Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Future is Present

Well, it's been a week of emotions! I've been waiting for awhile to find out the decision of the CARE board. Today I found out I did not get the Active Duty slot that I requested, however I was offered a reserve spot instead. My chaplain program manager said that it was like getting a consolation prize. I suppose it's better than nothing and its obvious that is what the Lord has for me right now.

The disappointment was really hard to handle at first and I wasn't sure I wanted to do much of anything. But after speaking to a couple chaplains, and my lovely wife, we decided to accept the reserve chaplain position. There are actually a couple benefits to being in the reserves. First, there is a chance to be called up to active duty at anytime. In fact, after talking to a current reserve chaplain, I found out that there are two week billets, and even 365 day billets. So if I do a reserve tour for a bit, I have a good chance of being active duty when I have even more experience.

But right now, I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that, with the Lord's help, I achieved the dream of being a Navy chaplain. I am not a chaplain candidate, I am a chaplain.

God does give desires of the heart, we might not understand how they will all play out, but He does do all things well. (Psalm 37:4)

And I'll close out with Chaplain Justin Bernard's quote: "CCPO's are not Chaplain Wannabe's...They are Chaplain Gonnabe's..." Today I realized that statement. 

So onward, and forward.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

They That Wait Upon the Lord...

Let me begin by saying this: I hate waiting. Have many of us ever spent much thought thinking about how long we wait? We wait at the DMV for our licenses. We wait on our spouses to do something for us. We even wait on publisher's clearing house to tell us that we've not won, but we're entered in the final drawing for 10 million dollars. Waiting is something that I have learned to do over the last several months and I'd like to tell everyone that it gets easier the more you do it. (Kind of like riding a bicycle) but it doesn't.

I can't believe that in December 2010 I decided to resign my full time position at Berean Baptist Church so that I could pursue the Naval chaplaincy. That was nearly 18 months ago. 18 months I have been waiting for a dream to happen. As I look at the last 18 months, I have had many things to wait for. Here is a short list.

1. Acceptance into the CCPO (Chaplain Candidate Program)
2. Commissioning as a Naval Officer
3. School Grades
4. My Disney Cruise
5. A Job
6. IRS Refund
7. Graduation from Liberty
8. Orders to ODS
9. Graduation from ODS (LOTS of Waiting at ODS)
10. Going before selection boards

These are some of the things that I have had to wait for, and as I look back on these things, I realize that the Lord has helped me each and every time. After looking at the timing for each of these things I had to wait on, I realize that the Lord has perfectly (Not coincidentally) orchestrated everything.

Now I am near the final part of the journey. Everything listed above has occurred and is now in the past. I am now I am waiting on the decision that will probably change my life (One way or another). Last Friday I was told that my packet went before the CARE board earlier than I expected. Now I am waiting their decision and I was told I had to wait 2-3 weeks for the result.

I will tell you that waiting does not get any easier. As I write this blog, I have gone an entire week, hoping for a phone call. But deep down I know that everything happens according to his timing. I must wait on the Lord, because I have seen over the last 18 months, that his timing is perfect and waiting on Him always has the best reward.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."--Isaiah 40:31