My husband, Brandon, and I moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2012. I was eight months pregnant with our first child and we had just moved away from all of our family to a place where we knew no one. After struggling to find a church we landed at PazNaz in February of 2014. Although we were eager to quickly get plugged in, we had a really hard time finding where we fit. Growing up as pastors kids in small Nazarene churches we knew that in order to find our place in a large church like PazNaz we were going to have to take the first step. We tried a few different Sunday School classes, but after 18 months we still didn’t feel like we had found our place. We were starting to get discouraged and feeling like maybe PazNaz wasn’t the right church for our family. Around this same time, we had decided that we no longer wanted to live in Los Angeles and that it was time for us to move closer to family and somewhere more affordable. We were actively looking for a way to get out and fast. We were those people who always said, “we will never live in LA!” After sticking it out for 3+ years we were ready to go!
It was about this same time that God slowly started showing us that he had a different plan for us and that he had space for us at PazNaz. We had been attending a semi-new group at PazNaz called New Ground. It is a group made up of young-ish adults from different phases of life (married, single, families with young kids, college students, etc.). We had been enjoying our time attending the group and after a few months we were asked if we would be on the leadership team for the group. We were honored to be asked and gladly accepted. We had decided that even if we weren’t going to be here for too much longer that we could at least be involved while we were still here.
During these same weeks and months I felt like God had something he wanted me to do, but I just could not figure out what it was. Before we had kids I had been a third grade teacher. I didn’t really have any desire to go back to teaching yet, but I knew there was something that God was stirring within me. I toyed with the idea of starting my own business from home or finding some sort of hobby just to feel like I was “doing something.” One night at Girlfriend to Girlfriend, I shared with my table how I was feeling and that I felt like I was missing something. I believe I said, “I’m bored!” The ladies at my table laughed and, since they were all busy, working moms, they couldn’t believe that I was actually bored!
One night at Girlfriend to Girlfriend, I shared with my table how I was feeling and that I felt like I was missing something. I believe I said, “I’m bored!” The ladies at my table laughed and, since they were all busy, working moms, they couldn’t believe that I was actually bored!
About two months later I was asked to consider being the MOPS Coordinator at PazNaz. This offer was surprising and honestly I didn’t feel qualified for such a large and important position. But Brandon and some close friends encouraged me and guided me through the decision to accept the role. We knew that accepting this position meant that we were committing to stay in LA and at PazNaz for one more year. Although this was very much against what our plans were, we just felt like God was pushing us to stay here. I suddenly felt a pretty strong desire to not leave LA. After three years of begging Brandon to find a different job so we could leave, this feeling was foreign to me. But I was also excited. I finally felt that I had a place and that PazNaz was our home.
However, God wasn’t done yet. In August of 2016 I started working at PazNaz as the Women’s Ministries Assistant. Although it is a very part-time position assisting Megan Marsh while she was on maternity leave, it has been a very fulfilling job. It has given me a little bit more purpose in my day-to-day life.
Well, needless to say, I am not bored anymore! God took full control of the situation and created many amazing opportunities for me to serve and to feel like I am needed for more than raising my children right now. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that raising my children is an extremely important task and one that I do not hold lightly at all. It is and will always be my first priority. Raising my two children is such a high honor and I do not take it for granted. When I look back over the last six to twelve months I am floored by all that God has done. I am still able to raise my children while also being around people and a place that I have come to greatly appreciate and love. Women’s Ministries is a crazy, fast-paced, exciting, and extremely loving place to be involved. Working and volunteering at the church has been so fun! I have been able to meet many new people that I probably would have never met otherwise. Some days I still can’t believe that this is what I get to do everyday.
Brandon keeps saying that it is a miracle that we are here. God has continued to surprise us over and over. Everything that has happened has caused us to pause and take a really serious look at what is next for our family. Our desire to leave Los Angeles continues to grow smaller and smaller with each passing day. We are confused, but also extremely grateful for the whole journey. We can’t imagine leaving this place and these people that we have come to care for so deeply. We have made friendships and connections that will last a lifetime. We are forever grateful to the group of people who rallied around us and pulled us deeper into ministry at PazNaz.
As I have been processing all of this I keep thinking about what might have happened if I had decided to turn down the MOPS coordinator position at PazNaz. Although the position of MOPS coordinator may seem small or silly to some people, it very well may have changed the course of our lives. We are excited about all of the things that are currently happening at PazNaz and are grateful to be a part of it. God has big things in store for this church and this community. We want a front row seat to it all.
– Sarah Edgbert
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