A New Season
Change and transition can be really hard. But it’s the changes in life that make things interesting. Let’s be honest, if everything in life continued to move and work and progress in the same manner day after day, month after month, year after year, life would get so boring. That’s not how God designed things – we are intricately involved in the world, growing, making choices, interacting in communities, which themselves are growing and changing.
We often don’t realize what God is doing until long after He has done it. In my case, I look back on my life about seven years ago and see with a new perspective how God was preparing me for today.
This week I began a new job as the Worship Coordinator for the Chapel Office of Asbury Theological Seminary. It is an amazing opportunity to work alongside some awesome leaders, grow in my knowledge and understanding of worship and ministry, gain invaluable ministry experience, and contribute to the life of our worshiping community here at Asbury. Through this transition, I can’t help but reminisce on how God has brought me to this time and place through previous experiences, jobs, and difficult situations. Hindsight truly is 20/20!
You see, I graduated from college in 2007 with a degree in Music and took a job as the Director of Contemporary Worship at a large United Methodist Church in Florida. As a young 22 year old worship leader I was on fire and zealous for ministry, but that only lasted about six months. It was perhaps the hardest season of my life: spiritually dry, emotionally burnt out, lonely without community, broken down and discouraged in so many ways. To make a long story short, I left that church job and moved back to Tallahassee within six months, never wanting to work in ministry ever again.
It’s funny how God redeems things.
It took several years for God to heal my heart and re-establish his calling in my spirit for ministry. Through that time, I worked several different jobs in accounting, client relations, administration, and management. I went back to school and got an MBA – what in the world could I do with a Music degree? I met my wife, Nicole, during that time and got married.
So when I look back at all of this, I see how God took each and every circumstance and experience – the good and the bad – and has used them to make me who I am today. My music and worship experiences, jobs, business education and experiences, personal ministry, trials and hardships, and even the times when I never wanted to work in ministry again, God used them all to prepare me for the work and ministry he has for me to do here and now.
Nicole and I are really excited about the new season God has begun with us. I’m excited for this new year and my new role at Asbury, for staying in Wilmore a few extra years, for the classes I’ll be taking this year, for all the new students to meet and grow with, for working with Rev. LaGrone in ministry, and for all the unknown opportunities in the next seasons of life for which God is using this experience to prepare me.
If you’re reading this and going through a hard time like I was seven years ago, be encouraged with this reminder. God is using your circumstances to prepare you for the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
About the Author
Kevin Cook is a 4th year student at Asbury Theological Seminary and an Aspirant for Ordination in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). After graduating, Kevin hopes to plant a contemporary three-streams Anglican Church. He and his wife Nicole attend Wilmore Anglican Church in Kentucky.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. Kevin enjoys playing music and leading worship, reading fiction and spiritual classics, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends.
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