July 4th: 6 Years Later

"Dad, I quit!" Probably the last type of entrance he expected. (And the least gentle.)

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"What are you talking about, Marsh?"

It was July the 4th around 11 pm. I arrived back home after a hangout with friends. A hangout where, along with fireworks, we talked about what we felt led to do with our lives. And it hit me so hard I had to come clean with my father (who was also my boss).

"I can't do it anymore. I can't sit around doing paperwork and filing things for construction stuff that I care nothing about. I'm sorry but I can't."

"Marsh...where is this coming from? You've..." he kept talking but I couldn't hear him.

"Dad, I can't. I just can't, okay? I just know it. I feel it...I have this feeling like I'm supposed to do something else. Something I'm passionate about. Something I know is for God."

A few other back and forths flew until finally, my Dad, blindsided by the whole thing, laid it down. 

"Fine. You quit and I'm taking your paycheck when it comes back."

"FINE."

"FINE." 

And I remember my mom praying in the kitchen as I went to my room for me (and my Dad). To calm us down but then to also guide and lead us in this change that was seemingly taking place. (Even though that was the last thing I wanted to hear in my frustration and anger. )

A few days later, a church bulletin in my mom's car (of which there were piles of that I usually ignore) caught my attention as we rode to Chick-fil-A. I felt inclined to open it and I'm sure glad I did.

My feet felt light and my heart pounded as I sensed a new chapter opening before my eyes with 4 headlining words:

"Youth Ministry Interns Wanted" .

It was with this simple ad I knew what God was calling me back to.

And I'm glad He did.  

Six years later, I'm married to a gorgeous, God-loving woman with a bonkers/awesome 2 year old daughter and a son on the way.

Six years later, I'm no longer a Floridian but a Texan who has actually found myself saying "I miss Texas" when I'm out of state.

Six years later, I'm able to support my family (sometimes hiring my own interns) doing exactly what I'm passionate about: sharing the Gospel & love of Christ with students each day. 

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In America, we celebrate this day to look at our country's story. What we've accomplished, where we've been, our progress and where we can be headed. 

Perhaps this can be our thoughts not only for our country, but for ourselves.

For if today is a day of history for America, the country of the people, by the people and for the people, then it's a day of history for you too.

A day to glance back upon, not just where you've been, what you've quit, what worked out or what failed, but, even more critically, where God intervened.

A day to look forward, not just where you can end up, where you can be more successful or what you can accomplish, but, in prayer, to ask where God can lead.

Then today's date might become more than a simple one to have a barbecue and wear a patriotic symbol. Maybe it'll be a day to look back on the chapter God opened to you.

A day to read that story in your mind's eye.

A "six years later" kind of day.