It goes without saying- we have wondered if we have done all we could out in Minnesota, as we reflect on our time out here, but look forward to our future.
The other day, Dan sent me an email about the devotional he read that morning. The take-away he gleaned from it was desiring to leave a spiritual legacy, wherever we are. It has been quite an adventure out here in Minnesota, but even more than a circumstantial adventure, we pray that wherever our feet may land, that God’s name is furthered. And that we can’t help but look back and realize God’s hand in every little detail of our life. We can’t help but see how God has used little events to intertwine them into the tapestry of our life.
It is no coincidence that on the Sunday we visited North Street CRC, Pastor Shaun preached a sermon titled “Let Us Run The Race That Is Before Us.” It happened to be Cadet Sunday that day, but I felt that sermon was specifically written for the Sterks. As I sat in the wooden pew, I looked around, wondering if “this” would be our new church home? I couldn’t help but get teary eyed (way to make a great first impression!), realizing how far God had brought us, where He has taken us, and to realize that this place just seemed like the perfect place for our future!
As the pastor preached on Hebrews 12: 1-2, he talked about taking a look at the Hall of Faith, which is proof that God is worth trusting and to trust that what God has promised, that it will come to fruition. Even though setbacks may occur, he said “faith often shows itself in the deepest parts of the valley.” Oh how true that is! That is when the rubber meets the road, isn’t it?
Then this is what made me sniffle – “good things can become God things, but we just need to take the next step…”
Now remember, not 12 hours earlier, we were sitting in an interview with the search committee, wondering if this would be our next step? We felt it was right, but of course we needed to see if the search committee felt the same way. Was North Street our next step? It just seemed too perfect and almost too good to be true. College roommates, living by family, in a town we once said we could see ourselves living and doing ministry in, a church we appreciated, even after just one visit, and ultimately, we just felt like God was telling us YES.
At the close of the sermon that day, he simply asked “who has impacted us?” Well, then thoughts of Minnesota came flooding back in, realizing all those who have made an impact on my life. Those who God has used to grow my faith and those who have left a spiritual legacy. But then he asked:
“Will future generations see our names etched in the hall of faith? Will they see Christ in us? Will they see that we kept the focus?”
Bam. That was it. I knew in my heart, we were meant to be in Zeeland. It was time to move forward. It was time to see Minnesota as part of our past, realize God’s faithfulness through our journey in Minnesota, but it was time to start influencing a new generation and group of youth group kids at North Street. Of course we still had yet to hear from the church, but in our hearts, it all just made sense and God filled our hearts with that peace.
I am sure Pastor Shaun has no idea that his sermon had such a grand impact, but I saved the notes from it “just in case” I would be sitting here today, preparing to move to Zeeland. So with that, I could not be more thankful for the hall of faith at our churches in Minnesota. And I could not be more thankful to God for calling us into a new ministry, as we learn about the hall of faith in Zeeland.
We know that God calls us each into seasons of life. Some seasons are filled with deep valley experiences and some are mountain top views. As we see this season of our life close in Minnesota, we see another beautiful season of our life just on the horizon. And it has been no coincidence that Dan’s devotional was all about leaving a spiritual legacy, as we now think about leaving an area and moving into a new one.
It really does make me question – do I daily live out my faith in such a way that Christ’s name is furthered? Do I keep my focus in the right direction? Only by the grace of God do I get the chance to wake up every morning and live out this concept.
And oh do we desire to leave that spiritual legacy and be a part of that Hall of Faith both now and in the future!