Spiritual immaturity broken by a commitment to the Lord.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6
This verse applies more to us spiritually than it does chronologically because when we came to Epicenter almost six years ago, Chase and I were both so spiritually immature. We had both been to church as children but neither of us had a personal relationship with the Lord. Before we left Epicenter, we both felt as though we’d matured not only mentally and emotionally but most importantly in the Lord. Epicenter has most certainly been the a vital assest in our relationship with the Lord.
Chase and I married in 2007, neither of us had been living the way that God calls His children to live and it was affecting our young marriage. We were both in our early twenties with two very strong wills trying to keep our marriage together on long deployments and then fumbling through reunification every time Chase would come home. It was taking a toll on us mentally and emotionally, so one evening I just wanted to mentally ‘check out’ while watching some television. The Lord intervened with a commercial for Calvary Assembly of God (pre-Epicenter) and I made a decision then that I would start attending church while Chase was on yet another deployment. I attended a few services here and there but never with any real commitment.
When Chase returned from the Middle East, we went back to life as we knew it which did not include church with any sort of regularity. When we did attend we would both just stand in the pew during worship and doodle during the sermon but unknown to us God had already begun a work in us. Even though we outwardly did not appear to be benefitting from our church attendance, we kept coming anyway. Soon we were at every service, participating in worship, and actually listening to and applying the sermon. God had been softening our hearts to receive His word. I remember feeling like I was finally fully awake and not just going through the motions. The time frame for Chase was a bit different though, he too was slowly changing but seemed to be derailed every time he would deploy. One deployment in particular was super hard for our family. In 2009, Chase was deployed to Africa with extended stays in Germany. He had taken a Bible on deployment for the very first time and the enemy made sure that we paid for it. Instead of seeking the Lord, we fought more than ever and despite our recent change of heart with church and God we had both entertained the idea of divorce. When Chase came home from that deployment things only got worse between us and we knew something had to be done. We spoke to Pastor Mark and he gave us five words that would change our lives, our marriage, and our relationship with God; he said “put God in the center”. Although, he was speaking of our marriage at the time, that philosophy has literally changed our lives.
We began to put God in the center of our marriage which led us to putting God in the center of our family. Putting God in the center was life changing and felt amazing! Giving God control was not only a relief but was easier than we’d ever thought. We began involving ourselves more and more in the church ministries and as we began to spend more time with men and women that truly loved God we knew that God had a greater purpose for our lives. In 2011, God called us into the military ministry and we had no clue where to start or what this meant for the course of our lives. Pastor Mark began working with Chase on courses he would need in school and was by our sides every step of the way. Although our family PCS’d to a different Air Force Base in October 2012, Mark and Kim made sure to keep in contact. Mark giving advice on the pastor side of things and Kim being there for a very, very inexperienced pastor’s wife. Even though our ministry is still in its very early stages and we are no longer in the Fayetteville area, we know that our Epicenter family will always be there for us!