Winding Through the Wildnerness
Written by Megan Klingler
Have you seen in your Bible maps the suspected path of the Israelites as they wander through the wilderness? It’s not straightforward and has some curlicues, but they eventually get to the Promised Land. Perhaps you find kinship with that story. I know I do. If you had asked me in 2012 what my life would like 10 years from then, I would have told you that I’d probably be working with kids as a social worker at a nonprofit, married to my then boyfriend, and have some kids of my own. My life looks a little like that, I guess – I do technically work with kids at a nonprofit. I’m about to get married, gratefully to my now fiancé and not anyone else. I don’t have any kids of my own, but I have the privilege of knowing and loving about 100 Waypoint kids. These kind-of-right outcomes make me laugh a little – that’s not what I meant, God! Doesn’t it often seem to go like that? This winding path is not what I expected, but as I think about it, I’m so grateful that this is how God has guided me.
I don’t have a distinct moment of conversion to the faith. I grew up going to church, being involved in youth group, and hearing the things of God. As I went to college, I kind of sorted through a personal faith and wasn’t meaningfully involved with the body of believers. My senior year of college was a year of change. My long-term relationship ended, and my friend encouraged me, in my sadness, to pray. In Fall 2012, biblical truths of who Jesus is and the implications of those truths on my life became more clear and real to me, and I began seeking to honor God with my thoughts and actions. I delayed grad school with the intention of going overseas for two years right after graduation. On my two-week trip to this place, it became clear that this wasn’t the plan for now, but on this trip, I had roommates who encouraged me in reading scripture. This set me in a habit of consistently reading the Word. My trip leader was also a gift to me – she was involved in several ministries that I ended up also being involved in. One of those ministries was an intentional living community that became my home base for the next five years. Through life in Chapel Tower, I met my best friends - friendships forged by tight quarters (hello four girls in a two-bedroom apartment) and hours of weekly team prayer. One year into Chapel Tower life, Waypoint was planted. Love for God, a focus on loving and serving international people, and a smaller community were easy for us to say “yes!” to. I did go to grad school in 2015 to get my Master of Social Work degree, and immediately began working in the foster care and adoption world. And in 2019 when I was too burned out from daily wading into the effects of family brokenness and trauma and needed a break, Pastor Lawrence’s request to consider jumping in as the part-time Director of Children’s Ministry made me say something like, “Come on Lawrence, I’m a social worker, not a Children’s Director.” That turned into, “Okay, I’ll do it through December.” And, well, we all know how that turned out.
I write my story not just for fun or to reminisce. I write it to remember God’s faithfulness. Through this wilderness of the past 10 years, I have praised my God for His deliverance – a place to live and a plan when my carefully crafted plans fell through. I have praised my God for bringing Waypoint into my life – a home to invest in and for God to use to grow me in my knowledge of theology and community. I have complained to my God for years of unmet desires – why should my revolving door of roommates get married while I’m left alone? I have wrestled with my God over not making my 10-year plan happen. And now I rejoice and cry tears of thankfulness as I reflect on my path of deliverance. Though I didn’t always see it, God has proven Himself to be patient, long-suffering, extremely kind, protective, generous, and incredibly faithful when I am none of these things.
This blog post started as a reflection on my time as Waypoint’s Director of Children’s Ministry, but wouldn’t you know, it has turned into a love letter to the Father. Isn’t that how it should be? Life is not just one event or emotion. It’s more than the perfect job or the sweetest spouse or all your wildest dreams coming true. God in His faithfulness and providence guides us through the wilderness that is life. In that wilderness, He bears with our complaining, daily provides what we don’t know that we need, and all the while grows us in wisdom and knowledge of Him. And one day, on the faithful day of His coming return, we will see full and true deliverance as we unite with our Father for the rest of our days.
Thank you, Waypoint, for allowing me to serve you as your Director of Children’s Ministry for the past 2.5 years. It has been an unexpected curlicue on my path through the wilderness, but it has brought me joy and through my work has taught me much about our God. I could ask for nothing more.