Lenten Devotion, Thursday, March 17, 2022

Published March 17, 2022 by Stephen Bedford

A Time to Regroup

After graduating from college with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree I was fortunate to land a nice position at a high school as their choir director. I wasn't much older than my students, but for those first four years I was having success and a great time. Then, after a few years, for reasons I still don't understand, the tides began to turn. I don't know if it was a personality conflict or that administrators were ready for a change, yet it was clear I was going to have to move on. By then, Linda and I had both of our children, had built a little house, and changing jobs and moving was a bit scary. Even so, we put our house on the market and it sold within a few weeks. We saw that as an indication that we were making the right decision. However, neither of us had jobs or any notion of which direction to go.

We resolutely packed everything up, placed it in storage and drove away (crying) from our first house with a toddler in each car. We went to my mother's house for a while and then to Linda's folks' home. We even stayed in a few hotels along the way. The particular job of Choral Director in medium and small towns are few, but I recall saying "I don't want to live in a big city or in west Texas." Of course, there were lots of possibilities in both of those locations. I applied in a number of districts and since God has His own plans, we wound up in Houston—the biggest city in Texas. Immediately, things fell into place. As soon as I was hired and upon learning that my wife was a teacher, the administrators quickly offered her a job! We bought a house and soon visited South Main Baptist Church. We had heard from close family friends that South Main was the place to be.

I remember being thrown off balance that summer so long ago. It was as if I had made a mistake in my career choice and I was worried that I might have to make much bigger changes in the future. Fortunately, I had loving and encouraging family members and friends. A huge portion of the encouragement has come out of the connection with South Main. I believe that the trust that we have in God and His plan has made all the difference.

Stephen Bedford is a retired music educator and is presently the Interim Music Director for South Main Baptist Church. His wife, Linda, is also a retired educator. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.