This week marks a lot of lasts. Last St. Paul ECFE class for Rosemary (and let's face it, for me too), last visits with neighbors as "neighbors," last strolls to the park, last visits to local shops, and the list goes on. One of the most difficult lasts to face was the last Sunday our "new" church. We've been attending this church for over a year, and while we intended to stay fairly anonymous until we knew for sure whether or not we'd be moving, the church didn't allow it ... even after we knew for sure that we'd be leaving.
The church was so friendly, so inviting, so open that we ended up getting sucked right in and now I feel deeply sad that we have to leave. In the short time we've been attending this church we have learned so much about ourselves, church community, fellowship, and God. We've been deeply challenged and inspired be every single Sunday morning message. We've learned things that have entirely changed our perspectives about outreach, missions, giving, and so much more. We've really found a church that we feel so perfectly matches what has been going on in our lives, what questions and challenges we've had with our faith and it really, really stinks that we will be living 2.5 hours away from it.
We were sitting in the pew and I whispered to Joel that I'm sad this can't be our church. Seconds after that quiet remark, Pastor Anne asked us to stand up, and she said so many nice things that I could not hold back my tears. It is hard to say goodbye.
Honestly, so many things have happened (or not happened) in our lives lately, that I am no longer sure exactly what I believe about God and his will for my life. I don't doubt the Bible and I don't doubt God's sovereignty, but I do doubt the many ways I've interpreted it - or that it's been interpreted for me. I don't like not having the answers, but I'm happy with this place that I'm in. Not because it's easy (believe me, it's really not), but I feel that asking these questions is ultimately drawing me closer to God than I have ever been.
I'm both excited and terrified about where this is going to lead me and a part of me sincerely wishes I could continue on this journey with First Covenant Church by my side. It seems there aren't even the words to explain what an impact it has made in my life. Saying goodbye is hard, but necessary. I guess we'll just wait and see where this new road takes us.