Tuesday, July 2, 2013

From Wilderness to Wonder

IT’S TOO EASY TO FORGET the wilderness path. It wasn’t that long ago that I resented a situation for a position I didn’t have, yet now it is perhaps another person’s turn to resent the fact that I have the position they now covet. For my wife, during the same period, it was facing disappointment after crushing disappointment in not falling pregnant. We tried for over three years. But alas we were successful: wonder! Other couples try even up to ten years! These are all wilderness stories.
Wilderness comes randomly it seems and it’s always unjust. Wilderness is at times lonely, frustrating, demeaning, angering, and it’s always discouraging.
It pays to recall a story, and this is my wife’s recollection of the five years and more of wilderness we, as a couple, endured, as posted on Facebook. It hints at the underlying sense of angst we experienced, in having to wait much longer than we thought we’d need to:
January 27, 2013.
Congratulations to my hubby, Steve Wickham, on being appointed Pastor of Discipleship and Training at Lakeside Baptist Church (our current church).
It has been a long journey for us to get to this point. It started before we were married when we both felt God calling us to Ministry while we were single, and then when we got together, we felt God calling us to Ministry together.
However, since then we have felt like we were in the wilderness wondering when and how that role would come along. I suppose Steve’s International friends would say that he hasn’t been in the wilderness as he was writing a lot providing much encouragement to many, and he has received a lot of feedback over those years to this effect.

There were things that God was doing in us during our time in the wilderness, things that needed to be done before the rigours of full time paid ministry began.

Then in May last year God began to stir in both of us the desire to be in full time ministry, a desire that would not leave us. Around the middle of the year the last things for us fell in place – including me falling pregnant after such a long time of ‘trying’.

It wasn’t until August that we saw the advert in
The Advocate (local Baptist monthly newspaper) while we were waiting for the service at church to begin. It was then that we prayed that God would open up a path for Steve to being invited to apply – which he did.
Through all of this we only recently found out that the Pastoral search team had been asking the question – “Can we see God in this?” Well they said, and we say with them, a resounding ‘YES!’
Wilderness is like grief, it seems to take much longer than is needed. Enduring the wilderness time, not giving up on our prayers, in the hope of a better day, is the key. The better day does come, somehow. And from wilderness to wonder we do then chart.
© 2013 S. J. & S.J. Wickham.

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