Heavy on the bitter, light on the sweet

Change. Transition. Turning the page. New chapter. No matter how you say it, it’s something I don’t generally jump up and down and get excited about. Even when it’s self-initiated change. And that’s where I am right now. Right smack in the middle of a change that I felt God lead me to some months ago. That’s finally happening now. And it’s bittersweet…with emphasis on the bitter.

For the last three and half years, my church has also been my job. The job has changed over the years and with each change I’ve grown to love it more. But it’s been more than a job. It’s been a ministry. Sometimes by title, sometimes by chance, sometimes by choice. I look back at who I was in June of 2009 when I showed up to work that first day and in some ways I hardly recognize that girl.

That girl was one week removed from the single most difficult thing she had ever walked through. That girl had felt God working in her and restoring things in her, but until her Pastor caught her totally off guard in the church parking lot, didn’t know that other people saw it, too. That girl totally questioned if she was really equipped for this ministry position that had just come her way. But that girl knew that God had been at work. And that God had a plan bigger than her. And that if she would just walk in it, she’d love where it took her.

In three and a half years I’ve come a long way. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve grown so much. I’ve done things that have scared me to death…and seen God work because of it. I’ve come to recognize areas where I fall short that I have to work on daily. I’ve learned a whole new respect for loyalty and trust. And I hope I’ve become more of both of those things. I’ve come to really appreciate those who invest in others. And those who have invested in me. I’ve learned to see beyond the exterior of someone’s personality and know that there is a story that has shaped that person.

This “job” has helped keep my centered and has reminded me of how important the church is to its community. It has allowed me to work with a purpose, not just for an income. And there was a time that I couldn’t picture myself not there. Until about six months ago.

God began working in me and in our family leading my heart back to my greatest calling…mom. And He has allowed everything to fall perfectly into place in perfect time. And now that this time is nearing an end, I’m on the bitter end of the bittersweet. The “lasts” that come with leaving a job are sinking in. I’m getting a little emotional about leaving. But looking so forward to what God has in store for me, for us, next.

I’m growing to embrace change more in my old age. This bitter is giving me a greater appreciation for where I’ve been and what I’ve had for the last three and a half years. And it keeps me looking forward to the beautiful sweet that will come when I’m home…where my heart is.

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