Ok, so I know the suspense of what those big changes are in the life of the Barnes family are killing some of you! Let me say first (cause I know some of you are thinking it) that I am not pregnant. God has not chosen to walk us down that path again yet. (Although, I wouldn't be too upset if he did!).
For the past several years I have been the youth minister at our church and our son has attended a wonderful private Christian school here in town. We have put our heart and soul into the ministry and our son has thrived very much at his school.
In June, our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This has changed our life completely, to say the least. He started back to school and we've had some major issues. He's spent more time in the nurses office and having to come home that anything else. We began to wonder if he'd start to get behind. His body is still adjusting to the diabetes and we are still changing dosages of insulin and this may continue on for several months.
So in light of all of this, we have prayed and prayed (for many months) and listened and listened (which is not my biggest strength sometimes) and we have heard God tell us that it is time for me to focus on my family for now. As of today, I am a homeschooling mom (for this year at least - we are taking it one year at a time). I will finish out a month at our church to complete some open projects and ease the transition for my group of around 60 teenagers.
We will also be leaving our church for another one, although we are not sure which one yet. For many months God has been speaking to us about this. We are emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained and we need to go where we can be filled. We have been visiting a non-denominational church here in town that we are really starting to embrace. This has been a major change for this girl with a staunch Baptist upbringing and my hubbs who is the son of a preacher man (sorry, couldn't resist) - a United Methodist pastor.
We know nothing else but "traditional church" and yet God has led us to this "non-traditional" church and we are getting filled - slowly but surely. We have had several opportunities to talk with the pastor there and what a blessing he has been! He didn't try to "fix" anything for us, but he listened and actually seemed interested in what God was doing in the life of our family and that is something we needed. To feel that he was on our side - and as a brother in Christ- he was there with us.
We have not joined this church and don't know for sure that this is where we will end up. We know that Matthew loves it and we feel that he is being challenged to grow in his young faith. Plus we have some dear friends who are there and this is a plus.
Cole and I desire so much to help our son build a rock solid foundation of the Bible and God's love and truth. We desire to help him grow to be on fire for Jesus and we hope he does that at a young age. I pray that he does that at a young age. We are excited for all the resources that this new church is bringing to the table to help us out with that. We don't think it's the church's primary responsibility to teach our son about Christ. In fact, we think it is ours and that the church is there to help us out with that and to help supplement that.
So, I am leaving my ministry position and becoming a full-time stay at home mommy and teacher (yikes!). Matthew is excited and we will start school in just a bit when he wakes up. Say a prayer for us, please, as we embark upon this new journey that God has for us. We have taken some MAJOR steps of faith to do all of this, but we are believing God for his hand of protection and provision and blessing. We are praising Him through all of the uncertainties and will keep you posted.