When thinking about this blog, I wanted it to be happy, encouraging and full of future hope. It was supposed to be a word document which presented a polished, glittery and gleaming future. I knewSundaywas coming and this blog was supposed to be a counter balance to the news I was leaving. (And yes, I know, not everyone is sad. I learned long ago I am neither as good nor as bad as people in the church family believe.)
Then, Monday morning happened, it should have read on my calendar, “sucker punch day”. I felt polished~ I combed my hair and brushed my teeth. I didn’t feel glittery or gleaming. Arrows of reality struck dead center in the middle of my heart. The fact I’m leaving behind people I love and letting go of security weighs heavy on me. God has amazing plans for this church body and for Ed and myself. And yet, this hurts. I feel sad and fearful.
At times, as Christians, we view pain and fear as a lack of faith. If we were “prayed up” enough the arrows of reality would bounce right off our hearts. We tell ourselves if it is God’s will then we must celebrate and stuff feelings of distress somewhere out of reach, in the dark parts of our soul. The truth is God sees the hurt, sees the fear. He doesn’t want us to try and hide it from Him, our Father wants us to bring these feelings to him.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” With these words the Father is acknowledging Joshua has lost the mentor he loves and is now the leader of God’s people, no small responsibility. It’s like He is saying, “Joshua, I see your pain and fear. I’m not telling you to ignoring them, I’m reminding you, I know what’s happening in your heart and I am here with you always.” We have permission to be sad, we have permission to be fearful. We also are reminded to bring those feeling to the One who loves us unreasonably and completely.
As the door of our time together is beginning to close…
Let us grieve well.
Let us celebrate well the good things God has done in our time together.
Let us share fond memories and embrace the laughter and sadness they will bring.
Let us be transparent, honestly sharing our feelings with others and with our Maker.
Let us grab tightly to our Father’s hand as he leads us in different directions.
Let us pray for one another as we begin a new journey.
Let us love well. Let us end well.