I’m sitting in the basement of the Barrows humble home in Bellefontaine, OH. A flood of memories crash into my mind, spilling over into my heart. You know how people utter the phrase, “I saw my life flash before my eyes” when they experience a close call or a near death experience? Well, something of that nature happens when I return back to nostalgic places of my past and revisit the emotions they evoke. It’s like I survey the scenes of my short history and move my mind’s hand over the various things etched into my heart’s story.

As we strolled into town yesterday I could feel my insides sitting up and paying close attention to the subtle changes of scenery. New businesses, renovations, torn down buildings, vacated strip mall stores. I remember all too well moving to and fro around this little town that is perched on the very peek of Ohio.

I was filled with mixed emotions. Part of me drawn back to the place where 8 years of my life was broken and spilled out. Another part of me feeling awkward and nervous for some reason. The one part of me was reliving the glory days of ministry; the other part of me was overjoyed to have moved on. I’m certain everyone feels something of these conflicting emotions as they meander through their past.

I’m so grateful for what my eight years in Bellefontaine afforded me. I enjoyed such freedom here to venture out and realize my desires. I found some lifetime friends that will always be close to my heart regardless of proximity. I cut my ministry teeth here and learned valuable lessons of leadership that serve as anchors of truth.

But I’m also so grateful that I moved on in ministry. There were so many new places my heart needed to go in order to prevent atrophy and apathy from rendering me limp and lifeless. I so enjoyed youth ministry, but I was starting to get an itch to affect change in the whole of the local church, not just a student ministry demographic. And when you find yourself scratching that itch in reading and writing and dreaming, it’s high time to venture out. I remember hearing people talking about that time when you would feel drawn to move toward a new season…and it was definitely time.

So as I sit here thinking upon my life up to this point, I’m so glad to be who and where I am. I feel like I’m a part of the ubiquitous kingdom of God pulsating all around me. I love my church and how I am most fully myself when I am with my community of faith. We are seeing God at work and at play around Impact and that is what I’ve always dreamed of being a part of. Plus, I get to preach in jeans and a t-shirt…you can’t beat that!

It’s always nice to unwind and rewind. But I think what most excites me these days is what’s ahead…and it’s that forward thinking that fills my heart in this moment.


Ty said…
I experience very similar feelings when I am that town! Maybe more often than you, but I feel that way every time. I can relate to the nostalgic past along with the grateful present! I should point out that I talk to people all of the time thats lives were change because of your 8 years! I am grateful for your time there, too!

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