Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This Time Last Year

On this day last year, we lived in Tennessee.  We had just arrived and were settling in to our little house on Cherry Street.  I was barely pregnant with Jude, and we still had the freedom to go and do things without a thought of nap time and feeding times.  We were thoroughly enjoying the cool summer days that allowed front porch sitting and new town exploring.  We drove over to Tusculum College and walked across their lovely green campus.  We stopped across the street at the Creamy Cup for some Blue Bell ice cream, thankful that Blue Bell made it to Tennessee before we moved there.  We were happy and hopeful.  We were loving our new town, our new church, and the people in it.

It feels like a thousand years ago.  I am now a mom.  I live in Delaware.  I work at a daycare teaching three year olds.  We are working to help plant a church near Philadelphia.  Some days it feels like our ten months in Tennessee wasn't real.

Someone asked me recently, "Why all the moving around?".  And I didn't answer.  Because I don't really know.  Ministry is a funny thing.  You move somewhere to partner with a pastor, with a church body, and you plan on staying a while.  On putting down roots.  On buying a house maybe.  But things happen.  Things change.  Or maybe they don't change and no one wants to do anything differently from the way it has been done before.  And the difficulty in ministry is that you can't communicate everything you know.  It's the way you maintain your integrity.  It's the way you protect the reputation of others.  So you move on.  And you don't always get to explain.

You can say that God is moving.  And I haven't decided yet how accurate that is.  Because I think God gets blamed for a lot of stuff He didn't do.  Yet He is sovereign, so surely He knew it was coming.  But still.  People have choices to make, and churches are made up of people.  So God is not altogether responsible.

In both of our moves, to our church in McKinney, Texas and to East Tennessee, we have had dreams for those churches.  We have envisioned God doing big things.  It's an exciting thing to begin a ministry in a new church.  We dream of growth and revival and change, in us and in others.  It's unsettling to move on from something without seeing the change you hoped for.  Without seeing fruit.  It's sad to feel like it's over too soon.  And there is always a need for mourning the loss of that dream.

And so I guess that's where I am tonight.  I am just sad.

I miss all of the things that could have been but never were.

I miss the sweet friends I met along the way.

I miss our church in a storefront in Texas and our haunted church building in Tennessee.

I miss being a children's pastor.

I miss fresh eggs and jars of homegrown green beans (Jim and Cindy Walter, I'm talking to you here).

So Texas and Tennessee, I miss you.  You are not forgotten.

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