On Sunday, March 17, 2019, the door closed on 29 years of ministry at North Pointe Community Church for Jocelyn and I. We were very happy as pastors at North Pointe. We loved our church family and they were endeared to us.
Finishing well and handing off a healthy, prevailing church to younger leaders was the best farewell gift we could give. We felt a settled assurance that sometime soon, another door would open to us.
For some observers this was the season of autumn in our lives. We saw it as springtime. A season of hope.
Monday, March 18th held the promise of a new beginning. One year previous Jocelyn received the phone call from her oncologist that no one wants. “I’m sorry to have to call you. The tests show you have cancer. I’m so sorry.” Numbed, Jocelyn clung to hope. A month later, she underwent major surgery. Her medical team successfully removed the cancer. She was going to be OK. Follow-up visits one year later confirmed that she was cancer-free. We held on to the same hope that God would make it OK for us after North Pointe.
In April we launched REVwords.com as the platform for our writing. It was our way to be hope dispensers. I wrote my next book. The inspiration came from Jocelyn and the experiences of ten women who faced cancer, sexual abuse, mental illness, or loss.
“You’re Going To Be OK” was published in June. It’s a book of hope, for fighters, from fighters. Glori Meldrum’s story was positioned in the first chapter because she is a survivor of all four traumas. Glori was sexually abused as a child and suffered PTSD as a result. She lost her family when they sided with her abuser. She was diagnosed with cancer in her 40's and faced depression as a result of her prognosis. Her resiliency is extraordinary. God is helping Glori fight through.
Writing the stories of women who battled for their mental health opened the next door. I serve on the Board of the John Cameron Changing Lives Foundation. We are committed to making real advances in mental health in Edmonton, from diminishing negative stigmas to funding programs and scientific research. I pitched an idea for a book on reducing stigma and raising awareness about mental health to the chairman of the Board. The idea caught on. “Get Loud” - a book chronicling the stories of sufferers, their families, and the frontline warriors - is underway.
Glori read her story in “You’re Going To Be OK” and asked for my help in writing her biography. “Little Warrior” is Glori’s life story. She used her pain as fuel to found Little Warriors and the Be Brave Ranch – world-class initiatives for the treatment of child sexual abuse. The book goes to press in the fall. Working together led to planning more book projects with Glori. I enjoy writing, but I love the people I write about.
Humming away in the background is my memoir. The classic story of The Velveteen Rabbit provides the context for describing my 40-year, leadership journey. I plan to call it, “The Velveteen Pastor: Journey To Becoming Real.”
And then one more door opened. I was invited to become the interim lead pastor of Bethel Pentecostal Church in Barrhead, Alberta. On August 1st, I began commuting to Barrhead. Supporting Bethel's congregation to find their next lead pastor is my priority. Bethel is an awesome church family of gifted leaders, devoted volunteers, and a vision that their best days are ahead. One of my first community connections was with the local newspaper, The Barrhead Leader. I’ll be one of the writers for their religion column.
The freshness of spring is in the air.
I am a recovering perfectionist who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks iced tea. My walls are adorned with our sons’ framed football jerseys, and my bookshelves, with soul food.
I write to grow hope, inspire people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover their life purpose.
Please follow my writing at REVwords.com