Tuesday, June 3, 2014
GratiTuesday - Saying Goodbye
About a year ago I wrote about saying goodbye to our pastor and his family. People with whom we had become friends.
And now it's time for us to say goodbye again.
Several years ago, while attending another church, I was searching for a guitar player for a special event. I wanted someone charismatic and talented; someone who could get our uncertain crowd enthused and praising. When I was about to give up, someone pointed me to Everett.
I didn't know this guy, but his "resume" was impressive - and more importantly, he was willing to lead us in a special worship event! He came and was fantastic, and we talked about maybe connecting our churches for other events in the future.
But then we left that church and began searching for a new one. For a new home. We heard that Everett had begun a contemporary service at his church, and we eventually ended up there.
As did many other people. This service soon proved to be energetic and active, full of people who were willing to step out in new directions on faith. It turned out to be exactly what we were looking for.
And yet there hasn't been time to get comfortable. That service has been in transition since we got there. The worship team has swelled and grown and then shrunk again as people have moved on. The pastor left to plant a church a few hours' away, and our interns come and go each season, each with their strengths and gifts, enriching us and then moving on.
Now it's Everett's turn. He's a most gifted worship leader, but God has called him into full-time ministry, so in just a few more weeks he'll leave us and head off to seminary. To his own church.
We'll miss him. We'll miss his leadership and communion with the Spirit. We'll miss his laughter and sarcasm and jokes. We'll miss his ability to sing the perfect song at the perfect time, every time.
We'll miss his family, too. His energetic kids and his kind and gracious wife (whom my Big Helper has developed a special attachment to).
It's hard saying goodbye. Quite frankly, I don't like it, and I don't look forward to it. At all.
But I know that, like with our former pastor, this is ultimately a Good Thing. It's a God Thing. He's planned it. He's called this family. We've been blessed by their ministry for years, and now someone else needs them.
We won't be left behind. While we can't go with them, God has called someone else to lead us next, and he's good, too. It's going to be okay.
It's still hard to say goodbye, but it's also a blessing to see so many people following God. Leaving the familiar and comfortable and known to venture out in faith. To follow God wherever He leads them.
It's a great example. It's a Hebrews 11 thing. It's an Abraham thing. It's a Ruth and Naomi thing.
It's a great lesson for our kids. For us.
So, with mixed emotions and teary eyes, I'm glad. I wouldn't want to keep them if it's not where they're supposed to be. I wouldn't want any of us to settle for less than God's best.
So if you see me looking rather weepy, remind me of all of this. Okay?
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