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Transitions in Ministry

So This Is Goodbye

Kathie Phillips was crushed-and scared-when her husband, also a children's minister serving at a different church, was abruptly fired from his position. For a year and half, her family suffered through confusion, bitterness, and despair. Today, Kathie is associate director of children's ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Towson, Maryland.

In 2009, I watched the daily news and heard about those impacted by the rising unemployment numbers. While I felt deep compassion for those affected, I felt so grateful that my husband and I were employed at two area churches.
On August 31, 2009, though, I received a phone call that every wife dreads: This day would be my husband's last day at the church where he worked-he'd been fired.

Not only were we greatly impacted financially, but we were spiritually wounded as well. The church's unchristian-like behavior toward my husband led to a roller coaster of emotions-grief, anxiety, disappointment, despair, bitterness. Sometimes God seemed so close; other times if felt as if he'd abandoned us. But I learned that it was okay to feel what I was feeling.

I continued to serve on staff as the children's ministry director at our church. Though my family's circumstances had been turned upside down, I still had a job to do. It wasn't always easy to serve; while I was professionally leading my team, I was suffering through a very painful time in my personal life. All our family could do was hold on day after day and trust God for a breakthrough.

It's been said that when things seem their darkest, your breakthrough is right around the corner. For us, it was true. After 19 months of unemployment, we were at our bleakest, most desperate point. Then in March 2011, my husband got a call for a job he'd applied for. Then, just 40 minutes later, I, too, got a call from a church about an opening I hadn't even applied for! The result has been better circumstances for our entire family-a beautiful lining through a very dark thundercloud. Only God could do something like that; he makes all things beautiful in his time.

Kathie Phillips is on the KidMin 2012 Inside Track Team.

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