A Farewell to My Next Chapter Family

I so wish I could sit with each of you individually to tell you this news, but for the sake of telling everyone at the same time, here we are.  

After 9 years at Next Chapter, I've decided that it’s time for me to leave and start my next adventure.  Below is my best effort at explaining how this came about.  I would love so much to meet with you and share more about it, because God is bigger than I ever imagined and He is so good!

God is bigger than I ever imagined, and He is so good!

As many of you might know, in January of last year, I decided to take a month-long sabbatical.  After 7 years in ministry, I was feeling burnt out, and I needed some time to rest and reflect.  That month turned out to be one of the most transformative times of my life.  I fell in love with Jesus in a whole new way, and over and over again throughout those weeks, He showed me the depth of His love for me.  

Because this month impacted me so deeply, it was a strange experience when the month ended to simply return to life as it had been.  So much had changed about the way I viewed the world, myself, and God, yet at the same time, everything was the same.  As I went through my day-to-day life at Next Chapter, I started to feel hollow in a way that's hard to explain.  I began to wonder if God was leading me in a new direction.  But why would He do that?  I love Next Chapter and each of the people that makes it what it is, and I couldn't even begin to think about leaving.

I love Next Chapter and each of the people that make it what it is...

So for the past year and a half, I've questioned God and wondered what He was doing. I've begged, pleaded, and cried out in frustration.  But through it all, He has so patiently and gently fathered me, pointing me towards Himself each step of the way.  Yet as time has gone on, and for reasons I don't yet fully understand, its become clear to me that in fact, He is leading me to something new.  What that is, I don't yet know, but in finally accepting it I feel a peace I haven't known for the past few years, and a confidence that what’s up ahead is good.  He's asking me to trust Him with the next adventure, and because He will be with me, I'm so excited to see where we go!

I love Next Chapter with every part of my heart, but God said it’s time for me to leave, so I've decided to follow Him.  I plan to stay at Next Chapter until January 1 to help with the transition.  We don’t yet have details on what exactly that will look like, but as soon as we know more, we will let you know. 

Next Chapter is in such good hands, and the people leading the organization are some of the most passionate and wonderful people I know.  I can’t wait to see what God continues to do in and through the kids and teens involved here.  Good things are ahead!

From the depths of my heart, thank you.

Melinda Fischer

Next Chapter will soon be accepting applications for a position building long lasting relationships with children and families impacted by crime. Please watch our website and facebook page for updates!