Listening to the Lord

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to listen to God. This summer we have been racing through the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. Prophets were known for how they listened to God and became the mouthpiece of God for the people of Israel and Judah. And it has been during this summer that I have been discerning the voice of God in my own life.
It was announced a couple weeks ago in church, but I will be leaving O’Fallon First in September. This decision came over many, many months of discernment. It was not an easy decision and one that even makes me really sad in a lot of ways, but I also know that it is the right decision right now.
I came to O’Fallon First in a really trying time in my life and in the life of the world. I had left Duke heartbroken from not being able to say goodbye to friends, classmates, staff, faculty, professors, church members, and co-workers. I had left an emotionally abusive relationship. And of course, we were in the middle of a global pandemic. I was applying for jobs everywhere and was interviewing at a few churches, but ultimately, I felt called here and everything fell into place. This place became home to me, and you all became family.
That’s what makes it so hard to go. You held me up in a really hard time, you loved me when I felt unlovable, and you allowed me to do ministry when I felt called by the Lord to do so. But over the past few months, I have felt a stirring in my heart and at first, I didn’t want to admit it. But the more I prayed about it, the more that the Lord made it just as clear that I am supposed to step away as He was when I first accepted this position.
While the Lord calls us to places, He also calls us away. I don’t know where I am going or what I will be doing in my next stage of life, but I do know that the Lord will lead me there when the time is right.
So thank you O’Fallon First for all your support and love while I have been here. Thank you for becoming like family to me when I had no one here. You will always hold such a special place in my heart! And I know that God will provide for O’Fallon First just like He has provided for me in every step.
Hannah Sipes
Minister of Worship Arts
O'Fallon First United Methodist

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