I’ll never forget graduating college, getting married two weeks later, and starting my new job the day after returning from my honeymoon as a part time intern in Akron, Ohio at Grace Church Bath Campus. It was such an exciting time, beginning life together, being newly married, and pursuing ministry.

If I am being honest, some major events leading up to this day were some of the hardest decisions I have ever made for myself and my soon to be wife. Even now, as we walk through this calling to ministry, my wife and I are taking steps in faith together. These decisions where not decisions between two great looking, fool proof scenarios, but rather an extremely safe route, and a route that completely relied on my faith in Jesus Christ, and seemed just a little bit crazy to most.

The first major thing was switching my major in the middle of college to pursue a calling to ministry. Against better advice, the feeling in my gut, and what is “the normal,” I dropped my classes and switched majors after feeling a tug at my heart. With this, I risked more time in college, a degree that pigeon holes me into one path, the possibility of breaking up with my high school sweetheart (now my wife by the way), and the unknown of where I would end up. I made this decision, by faith, trusting God would lead me where He wanted me to go.

The search for a job became pretty hard as well. I finally had an interview with Brad Deetscreek in Akron, Oh. Upon meeting, they agreed to give me a part time internship which I felt like a fit for, and was very excited about.  I would do this part time while my wife finished school, driving to class an hour away, and looking for a clinical site nearby.

During all of this time, (even before we got married) I received a large amount advice saying I should wait to get married, or even until I was financially stable. This was from people who loved and cared for me, people that I trusted and knew had my best interest in mind, and it truly was from their heart. However, my wife and I knew we needed to trust God as he asked us to go into the unknown, by faith.

We found a clinical site nearby which amazingly turned into a full time job for my wife at just as our saving were starting to dwindle. Even later on, I was able to come on full time at the church as a resident, which we were so excited about, and praised God for.

Things were hard, uncertain, and caused us a lot of stress, but we would do it the same way 100 times over. We love Akron, and have spent the last couple of years praying that God would allow us to stay, but also that he would give us faith to go where He calls us. We have turned down other full time jobs at new places after investigating, but always were lead back to Akron by God, by faith.

Faith is never easy, but it always is the path for true joy and is the most rewarding path to our families, marriages, and relationship with Jesus. With all the good, faith is also challenging, stretching, uncomfortable, and scary as well. This life of faith, while not always perfect, have brought my wife and I so close together in deep relationship, and the same is true for both of us in our relationships with Jesus.

I love Hebrews 11 and how it talks about those in the Bible lived “by faith.” I aspire to be like them in that their faith propelled the gospel, and inspired the future generations that came after them.  My prayer is that I, and my family will live this way in future generations to come, setting examples for those who come after us.