A couple of weeks ago Shae and I were traveling home from vacation in Texas (alone...her parents had the kids) and we decided to take a little trip down memory lane. We both went to college at The Baptist College of Florida in the panhandle. While attending college we began serving on our first church staff. I was the part-time Minister of Music at New Harmony Baptist Church in DeFuniak Springs, FL. As we made our way home from vacation we decided to take a detour and go by the church. It had been 15 1/2 years since we said our goodbyes to the people of New Harmony and we were curious to see what the church looked like and how the small community had changed.
This little expedition made my mind race as I thought about all the people we have met and served alongside throughout our 17 years of ministry. From Florida to Alabama to Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri and now back to Florida we have been blessed with incredible friendships during our ministry journey. Every church we've had the privilege of serving has taught us something invaluable.
You see I think it is important to take time to remember the journey. In many ways I am who I am today because of the investment people, both staff and church members, have made in me throughout my adult life. I also believe that proper reflection leads to an acknowledgment of God's faithfulness to our family. Whether we were welcoming a new baby into the world, buying a home, mourning the loss of a loved one or spending a holiday at someone's home because we were unable to travel to see family we've been loved on and treated like family by so many wonderful people throughout our ministry. I could seriously sit here and write for hours about individuals and families who've blessed our family and the impact they've made on me and my family.
While I believe that proper reflection is important I am not suggesting you live in the past. It is easy to embrace the "good ole days" at the expense of the here and now. I hope that as you reflect on your past you are both encouraged and challenged. Encouraged by God's faithfulness in past and challenged to trust Him, regardless of what comes your way, in the days ahead. I am grateful today for the past 17 years of ministry and all of the people God has placed in our path and look forward to what He has in store for the rest of our journey!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.