For those of you who know us well, you know we have a heart beat for Awana. We have been in it since we were in Cubbies (Preschool). For me I am a Citation Award winner (10 books in 10 years, over a thousand verses memorized in since Cubbies). We have a legacy of parents with a heart beat for Awana. And we have been involved in almost every aspect of it from Quizzing to AwanaGames to the missionaries Ministry Board.
However, we have come to a place in our lives where God has given us the direction and freedom to step out of the role of leading this ministry. (Side Note: This does not mean we won't be back in future years to help fulfill needed roles, we are just not running the program at our church.) At first the decision was easy and freeing. God gave us great peace about the decision. As our time went though, my heart began to hurt.
See, we have already pulled out of almost every single ministry we were in, many of which we dearly loved, because our family need us to pull back. We needed to be able to focus on our family. But it wasn't enough. Our kids were still not making the progress they should. We were still running ridiculously crazy schedules and trying to fit all of our responsibility for this program in as well. The decision seems pretty clear cut, family comes first.
However, our church, like most churches, desperately needs people to step up and help serve. We know that well, as Tony was the one in charge of recruiting for this ministry. It tugs deep into my heart and I began to question...."God how will I teach my children to serve when I am not? How will they find out the imporatnce of ministry when I am not in none? I was raised that when there is a need to help in the church, you do. How will I teach my kids that?"
God's answer was incredibly clear. "Your number one ministry is NOT Awana and NOT in the church. Your ministry is four little people who sit at your feet every day. Your ministry is a husband who needs your attention. Your ministry is the neighbor you only see when you are waving to them from your van, but now you need to invest in. Your ministry is your heart focused on Me. Your ministry, the one that I have put as number one in your life, is getting pushed aside. Yes, these other things have value and importance but they are not the most important."
So, as sad as it is to leave this amazing ministry behind, Tony and I have already seen God bless that decision. We've already seen some big answers to pray in our kids lives. God sent an amazing man to take over Tony's position. And we have felt a tremendous amount of love and support with this decision. Not one person has pressured us to stay or called our decision wrong. It's going to be hard at times next year to drop my kids off every week and turn and walk out the church doors. However, I know we will reap huge benefits from the time we now have available.