We have been married and living in New York for almost 6 years. In the early years of our marriage we had plenty of reasons why we were too busy to get involved in Redeemer’s ministries. Once we established our lives and our careers in the city we ran out of excuses and realized that the reason we were avoiding getting involved was because we were content within our comfort zones. God started putting opportunities in our paths to challenge and push us towards personal growth and community service—Michael with Financial Service Ministry leadership and Elizabeth with leading a Community Group.
Initially stepping out into leadership roles was scary. However, it was also amazing to see how God worked through our areas of weakness, whether real or perceived. We have been learning first-hand what Paul meant when he said that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). It has also been a joy to see in each other the unique gifts, experiences, and personalities that God has given us. A special part of our marriage has been learning to appreciate how we have been created differently, and encouragement from each other gives us the confidence and freedom to be who we were created to be.
We have also been able to apply our leadership experiences more broadly at work, with our families and in our non-Redeemer communities. It seems that sometimes God brings out certain themes in particular seasons that both of us have to deal with across the different communities we are involved in. For example, finding our identity in work/family or struggling with risk aversion/taking. At other times our seasons of learning have not overlapped, but rather lessons learned by one of us at one time are a source of encouragement to the other at another time. Many conversations begin with “well, you told me once…”
The community we have had through the Center for Faith and Work leadership has been a constant source of encouragement and a safe place to process all that is going on in our lives. We have experienced how God often calls us into areas where we do not think we are capable. Accepting the invitation to serve within CFW has been one of those areas, and yet the less we feel like we can bring, the greater the work God has done.