Remember, remember the 5th of November. Yes, it’s Guy Fawks Day, but that’s not why I remember the 5th of November. For me the day has a special significance. November 5th, 2007 was the day I was let go from my my last kidmin position. I didn’t see it coming and it was not a fun day.

Here’s why I’m dedicating a post to remembering this special day. I’m actually hanging out with some staff friends from my last church and it’s been fun to joke about it. However, I think there’s a special observation to make.

I hadn’t been happy in my position there for at least 6-9 months. I’d actually put my resume together and was actively looking for what my next step could be. However, the church experienced a financial hemorrhage and 20% of the staff was let go including me.

I was shocked.

I was confused.

I was sad.

I was furious.

Just about every emotion was experienced that day, except for the good ones. I had a 4 month old baby and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. I didn’t really want to be at that church anymore, but I wanted my departure to be on my terms, not theirs. It wasn’t fair.

Healing for myself and my wife took a year… maybe two. Whenever we’d talk about the church, emotions would rise up without warning. But time goes by and we get something called perspective.

Me being let go from that church was the gracious hand of a loving father. It wasn’t a healthy place for me to be and over the next 4-5 years would get worse. Six months after that transition, God opened the door for an opportunity of a lifetime for me and for the past 7.5 years, I’ve gotten to be the NextGen Pastor at Gateway. It’s had its ups and downs, but it’s been such an amazing ride. I feel like I’m on the ground floor of something amazing that happening around the country with this NextGen position.

Eight years later, November 5th is not a reminder of a horrible day. It’s a reminder that God has a plan for me that is bigger than I can imagine.

When you’re going through something awful, remember that the experience looks very different in the past. We often don’t see God moving the pieces behind the scenes or the key character traits that are being formed in the moment.

Hang in there. It gets better. Stay faithful and true to the God who is doing something bigger than you can see.