The Malito family is going on an adventure with God!
And as is true with every great adventure, something has to end in order for the adventure to begin.
Back in October of last year (2017) Ariel and I began to feel that there was a change that was going to happen for us in 2018. We were not sure what the change would be, but there was no doubt in our mind that something was going to change.
Now there were some obvious changes that were already baked into the cake of 2018. Our 4th child was to be born in May - that brings about a lot of change. Ariel was not going to be returning to coaching cheer again - that was going to be a big change. But we sensed that another change was coming - something we could not put our finger on.
In January of this year (2018) the change we were sensing started to become clearer.
I came home one day and told Ariel that we needed to talk. We sat down and I told her that I felt really strongly that I needed to take a step of faith and step down from my position at Faith Bible Chapel and allow God to open the next door. Without hesitation, Ariel agreed that this resonated with her and that she felt that it was the right thing to do.
If you know Ariel and I at all you know that we are planners! Stepping out into the unknown is not our normal mode of operation. Just to make sure we were not crazy, we talked to some family members and mentors and explained what we were feeling and they agreed that they felt that we were following God's lead.
The confirmation was there - but now came the hard part - acting.
When you feel a prompting from God there comes a point when you have to act on what you feel he is prompting - it is called the point of no return. It is that point when your faith truly becomes action and you jump trusting that God is going to catch you.
We knew that we needed to make a big jump and that I needed to resign from my position at our church (Faith Bible Chapel) - without any clear next step or back-up plan.
I met with the Lead Pastor at our church (Jason King) and explained to him what I was sensing and that I needed to step down from the church I had worked at for 13 years and follow the prompting of God to step into the unknown.
It was February.
We took the jump and it was now the point of no return.
A new adventure was beginning.
I began to push on some doors by sending my resume out to various churches. We had a few opportunities present themselves in Seattle and Albuquerque, but these did not end up being the right fit.
Then, in mid-March I received a call from a church in Arizona. I spoke with the pastor for about an hour and was invited to come down and interview for a position that they had in student ministry. A few weeks later, Ariel and I found ourselves on a plane going to spend the weekend in an unfamiliar place, at an unfamiliar church, with unfamiliar people.
The weekend was great and we felt that this was very possibly the right opportunity for us.
Shortly after our visit and interview, I was offered a position to work at New Life Community Church in Peoria, Arizona and I accepted.
In July, we will be moving to Arizona to start a new journey in life and ministry, and we cannot wait for the new adventures and new memories that are in store.
This move will end a 13 year career at Faith Bible Chapel and a lifetime in Arvada, Colorado.
Endings always come with a mix excitement and sadness; but endings also come with the opportunity for God to grow us.
Endings usher in change, and change is God's catalyst for our growth.
During this process, I could not help but think of Abraham often. The turning point in Abraham's life came when God asked him to leave his country, people, and father's house and go to the land that God would show him. I have heard this story countless times, but I feel like in a small way we are living this out.
From the beginning of this process I have sensed the prompting of God to "leave the familiar and go where He leads."
When God wants to start something new, something else has to end. But the good news is that with God - even though they can be challenging - every ending is a good one!
We are super excited for this opportunity and look forward to all that is ahead!