As I write this. I have finished my last worship worksheet for the two churches I have served for 7 years. My feelings are bittersweet. I leave thankful, I leave saddened.
Today, I am filled with some regret for not doing things as well as I should have at times. In many ways, I fell short due to 2 churches to work wit and my strokes. I faltered a bit in the last 3 years and the churches in some sense paid for it. Some folks I grossly disappointed with my failures. For that I carry a sorrow. Sometimes, I am sorry is not enough to fix things or feelings.But I have asked for God’s grace to help them and I.
I don’t mean to sound like a dismal failure because I was a part of some amazing aspects of ministry. Praying with and for the churches and individuals, leading them in worship and Bible studies and being there in their times of celebration and sorrows. Seeing people grown in Christ’s love and seeing Christ use me to show compassion.
Since I have made the decision to leave and I made that decision before I even knew I had another church (that was an act of faith or some would say stupidity), I have once again found my voice and my love to be in the pulpit. I feel re energized. I stopped being afraid. For many of you, you will not understand that. But since the strokes, I was at first forgetful and slurry in speech. Then I manuscripted my sermons and read from them, people couldn’t understand me as I read too fast or was muffled. It is bad being a pastor that they can’t understand. It is like watching a foreign movie and not having subtitles.
I leave here with prayer partners and some special friendships that will long continue. I leave knowing I have amazing brothers and sisters in Christ. I leave knowing the ministries I worked with and the ones I was on the board will thrive and be strong and continue to serve others.
In time, we will be back to visit as my children (Brandon and Rose), are rooted to Missouri. We will come back and it will be different and new for all of us. We will come to Missouri to see and not be part of this community. That will be strange.
I know that God is blessing this move. I got a job. My children will be around family, we will be around family. The loneliness will lessen for us, holidays will be different and more special. We are closer to our grandchildren, closer to my stepdad. We have found after a lot of disappointments our dream home with land in the country. Ron gets a huge shop and garage, I get my office and the kids and dogs have a lot of area to wander in and discover. We may have to get a walkie talkie for our Where’s Waldo kiddo.
God is good all the time, all the time God is good!!
I know I will see many folks in the future and many I will see in our heavenly home. God guides all our futures; our present and tomorrows. Goodbyes are never easy but so long until I see you again is so helpful.