4 years ago
Sunday, June 27, 2010
As most of you know, in the spring of 2009, Larry & I left the church where he served as one of the pastors. He was originally hired as the Singles pastor, later became the Outreach pastor and finally moved to more of an administrative role. Anyone who knows us well knows how hard that transition was. Especially for Larry, but really for all of us. Stepping out of ministry was difficult, but we both knew that it wasn't permanent. We knew (and continue to believe) that our future still holds full time ministry. We're not sure when or where or how it will look, but we know we'll go back to it when the kids are all grown. For now, we are not vocationally serving in a pastoral role.
Sometimes that is sure nice. Anyone who's served in a full time ministry knows that the dynamics & politics make life difficult sometimes. Dealing with 'needy' people, always being at church early, always being at church late, always being there every time the doors are open, always being responsible for activities & people, getting phone calls at 2:00am, getting phone calls while on vacation or a date night ....it's exhausting.
But then the rest of the time, we sure do miss all of those things. Larry misses teaching and serving like crazy. Our kids miss their friends and the leaders who worked with them. I miss the ladies' Bible study nights. But mostly, we miss the relationships that we formed. Because we left the church when we stepped down from our ministry there, we don't see most of those people anymore. Thank goodness for Facebook, though. We've kept in touch with a huge number of the people who meant so much to us. And once in a while we run into people out in public who remind us how much they love us. In the past few weeks, I've run into church people about 4-5 times and each time, it feels like a big hug. Hearing them say that they miss us means that we really connected with them, that we did something that effected them, that they somehow saw Christ in us. And that makes the sadness & loss we've felt the last 18 months so worth it. Knowing that we ministered to them in some way sure does make this girl's heart flutter.
Today & last Sunday, Larry's been given the opportunity to fill the pulpit for 2 friends who pastor churches here locally while they vacationed with their families. While we miss our home church, it's been awesome to watch Larry step back behind a pulpit & give a message to the crowds we've been given the privilege of joining. While the churches were two vastly different kinds of churches, the size of the crowds were about the same and both bodies welcomed us and made us feel like we were part of their family. Both churches payed Larry to preach, but I can tell you one thing for sure...he would've done it for free because he loves it so much!
One day we'll be back 'in the fishbowl'. One day, we'll come early to unlock the building & turn on the air conditioner before the crowd comes. One day, we'll organize VBS and Bible study classes. One day we'll take groups to the homeless shelter & orphanage to serve. One day we'll do it all again. What a sweet day that'll be.