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My First Year

by Joe Buchanan


At the beginning of 2019, as I do at the beginning of each year, I had asked God, is this still where you want me? At the time, things were going great. I was loving my role at WBGL that I had had for more than 17 years. I loved serving WCIC as the Music Director and my frequent visits with the team. My wife and I were plugged into ministry, our kids were thriving as they hit their teen years, and we assumed all would keep coasting along.

But as I continued to seek God, He spoke to my heart to prepare for change. I started feeling an unexplained restlessness. Soon enough, change did start happening around us. By the end of the year, it was clear that God indeed had a new assignment for us.

It was a big step of faith, to give up the stability that we valued so much. Yet we knew this was God’s calling and His grace would be enough. God began to prepare our kids for change as well, including our 19-year-old daughter taking a new assignment that meant she wouldn’t be moving with us.

By February 2020, I had taken on the role of Station Manager, and I was so excited about the vision God had given me for WCIC. God was working miracles, including bringing a buyer for our home on the first day it was listed. I was making plans and was ready to hit the ground running.

Joe and Tara Buchanan

Joe Buchanan, Station Manager

Instead, it felt like I hit the ground and tripped. In the middle of hosting my first fundraiser as Station Manager, and just days before we bought our new house, the pandemic hit.  Our new life in Peoria began to look very different than the romantic picture we had envisioned. I was not only figuring out how to do a new job in a new city, but like many of you, learning to do it via Zoom!

As we moved into our home at the end of March and the chaos unfolded around us, there were times I felt completely overwhelmed. But I knew the only thing I could do was to trust God with everything and take it one day at a time. I recently heard a friend share that before you even enter a difficult season, God already has a way through it. That truth has given me peace this year!

It has been an incredible first year serving you as the Station Manager of WCIC. I am very grateful for the leadership of University of Northwestern; their support has been invaluable in this time of transition. Another great blessing has been this amazing team I am so honored to serve alongside. The way they love and serve you is inspiring.

My biggest disappointment has been not being able to meet many of you with the lack of large events, but our hope is that will change soon!

Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for continuing to pray for us this past year. Your prayers are evident. If God can do all He did amidst the challenges of 2020, I can’t wait to see what He does in 2021. I’m so looking forward to partnering with you as we rise up and share the hope we have in Jesus!

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

-Joe Buchanan, Station Manager