If you are reading this, then my husband announced that he has officially accepted his new call.
Our world has changed, irrevocably, and forever.
If you are reading this, you probably have questions for me, and I probably cannot give a satisfactory answer to many of them. God has called. We have answered. The hard thing is, we think, the right thing. His faithfulness is our comfort. It is enough. It will have to be.
Words cannot convey the sadness I feel as I consider actually leaving this place. It was truly the perfect gift for our family during this season in our lives. My babies got to be preschool kids in the country, saying goodmorning to cows, riding on tractors, and hunting for frogs in the pond. They entered school under the gentle care of the best teachers I have ever known. The parsonage by the cornfield has been a place of celebration and study and learning to be community, even with a bazillion children underfoot. During the hardest time in our lives the church was truly CHURCH to us and helped and upheld us in every way in the love of Christ. Pastor has Baptized, married, and buried so many people here, people that we will never forget. Deep bonds with friends have grown over the years, and I can no longer imagine life without these dear friends that we have known in Indiana.
And yet, we must go.
Dear friends, please do not let it diminish what you know of our love for you when we say that we go in peace, confident in the Lord’s provision both for us and for you who must stay behind.
We must go, and we go with mixed emotions: sadness and excitement, grief and hope— but underlying all these emotions is a peace that passes understanding, His peace, the peace given to us in Baptism; the peace with God given in Jesus; the peace of the sinner reconciled to God; the peace that is free to trust that in all things God is FOR us, and works even the most painful things for the good of those who love Him and whom He loves.
And of all things we could wish for those who love us, especially for those who grieve, we wish you God’s peace.
If you are reading this, and you love us, you are probably trying hard to say and do the “right” thing, even as you grieve, question, worry, or even feel angry. When you don’t know what to say, or when you say what you don’t mean, or when emotions get in the way of saying anything at all, remember that we are together in this. We grieve together, and grief often means flailing. I’m flailing, too. Praise God: we flail under grace.
The best “right” thing you can do for us now is to pray: Pray for us in transition, pray for our new church, pray for the church here, and pray with eyes on Jesus. Pray with us, alongside us, as we have been and will continue to be- joined together in Christ, joined in peace under His grace, joined eternally as heirs of His grace. Though we must endure a temporary parting, geography cannot sever such a union as we have in Him.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Andthe peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed inordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Eph 2:14-22)