Seven years ago, in the spring of 2012, I started to dream up what would one day become Immerse, a parachurch ministry that would cultivate a movement of transformational discipleship in the Twin Cities and beyond. I co-founded Immerse as a simple small group with my friend Amy, and, like most things, it had very small beginnings.
Today, Immerse is thriving. God has been telling us, “Get ready,” for some time now, and we’ve been doing everything we can to follow that impression. I believe that Immerse is better prepared for what God is bringing our way than ever before. The future is bright and exciting. Unfortunately, that future does not include me... at least for the time being.
A few days before Christmas my marriage hit rock bottom and we entered what could be called a transition stage. I have taken leave of my normal duties at Immerse to focus on my kids and my own health. People can assume the worse when they hear about marriage issues so, to be clear, there was no moral failure, violence, illegal drugs, or alcohol abuse involved.
Recently, the Board of Directors met, and we unanimously agreed to establish a 6 month, non-paid leave of absence from Immerse for me and pay out the remainder of my PTO immediately. We will revisit my status with Immerse after those 6 months. The Board is primarily concerned with my care and my ability to focus on my kids and my own health during this time. This is not a disciplinary or “forced” leave of absence, but a mutual decision according to what we thought was best for everyone. All my duties/tasks have been distributed to the other Immerse staff, and Immerse is continuing to not only function but thrive.
I am currently picking up jobs here-and-there as I can find them while also watching the kids 3-4 days a week. I am building websites for my brother who runs a really effective marketing and website company called BankerCreative.com. This is a great help financially, but the hours are limited both by the number of jobs available and my capacity as I am watching the kids. I have also started driving for Uber/Lyft to fill in hours. I do not plan on going back into construction as it does not provide the flexibility I need during this stage.
How can you help?
This is the most common question I get from people when they hear about what’s going on and it’s probably the hardest question to answer. I don’t often know what I need, but rest assured, I am taking many steps to practice self-care and get both friend-based and professional help.
Here are some random things I might need help with, should you have any ability to meet any of these needs:
If you have any leads on cheap daycare options, I would be interested in looking into that.
Give us space to process. I know you really want to help, but it can be quite overwhelming to have many people asking questions and inquiring about what’s going on. Thank you for giving both Michelle and me the space we need to process and heal. Don’t worry, we both have go-to people and are getting the help we need.
Money and Food. We have had a number of extremely generous friends and family help us out with this so far. Money has been given to me to help cover some of the cost of the new-ish vehicle I had to buy (one that was reliable and could fit all the kids) as well as cover the cost of going to see a counselor. People have cooked us meals and brought us food. Right now I don’t have any specific needs in these areas, but I might need help in a month or two depending on my job search results. Feel free to check in at that time.
Amazon list. If you’re looking for a small purchase you could make that would help us out, Click here to view a public list I’ve put together. I will add items to as I identify needs and wishes.
Pray for me that I am able to face all the things God has shown me about myself. That I would heal, change, and move toward the life-giving future that God has for me.
Occasionally I get hit pretty hard with some really tough emotions. I’m getting used to this and I’m handling it pretty well, but I could still use prayer that I’d be able to move all the way through those emotional waves.
Pray for the kids. Transitions and changes are always hard on kids. I think we’re doing a really great job caring for them through it all, but more prayer would be awesome.
Continue to support Immerse. I believe strongly in Immerse, its mission, and its people. I have complete confidence in the staff to move Immerse forward into this new season. What I started will continue to transform people’s lives and bring healing to all those who need it. They will continue to need people like you who will partner with God’s work financially and in prayer.
I have felt very supported by my Immerse community throughout this process. It means so much to me to have so many people that love and care for me and who are not afraid of the messiness of what I’m going through. Thank you all.