Gospel Relevance

So Many Changes: A Personal Update

It’s been a while since I’ve provided a personal update. I like to provide these every now and again to not only switch up the kind of content I post but more importantly to share with readers of this site some of the things going on in my personal life. And boy, let me tell ya: there’s been a lot going on. In fact, this has been one of the most stressful and busy seasons of my life, mixed with several blessings.

This personal update consists of the following: a baby, a last name change, a new ministry call, a cross country move, and more.

Baby

Our little family has grown. In June 2021, we welcomed our daughter into our family. For privacy reasons, I’m not sharing her name. But I did want you to know about her presence. She’s now around 9 months old, and we love her dearly. So now our family is a family of four: mommy, daddy, a boy, and a girl. We are overflowing with joy, but also tired all the time. Sounds about right.

Last Name Change

So some other news. We legally changed our family’s last name from “Qaoud” to “Kaywood.” Why? Long story; don’t ask. But . . . since I brought it up, suffice it to say that Kaywood is an anglicized name of the original last name, and my former last name wasn’t even spelled correctly (insert facepalm emoji here). This has been a decision a long time in the making, and I’m glad it’s over. I was nervous to tell family and friends about it, but they were incredibly supportive.

As you can imagine, the amount of administrative work that we’ve done for this is overwhelming. But I suspect 6 months of pain-staking admin is worth it for a lifetime, so we shall continue to put our heads down and fill out all this paperwork, but it’s not enjoyable.

One thing I learned in this process is that people don’t think about you as much as you think they do. Often we believe that something we do in our personal lives is going to invoke criticisms from multiple angles, but in reality, people don’t care that much because they’re dealing with their own problems. Most people are too busy and too overwhelmed to give you negative attention for a new life decision that you make that doesn’t affect them. This is freeing. Of course, we want to submit our decisions to wise counsel, but eventually, all the sane people in your life are just going to move on and you should too.

Kaywood. That’s our new last name.

A New Pastoral Ministry Call

After over 2.5 years in a previous full-time pastoral ministry context, I’m thrilled to announce that I have accepted the call to serve as Senior Associate Pastor of Eastside Community Church (EFCA) in Jacksonville, Florida! The “Senior” is in my title because I’m being raised up to succeed the present Senior Pastor, if I rise to the occasion. My ultimate dream and goal is to become a Senior Pastor and stay at that church for a long time, and I’m praying and hoping we can do that here. I love this community deeply already. A cross-country move is a serious life change, but the people of ECC have taken care of us in every way imaginable. Please pray that the Lord would use me to bear much fruit at Eastside.

My wife has lived in Missouri her whole life, save a 6-month overseas educational experience. And I myself lived in Missouri since I was 9. Now we’re Floridians. You might not be like this, but I absolutely love hot weather, palm trees, and beaches, and now I’m surrounded by it. I’ve always wanted to live in Florida and now I do.

When I was in seminary I would jokingly say because I love hot weather then that means the Lord is going to call me to Minnesota. There’s a laugh there, but if we look deeply, I wonder if this reveals my deficiency in my understanding of God as Father. Of course, God doesn’t always give us what we want, but we should pray toward and expect God to give us the desires of our heart here and there, especially as we walk in obedience.

Do me a favor. Know anyone who lives in Jacksonville, Florida? Then please consider asking them to visit Eastside Community Church. If you are willing, please contact me and hook me up with the contact information of the person you know here and I’ll reach out to them myself.

Over the past several months, we had a child, changed our last name, made a cross country move, and I started a new pastoral ministry call. I feel grateful, but I also feel stressed, fatigued, and overwhelmed a lot too with all these changes. If you would please consider praying for me and my family, I’d sure appreciate it.

Thank you for reading this site. It means a lot to me. Even though writers aren’t supposed to say things like this, it means more to me than I could ever put in words.

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