I spent the week helping there by visiting people, cleaning up and praying for people. I felt God was engaging my heart and emotions again for ministry. Angie and I led some nights of prayer and worship there to encourage those who were giving so much and also those who had lost so much.
During our last night of prayer and worship at the church, as Angie was leading worship, I thought that maybe we should go back to Lighthouse to help minister while we were waiting for God to clearly call us. God has been moving so powerfully in that church, and I thought maybe we could go back.
I came home that night and told Angie that I wondered if God was calling us back to Lighthouse to help for a season. She listened to me and then said she didn’t think so. She said that God had clearly closed that door for us and she sensed that he wasn’t opening it back up. By now my frustration had reached its max. I couldn’t see why I felt God was calling me back to Oaklawn and not Angie. I became very upset.
I now refer to this as the beginning of our “Holy Fight”. We continued, and I yelled in frustration to Angie, “WHAT DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD DO THEN?”
. . . Now this is what I didn’t know at the time: For over a year, Angie had felt like God was calling us back into church planting in some form, but she didn’t say anything to me about it because I was so against it. She knew I could be a pastor and that I could lead a church again, yet wondered if that was only her desire for me. Maybe her identity was in being a pastor’s wife and not what God wanted. She didn’t want to put any pressure on me that was not from the Lord. So, Angie was just waiting on the Lord for the right timing. She also felt like I was trapped in my insecurity and knew I wouldn’t listen to her if the timing was not right. She waited for her time to challenge me. . .
So, when I asked her, “What do you think?” this was her chance. She started to say that she thought we should be open to church planting, and that she could see me leading a church plant again. This got me very angry and it exposed my insecurity at its deepest level. I started to yell and argue that I couldn’t do it. I am not a church planter, and I am not a strong enough leader to do it. I was too insecure and I had screwed up too many times. I yelled, “You don’t know me! You don’t know what I deal with.” Instead of backing down, (although inside Angie was wondering if she should stop and prayed if God wanted her to keep speaking truth)she kept at it. I really felt like later the Lord rose up in her to challenge me that night.
We went to bed and the next morning we processed a little more from the evening. Earlier in the week, I felt like the Lord had asked me to do a 5 day fast but didn’t start it. So on that Wed morning, I decided to do a 5 day smoothie and juice fast. I needed to get some space to hear clearly what the Lord was calling us to…. To be continued........