Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Me

I have not sat down to try and do this in almost 5 months mostly because I was not in the place emotionally to do so. I think the time has come for me to find a voice again and to blog at least once a week was one of my resolutions. I am taking this on as a spiritual discipline at this point, and I am seeking your support. Not that I need readers, I need accountability.

In August 2009, after 15 years of preaching and 15 years of marriage, I stepped out of both in a matter of days. First, I quit on my marriage and on Tammy. On Saturday, August 1, I moved out of our house and moved into an apartment. Dark days.

In those dark days, I realized that wanted to a better father than I could be from a distance, and this proved to be the first step to coming home. To help heal the marriage that I threw into shambles, with Tammy's encouragement, I asked for a leave of absence from the ministry of the United Methodist Church. So, second, I stepped out of the ministry for the first time since I was 19 at the end of August.

Over the course of the last five months, I have learned a great deal about myself, about love, about marriage, about my own personal struggles and demons. I also know I have a great road ahead of me. Thankfully, through some hard work and much grace, Tammy and I reconciled and I moved home over Labor Day weekend. I used to put her behind the church in my list of priorities, then I put her behind our boys, and mostly I put her needs far behind my own wants. Through much self-reflection, work, and prayer, I have realized that I was probably never the spouse that Tammy really needed or deserved. I have learned that my first and primary relationship in this world is Tammy. Ok, so Tammy and I both know Christ is at the head of our relationship, but that is a slightly different question.

I hope and pray that the dreams that Tammy and I are dreaming together at this point can come to bear fruit. We have set new goals for our life together. I do not know when I will return to full-time ministry at this point. I simply ask that you help my keep my dreams fresh by poking me with a stick (or call or email) if you do not see a fresh posting of this blog by Wednesday of any given week.

Grace and peace,
Andrew

6 comments:

Philios said...

Thank you for your integrity and openness. Know that you, Tammy, and the boys are in my prayers. -PG

Craig L. Adams said...

Well, you've got your marriage back together again - that's far more important than the ministry thing.

Jason Valendy said...

It is powerful for me that you are willing to share your story with the blog world. I know there are people who are in your shoes and to read about another person is comforting and helpful. I hope you know that you have a group of people praying for your situation.

Grace and Peace.

Steve Heyduck said...

Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your story. I have missed your posts, and look forward to what you have to share.

I also want to echo Jason's sentiments on your openness and willingness to share here. Thank you.

mikerite said...

I thank you, as well, my friend. It is a brave thing to share openly about life struggles. I know that new life comes through transitions...those we do and do not choose. I and many others pray for you daily.

Thank you for the encouragement and affirmation you have offered me.

Lady Jane Grey said...

Andrew,

I stumbled onto your blog via the Facebook news feed. Thanks for sharing it, and for your candor!

I just wanted to let you know that you're in my thoughts and prayers. My husband is a pastor; I identify with your words and my heart aches for you guys.

But I'm glad to see God restoring, as only He can. I will be praying with you and your family.