It's been WAY TOO LONG since I've written a post here and a lot has changed in my life and my family too.
From the time that I had resigned from my position as pastor at Central Assembly of God, in Arlington, TX, I had felt that I may not return to pastoring a local church ever.
Really, I had wondered how long it would be before I would be able to return. The only problem with that was that it all rested in God's plan and not mine. No matter how badly I wanted to return to the pastorate, I couldn't make that happen faster than God was willing to allow me to wait and be ready.
So, for a few months, I searched for employment in the business world, while I worried about how our bills would be paid.
During this time, which was in the Fall of 2014, God had really done some amazing things in our lives, most of which was that He provided for us, in ways and through people more than I could list, but it was truly amazing. I'll always be reminded of His faithfulness to us and I'm thankful that such a time that we can talk about can be used to encouraged others who may be going through a similar situation.
During this time also, we found out that we were pregnant and so, Baby Michaelson #2 was only way and due in early June of 2015.
No job, no church to pastor, no income, no happiness in my life other than my wife and son and my family. I had even grown a bit distant with God too because I felt like He wasn't even there and yet, He was.
WHAT I WAS DOING
I had interviewed with a few insurance companies and then took the plunge to obtain a license to sell insurance in the state of Texas and I barely passed.
While I had interviewed with a few different insurance companies, I settled with employment at MassMutual in Fort Worth, Texas, where by God's providence I was associated with some new friends who were believers too. A few of the people whom I worked with saw their work as a ministry to others, where they disclosed that they had often prayed with people while discussing their insurance planning for their future and the security of their family when they had departed this life and entered the next.
Many of the people that I worked with knew the industry very well and their experience proved it and they were passionate about their work. Not so much because of the money they had earned, but for the people they served.
I had a hard time developing that type of passion because my mind was so fixed on the enjoyment of reading the bible, studying, referencing a lexicon for Hebrew or Greek translation of a text. My passion was preaching God's Word. I couldn't herald life insurance or disability insurance with passion the way I could concerning a text from Scripture.
WHAT HAPPENED IN OUR LIVES
Almost 5 months into my work in selling insurance, our son decided it was time for an early arrival and so, our son Kyle James Michaelson was born 6 weeks premature.
He didn't look so good when he came out from the C-section, mainly because his lungs weren't fully formed yet and we almost lost him at one point too.
Even at one moment, where I felt that God wasn't really with or near me, I cried out to Him, when I thought my son was going to die and said, "God, I'm not ready to let go of him, but if You want him, He's yours. I'm just not ready yet to let go of him."
Thankfully, Kyle did pull through and lived that night and he's a thriving little boy today and he brings such joy to all of our lives too.
|Kyle, a few weeks old|
Big brother, little brother
I don't believe that God merely accepted my offer to take my son. If He wanted to, He could have without my permission. But it was more that I had to trust God and to have faith in His perfect will why all of this was happening in my life and our lives at this time.
Mrs. Judy Bridges, who is the wife of Pastor Bobby Bridges at Mayfield Road Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas said to me, "Have you ever thought that Kyle's premature birth was part of God's plan for your lives." And you know, it had never dawned on me to even consider that, but it eventually proved to be true.
WHAT I AM NOW DOING
So, after a long period of about 10 months, a few months of unemployment and half a year of sales work, I received a phone call from a church in Port Neches, Texas where I had sent my resume to and they had called me back.
After a few phone calls and some prayer, Kristi and I agreed to come to visit Magnolia Church in Port Neches, Texas, in October 2015.
We had a great weekend visit, meeting with many people of the congregation during a meet and greet on Saturday evening and then I preached the Sunday morning and Sunday evening services and I kept in mind some great advice from Pastor Phil Morgan, when I had my first preaching opportunity as a pastoral candidate, "Just go and be a blessing to the people. Let God do the rest." I've always kept that advice in mind too.
Many people in the congregation voiced their support to have us come back for a second visit, which we did about 2 weeks later and again, that visit went very well and we had begun to fall in love with the people of Magnolia. Only God was going to decide if this was a love that would continue, or not and we just wanted God's will and even said so to the congregation too.
So, on November 1, 2015 I began serving as the senior pastor of Magnolia Church, an Assembly of God Fellowship and it has been an absolute blessing to be here.
The facility is absolutely beautiful, especially after all of the work they've done to repair and rebuilt after Hurricane Rita hit in late September 2005.
We've had a few deaths in our congregation since I began and quite a few people were worried that it would discourage me, but death is part of life especially in the church.
We've adjusted well to life down here in Southeast Texas and I've had some Gumbo and like it. I've even had some Fried Alligator and some Crawfish too and REALLY LIKE THOSE! The South Texas/Cajun food is pretty good y'all!
|Eating Fried Alligator at Pappadeaux's, December 2015|
|Crawfish! A new favorite of mine!|
|I'm enjoying learning how to fish and to |
enjoy this time with my son too.
So, that's what's been going on with us and we couldn't be happier being anywhere else but here, but more importantly, we are happy that we are in God's will and that He has never left us, even when we thought He wasn't there, but He always has been and He always will be.
Have a great day everyone. May God fill your heart even more with His love for His church and for those whom He seeks to save.
Faithfully in Christ,