Spirit, Lead Me
Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Oceans by Hillsong United
When this song was released in 2013, it became my anthem. It wasn’t a song that I wanted to sing just to sing because it sounded good, but I wanted to actually mean it. The more I sang it, the more I really meant it. It became my heart’s cry, not knowing that I would actually have to walk it out just a few months later.
In July of that same year, my husband, Mel, and I began walking through a painful situation with our church where we were serving that was so unexpected. We felt betrayed, confused, and completely blindsided. We began to really seek God for direction, hoping we would hear His voice above our emotions. We wanted to act based on what He wanted for us, to not react out of emotion. God spoke very clearly to us this Scripture and we did our best to live it out over the months that followed:
Exodus 4:14 ESV “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
In August of 2013 we began to fast and pray for clear direction from God. We began to sense a strong stirring in our hearts that God might be moving us on to be lead pastors. However, I really didn’t want to leave where we were and I seriously LOATHE moving. I deeply loved our church, our church family, our friends and, for the first time in years we lived in the same town as our family. Our girls went to school with their cousins and were at their grandparents' house almost every day. I also worked at a counseling practice with co-workers I loved and was just about to complete my hours to become licensed as a marriage and family therapist (and anyone who has been through that process knows that you never move states during that process). To me, the timing was all wrong and it didn’t make sense and the thought of saying goodbye to all of that was excruciatingly painful.
I kept telling God, "but God, I really love it here! If we move, how can I love somewhere else as much?". To say I felt weak was an understatement. There were moments that my emotions absolutely ruled me. I ugly cried…A LOT...and was often a hot mess when I was behind closed doors. But every time I would sing those lyrics, my heart and emotions would begin to fall in line with His will and I would feel His strength rise up within me. He wasn’t going to let us drown. He was sitting with me in my pain and He had a plan and a purpose that we just couldn’t see yet.
Confirmation came one Sunday that August when Christine Caine was speaking at our church. I was sitting next to her and introduced myself. We exchanged greetings and I told her that mutual friends of ours wanted me to tell her “hello”. Right after that she leaned over and asked me “well, what are you doing here?”. I thought that was an odd question and I said “well, my husband is the Campus Pastor here”. She replied “I know that, but why are you here?”. It was such a strange question, but yet I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to me through her that our time in Oklahoma City was done and He would be moving us on. As I sat on the front row, tears streamed down my face during her entire message. It confirmed what I already knew, but I was really, really sad about it. I still kept whispering to Him “but Lord, I really love it here”.
“...but Lord, I really love it here”
Right after that service I walked out to the lobby to sell tickets for our upcoming women’s conference and a lady who I really had only ever exchanged “hello's” with came up to me and started talking to me about how she really loved a house that they lived in, but then God moved them to a different house that she even ended up loving even more. She said that she even had more opportunities to witness to neighbors there. She followed it up by saying “I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I think God just wants you to know that He knows how much you love your house, but He’s going to take you some place that you will love even more”. I knew right then she wasn’t talking about actual houses. I knew He was reassuring me through her that He knew how much I loved it there, but He was promising to take me somewhere that I would love even more. God knew what I needed that day. In my sadness, He saw me and He answered me.
Just a few months later Mel received a phone call from a search firm asking if we would consider pastoring in Pennsylvania. The guy thought we’d be a perfect fit. Um, really, Pennsylvania? Where is that even at on the map? Doesn’t it snow a lot there? I was thinking more like Texas or Oklahoma…you know, my comfort zone. Maybe somewhere semi-near our family and friends would be nice. But, I was still singing “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me”.
Mel agreed to a Skype call and, as soon as he came out of our home office, I could tell by the look on his face that it had gone really well. Just one month later we found ourselves on a plane headed to Pittsburgh to have a face-to-face interview with the board. That weekend, I fell in love. I fell in love with the town, with the board, and with the church. It felt like home. But, how would we tell our girls that we were moving again and this time it was far away from family and from everything and everyone we knew. Even worse, we would be moving them mid-school year in the middle of winter. I felt weak again. But God spoke to me so clearly, “Kim, trust me. I love them more than you do. I will take care of them”.
In January of 2014 we accepted the offer to become Lead Pastors of Summit Church and moved to Indiana, Pennsylvania. Yes, I know, confusing, right? Indiana is indeed a town in the state of Pennsylvania about a hour and a half from Pittsburgh. It’s the home of Jimmy Stewart where we have an “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival” and is the self-proclaimed “Christmas tree capital of the world”. You want to come visit now, don’t you? I digress. When we moved here God spoke really clear to my husband that it wasn’t going to be easy, but it was going to be good. And that statement has proved to be true. It hasn’t all been easy, but it has been so, so good. God’s hand was in it all. Every little detail. The girls transitioned better than I could’ve imagined and God is just flat out blowing our minds at what He is doing in our church. It’s only Him. There is no other explanation. Trusting God isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. He really does know what’s best for us and, thank goodness, He can see the end from the beginning.
Trusting God isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.
Also, because we remained silent and really allowed God to fight for us, God has completely redeemed the pain that we walked through at our previous church. My husband has had several opportunities to go back and preach and those that betrayed us have asked for forgiveness. God redeemed it all…every single bit. I went back to visit family this summer and decided to go to church there one Sunday. As I sat among old friends and worshiped, tears of thankfulness stung my eyes and I thought, “I really do love it here, but wow, God was right, I love where we are so much more”. He is faithful.
God is in every detail. It’s in the fire that we are reminded that He is indeed the God that we teach others about. He’s with us in every moment, in the pain and the joy. All that He wants is for us is to trust Him without limits and to be willing to go wherever He leads. Our Father knows best and He never ever leads us wrong.
Kim Masengale has been married for 17 years to Mel and the couple has two amazing daughters, Abbie (14) and Emma (11). They've been in full time ministry for 17 years and have done everything from youth ministry to now lead pastors. These Texas/Oklahoma natives now call Indiana, Pennsylvania their home where they pastor Summit Church. Kim serves as the Women's Pastor & Small Groups Director. She loves coffee (a lot), enjoys working out ("when I actually do it"), watching Gilmore Girls re-runs, and spending time with friends and family.