I knew beginning a new Christian community would be difficult. I expected that more time would be needed to formulate vision. I expected the additional conversations as people became interested in what we were doing. Yet, what has proven to be the greatest challenge is the conflicting emotions within me.
First, I am not a pioneer by nature. It has never been my dream to begin something new or to “church plant.” I don’t like risk. The thought of a career change at this point in my life scares me like it would anyone else.
Also, I’m deeply saddened about leaving my church family. I love these people. I’ve shared so much with many of them. I truly hope to stay connected with all of them, to continue sharing lives with each other. Yet, knowing that I won’t see most of them regularly saddens me.
I’m also sad for my children. They love our church and their entire lives revolve around Sunday school and the community we’ve established there. They will definitely miss their teachers and friends.
I also know that God holds my church family and its leadership in his hands. He is doing great things in their midst and it saddens me that I won’t be part of the work being done there. Many will come to know Christ through my church family and although I will share in their joy, I know I won’t be there to celebrate with them together.
I also realize that our leaving will confuse, threaten or even hurt some people. I never intended to confuse or hurt anyone. I really hope that when all the dust from this transition settles, both the church we’ve called home and our new community will stay connected, serving Christ’s continuing revolution of goodness together in true love with each other.
Yet, even in the sadness, frustration, and fear, I’m excited about where God is leading me, my family and my fellow pioneers. I’m convinced that it is the Lord who leads us.
What’s really cool is the leadership at our church also recognizes God’s leading in this adventure. They have been so gracious to us and desire to bless us on this new endeavor. They have chosen to take the high road. So I want to say thank you to Mike, Chris, Dennis and Dar. I’m so appreciative and thankful for your love and for your patience with me as I sought God for his direction.
Even as I write this, the emotions surge within me. I’ve always hated the stories and movies where the friends and companions have to say good-bye at the end to pursue the new chapters of their lives. Yet, such is life in God’s kingdom. And that’s because we always remain together in the Father’s hands.