It’s true. We’re moving to Portage. And I’m emotionally confused. So excited. So sad. So excited. So sad. Etc. Let the raw blogging begin:
On one hand, we get to go on an amazing adventure in ministry. We get to meet new people in a new area, get our kids into new schools, move into a new house, and learn where all the cool stuff is that gives a community its own thumbprint. I finally get to do something that I’ve felt called to do for years. I get to serve at a truly wonderful church.
On the other hand, we have to say goodbye to a place that has been home for nearly 6 years. We have to leave our friends, disconnect from our community, and move away from what we know. I haven’t tried it, but I bet I could drive from church to home with my eyes closed.
On the third hand, I have to remember that there are only two hands.
Is it a celebration? Yes, but it’s tainted by the grief of saying goodbye. So… is this transition not what we want? On the contrary! This is exactly what we hoped would happen. Is it easy? No. Do we want to leave our friends? Not in the slightest. Will we make new friends? Absolutely! Will they be better than our old friends? No! They’ll be different, not better. Except for my friend who smells like Doritos. You know who you are.
Is it God’s will? Yes. It’s God’s will that we trust Him, and it’s God’s will that I am in ministry. It’s God’s will that I glorify Him with my life, and it’s God’s will that we step forward in obedience. Does this help? Yes. Quite a bit. The fact of God’s call on my life brings balance to the emotional roller coaster of being excited and sad, excited and sad, excited and sad. What’s True? God’s Word. God’s call on my life. Truth is powerful.
On Friday, June 1, Bishop Kendall will read the appointments. I will be newly appointed to the Portage Free Methodist Church as lead pastor. This will be read aloud in the room that I’ve known and have served in for nearly 6 years. The Bishop will be illuminated with lights that I helped put in, standing on a platform that I helped build. Do I feel connected to this place? More than I realized. All of these projects represent connections with people. People that I will miss dearly.
What’s next? More relationships. More connections. More lives being changed by the Gospel. While we will live an hour away, we will certainly not lose connections with our friends here, thanks in part to the good people at Facebook, Skype, and, to a lesser extent, MySpace. What is God up to in Portage? I’m not sure, but I get to be a part of it. We get to serve Him in a mysterious place. It won’t be mysterious for long. H is for Hot and C is for Cold. Red light means stop. Green light means go. And Portage means “the act of carrying a boat overland from one body of water to another.” A friend reminded me of that. I can’t wait for a new friend to tell me what “Kalamazoo” means.
Plus, it’s not like I’ll never be in Spring Arbor (which means “watery tree”). I’ll be back for Annual Conference, Pastor’s Prayer Days, and to get yelled at by the Superintendent. Of course I kid! Actually, Pastor’s Prayer Days are held at various churches around the conference, not necessarily in Spring Arbor!
God’s call is real. I’ll write more about how He brought me to this place in future posts. Right now, it all pours out after being saved up for months. This is part of the process.