Embracing change & trusting God.

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This last year has been absolutely crazy. If I was to put it into one word, it would be change. I had my five year plan all figured out; graduate from college and then get married to Taylor around the age of twenty-three, maybe twenty-four, while pursuing youth and college age ministry. Instead, it went like this:

I got accepted into The Masters College

I got engaged

I moved out

I got married

I planned on heading down to California for Bible school

I started an internship here in Port Orchard at Christ The Rock Community Church

Now, I will start going to Liberty University in the fall.

It all started about a year ago when I got accepted into The Masters College which has always been a huge dream of mine to attend. The only issue with Masters is that it is all the way down in California and for a small town guy like me who does not know anyone beyond the borders of Oregon, (my brother lives there) that is a big move.

I proposed to my wife Taylor in March of 2014, and we initially wanted to wait until we were both close to being done with school before getting married, but obviously that was not the case. Once we got engaged, we started to talk about the reasons for why we wanted to wait and we really only came up with one reason; money. After asking and meeting with older couples, we decided that since we both had the same goal and vision for ministry, we both had and still do have a love for God, and with both our incomes, we could afford to get married that same year. I moved out of my house and into my mentor’s downstairs for three months before we got married so I could focus on preparing for marriage. It is definitely not easy going to college while working full time and being involved in the church, but we both love it and we make it work. In many ways it has brought us closer together and has required us to really be dependent on God.

Once we were married in August of 2014, we both spent a lot of time seeking counsel and spending time in prayer, as well as talking about what we would do and what life in California would look like. We were not on the same track at first. I did not know if it was my desire to go or God’s desire for me. So, I prayed that if it was from God, my wife would be on board and the final say would be hers on when we should go. About four months ago, she came up to me and told me that if I thought we should go to California, then she was 100% behind me; and so we started making plans on leaving to start school in the fall.

At the same time of all of this, I had been meeting with the children’s pastor from our church to do a study every Tuesday morning. About four months ago, he asked me how I felt about interning for the children’s ministry at Christ the Rock Community Church and I told him no at first, but he told me to pray about it. I thought he was crazy! Here I am planning on going to California, my wife is on board, and here is this curve ball out of nowhere. I spent the next two months praying with my wife for wisdom and closed doors. Sometimes things are not as clear as we want them to be, and even after seeking counsel, praying, and reading the Bible, we are still left with a decision to make and you have to man up and make it. You have to do your best and trust God with the rest. You have to ask yourself what your motives are. Who am I trying to please, me or God? Can I bring glory to God while doing this? Will it hinder me from running the race?

In the end, we decided to stay. We have such a big community here and to have the ability to intern at my home church while getting my undergrad in biblical studies and theology will be an amazing experience. The staff that is here at the Rock is amazing. These men and women have been walking with the Lord for so many years and although I feel like a pion among the men at this church, it is also very encouraging and such a humbling experience. None the less, I am very excited to come alongside the staff here and the volunteers to help, serve, encourage, and build up the body in any way that I can.

If you were to tell me I would be where I am right now a year ago, I would have thought you were crazy. As far as where, when, and how, I have no idea, but I am going to continue making prayerful decisions and plans towards the future. I have no idea what a year, month, week, day, or even an hour looks like from now, but what I do know is that God is in control. Walking by faith does not mean walking around in life with a blindfold over your eyes, but it means walking confidently towards the future having faith in the works of Christ, trusting the word that he has given us, and holding fast to the hope that we have in Him.

Do your best and trust God with the rest.

 

         “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

 

9 Comments

  1. The age that you and I are in is very difficult. Managing everything from school to work to being active in the church is harder then people may realize, the way that you have been able to structure your life and make God first is amazing and the title for your blog is spot on. God has worked wonders in your life and has called you to do His work, it’s very inspirational to see. I am looking forward to what else you have to say in this blog, and I’m super excited that you made it . To see someone our age work so hard for the Lord, and truly make Him your center makes me really want to work even harder on my relationship with Him. Just knowing a little bit about what God is doing in you and the people around will be eye opening. Recently I have been thinking about those who I knew in high school, that know the Lord, and that I do not talk to or really know much about anymore. You were one of the first people I thought about. The Lord it truly working through you and has gifted you to be able to communicate and talk to people about his will. You are going to do amazing things through Him.

    “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

    You are that example. Rely on Him and you will continue to be. (:

    Kassie Flores

    1. Kassie!
      Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post and give me such kind and encouraging words. Its awesome to see people in all ages loving and following Christ but especially between the ages of 18-28, I think the pressures of the world are the hardest around that age gap plus school, work and its kind of the “molding” or “experiencing new things” years for most people and to see people choosing to be set apart and not conform but live for Jesus is what makes me want to do youth/ college ministry.

      PS. Thanks for being my first comment, woooh!

  2. Thank you for sharing your blog with expressions of your thoughts, life, faith and goals. I will pray for you and Taylor and the path He has set before you both. Perhaps I will be able to see you both this summer when visiting Kyle. Blessings!

  3. Hey Illya! This awesome! I am so happy for you and your walk with Christ, and do you and you new wife starting life together. Mikaela and I went to the rock this weekend, and it seems like a good place to be.
    God bless!

  4. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your and Taylor’s story and journey! You will truly inspire and guide those who read your blog! God bless!

  5. What’s up Illya! I’ve never been a very religious person but everything you talk about and say, can always somewhat relate to my life currently. You seem pretty happy man and hope you keep enjoying what you’re doing. Everything happens for a reason!

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