Monday, June 23, 2008

full circle

Fall of 1995 I was a kid at college in a new town. I wanted to join a church fast, I had grown up in a church I loved and knew I'd never find one even similar so I just opened my heart and mind to where God would lead me in this new place I was going to call home.

I remember trying a couple churches and just decided to commit to one. I went to this small church in st. louis park. I went with a roommate. The first week she got invited home to lunch by a family. They didn't invite me. I took the van back and ate cafeteria lunch. The next week it happened again. And again. I would be standing right by her and she would get invited to lunch and they wouldn't invite me. It was like I was invisible. Well I do not like the feeling of being invisible so I decided to move on.
I had a friend who wanted to be a kids pastor and he convinced me that the church he was going to was a good one, it was a big ol' church. I went with him a couple times and while no one invited me home for lunch, if they invited him they would invite me too. Before long I was volunteering and investing.
In college I was a music major. And I hated it. So much. I love music but I hated everything about being a music major. I knew it wasn't something I could continue with. And in that special way God works He started bringing to mind all the involvement I have had in my life with kids. I weighed it against the kids ministry I was seeing each week...I really didn't know if it was something I wanted to do but there was something about it that compelled me to change my major.

I continued to get rides from my friend for a few years. The year he graduated and left college I got a truck and was able to get myself to church.
I was finally being invited to lunch on my own. I was a part of this community in a way that was healthy. It was while I was at one of those lunches that the kids pastor at the time (Dick Gruber aka PG) asked me if I would consider an internship. I knew it was the right thing to do so it didn't take much thought or prayer.
That summer was pivotal. My first day was actually Lisa Groves last day, we went to Fudruckers for lunch and that was the official start to my journey of working at CVC.
Well as fate (aka God) would have it, PG was gone the entire summer. My big dreams of learning from one of the best kids pastors in the nation were not going how I planned. Instead I was the right hand of the person who did early childhood (Ruthanne). Through that internship and through the next year of college I discovered my love for early childhood ministry.
I prayed that God would give me a job just like Ruthanne's. I really didn't mean literally her job but apparently that is what God had in store for me.
The last 8 yrs I have worked and poured my heart out into this church and community. I have felt at peace and at home the entire time I have been here.
Last week I spent my favorite week of the year at Kids Camp. My friend who drove me to church for 3 yrs was the camp speaker. He's married and has a daughter and now he's working on the national level for kids ministries. We had a lot of laughs over time spent together way back when. It did not escape me that there was an aspect of things coming full circle with this reunion of sorts.
I think I forgot to say in my earlier good bye lunch was also at Fudruckers. My first and last meal :) Again an aspect of full circle.
It might seem a little strange but I do feel like there have been some nice bows tied here at the end of my journey at CVC. It is a good thing.

And apparently I needed to tell my story again. For me. Take what you need from it but this one was for me.

smiling and looking ahead


[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

I'm trying to figure out why you were not invited to lunch but your friend was. And why your friend let this happen multiple times. Seriously. Perhaps I don't have the whole story, but for real? Some people's kids...

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

p.s. This is a great post, btw! LOL. Sorry for the rant above. :)

Do you feel like Paul Harvey is about to say "Now, the rest of the story" about your life??

Jamie Willow said...

she was a roommate and a little clueless. we both worked at the MOA one semester and we'd ride the bus home together since it was super late at night and not the best to be night she left with out me when she had my bus money because I wasn't there when she wanted to leave...I had to call my parents collect to call my dorm to find someone to come and get me...these were pre cell phone days.....needless to say she wasn't the most thoughtful person...nice but not very thoughtful.

And yes...Paul Harvey will have to wait a few years for that broadcast but I'm sure he'll have some interesting stories to share!


Anonymous said...

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie

It was fun for me to read this blog. We were so involved with the Grubers, that when they left, we sort of just laid down and did nothing. We couldn't pick up again. I guess we had other things in our life that picked up where kid's ministry left of, like the fact that we added 5 children to our home???? Ya, maybe that is why we got so tired. Anyway, we love you and are so happy for you!


O My Blog! said...

I loved this post!!

I too am invisible. Well,was until a couple of years ago because I am like the biggest GEEK evah!! lol

Anyhoo, it must be really cool to have a dream job not just once but moe than once in your lifetime (God has something planned for you, I just know it!!) and be able to write about and share your wonderful experiences with us.

Thanks, Jamie!! Yer AWESOME and Nashville doesn't have any idea how lucky it is to have you grace their city with your presence!!! (they will soon tho)


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