Sunday, May 31, 2015
I have grown up in church. And while I grew up going to Cherokee Baptist as a kid most of my life, I actually grew up at Watermarke Church over the past decade.
10 years ago, my husband got the call to be a youth pastor. Not "the call" that most people refer to. He got a "hey, so we had to fire the current youth pastor today, so can you run things starting tomorrow?" call. We were only kids really. Both of us at the ripe age of 24. We had a 2 year old and a baby on the way. We had just bought our first house. We were about to embark on the most intense and difficult season of our lives, and we had no idea. And as most kids our age would of answered, we replied "Sure, we are in." It's wonderful how God takes seemingly insignificant rash decisions, and creates the most monumental and significant life change.
Those of you who have known my husband for over 10 years can attest to this: He has grown up over the past 10 years too. Those of you who have only known my husband for a short time need to know this. I have learned so much from my husband. I've learned how to lead people well. I've never met someone who is more intentional and caring with those that work for him. I've learned that investing in people is always worth it. I've learned that if I truly want to be successful, I must lift up those around me. BUT, one of the most important lessons I have learned in watching him over the last 10 years is that it is ok to learn and grow as I go.
Andy had never been in ministry when he took over Watermarke's students ministry. The high school group had about 10-15 kids show up every week. He had no experience, no education in religion, nothing that "qualified" him to be in student ministry, except the desperate call of the pastor. But he worked hard, and he learned. He tried things and succeeded. He tried things and he failed. He did what he does best, be lifted those around him, and invested in other leaders. Slowly, and never giving up, God honored his hard work and willingness to keep at it. He defied all odds. No student pastor stays at their first job at church for more than two years. Andy is still going strong after 10. He has seen pastors come and go, the church has met in 3 different schools, and Watermarke has become a campus of Northpoint. So much has changed over the past decade. But Andy has remained constant. He has worked, gone to school, raised 2 special needs kids, loved me fiercely, and continued to pour into the people at Watermarke with all he has. Andy is my constant. What a gift. To be the one thing that people can depend on. The constant is always underestimated isn't it? I don't love math, but I know that without it, the equation can't be figured out. Fixed and non-varying. That is my Andy. Through autism, through change, through life, he is my fixed point. And I am so proud and honored to be a witness to his life story.
June 1st is Andy's 10 year anniversary working for Watermarke. When he started, we never could of known what God had in store for us personally, much less what he had in store for the church. What I want someone to take away from this, is this: Go for it, and don't be afraid to learn and grow as you go. And don't give up when things are hard. God doesn't call the qualified. He calls those that are willing to do the hard work and rely on Him for the rest. Andy is a testament to that. So thank you to Watermarke for being our home for the past 10 years. And on behalf of Watermarke: Andy, thank you for being our constant.
I love you.