Mike & Sara Big Chair

Originally posted - May 23, 2008

“OBEDIENCE …it’s worth the potential sacrifice”

…..after graduating from East Carolina University in 2001, I quit my job at the Hilton and I decided to take a trip around the country for about a year with a three fold mission.  I wanted to see the country I call home, interview for many jobs, and visit churches of different and like cultures while sometimes leading worship.  It was a successful trip full of adventure!!!  I had friends and families from all around the country put me up (and put up with me) for a few nights each as I tackled over 40 states on this adventure in the 1993 Blue Ford Ranger.  I was a little bummed that I couldn’t drive to Hawaii… apparently a boat is required!!!  That’s the short version…..

….So when I get back to my hometown community of Havelock/New Bern North Carolina, I began praying more intently about the places I had just seen and the job offers that I had.  I was officially broke without a penny to my name and I was totally dependent on God for direction on what was next.  I kept feeling like God was calling me to stay in the area and leave my career behind in the Hotel/Restaurant/Entertainment/Business Management industry where the money was GREAT with the experience in management I had acquired starting at a young age and the degree(s) and training I had received.  I kept blowing that notion off until I realized that it was God speaking to me…..besides…I still had/have a huge college debt to pay.  I tried to argue and even compromise on a deal…… He won that fight.  The jobs I was pursuing in my field were taking me out of the ministries I wanted to be in due to long hours, nights, weekends, and holidays….etc.  I submitted to His authority in obedience with one last request for God….. “help me to find a good job in the area with great flexibility for ministry purposes and a church that is comparable to the “on fire for God” church I just came from in Greenville (Greenville Christian Fellowship)”……

….Needless to say, God provided both a great job and a church.  The job entails me working for the government with AV-8B Harrier airplane engines utilizing neither of my Hospitality Management or Business Management degrees.  Luckily I had been rebuilding engines from the young age of 10-ish so I caught on quick.  The salary is nowhere near the offers I had in the Hotel Management field but it’s not always about money… if God has called me to do something…. He will provide all that I need to do it.  After visiting 14 or so churches in the local area, I finally found what I was looking for when I found Liberty Christian Church.  I was starting to feel like I made the right decision……..

….I plugged into serving at the church almost immediately in many different areas:  (worship team, singles (leading worship), home groups (leading worship), men’s meetings/retreats (leading worship), Vacation Bible School (drama team), discipling ….etc…. and also ministry opportunities outside of the church.  After only being there for a little over a year and finding contentment with being single and totally focused on God and not on my flesh anymore, I found myself in a position to receive God’s blessings…..

… was then that I met the woman of my dreams… Sara …. and I met her in character as we were both members of the Vacation Bible School Drama Team.  The funny part is that I didn’t even realize she was the woman of dreams until later…  I just thought she was pretty, funny, and cool…..and she liked cheetos!  I’ll have to elaborate on our story in another blog…….

….after courting for four years (we were waiting for her to graduate college), we developed an even stronger relationship with the Lord individually and together and we utilized that time to serve wholeheartedly in the ministries God called us to be a part of.  After Sara graduated from ECU School of Nursing, we finally got married on May 26, 2007.  It was the wedding of our dreams involving 200+ of our family and closest friends, followed by a 10 day trip to Hawaii….  we had to fly there… apparently you can’t drive!!!  We celebrate our 1 year anniversary together in a few days and we have been blessed more than we could have ever imagined……..

It’s a good thing that I was obedient when God spoke to me about leaving my career for ministry purposes….  His plans are always better than ours!!!  I don’t consider it a loss either… God has given me BIG visions that will incorporate all that has been set aside for a season……

Samuel 3:9 “Speak, Lord for your servant is listening”

P.S.  Did I mention that Sara and I made sure our relationship was done right in God’s eyes!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. “It is worth the wait”!!!  We may not have done it everything perfect…. but we tried our best to lead by example……  still trying ….. :-)

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