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Word of the Week

January 08 2019
January 08 2019
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Word of the Week: Feelings

One of the most common questions Caron and I are getting lately is, “How are you feeling?” Or, “How are you doing?” Twenty-one years of ministry at Grace Community Church is coming to an end, and a new venture will begin in February…it’s an obvious question. Strangely enough, several members of our church are changing careers or jobs at the same time!

Honestly, it’s difficult to describe. It’s not bittersweet because I’m not experiencing any bitterness internally or from others. There is a sweet sadness that sometimes wells up in Caron and me. I welled up with tears Sunday as I looked out and thought that this was the last time I’ll serve communion here as Grace’s pastor. Not at all bitter, but sweet and sad…and strangely joyous as I felt such love for you all, and thankfulness for the immense privilege I’ve had here.

There are moments of some fearfulness. So much is changing in our lives. We wonder what things will be like for us in our new calling. There is the unknown, which is both wonderful and frightening. It demands that we exercise our faith and believe that he who calls us is faithful. He has demonstrated that faithfulness time and time again over the years. Sometimes it seems like the task ahead is a huge mountain to climb. In our more believing moments, we feel exciting about charging up the hill!

There have been some moments of divine wonder and delight. I was so encouraged by Jeff Deal’s words to our congregation (as well as Sean Shanks) on Sunday. I feel not just that we are “dissolving our relationship,” but that our church is sending us out. I received a beautiful note from another pastor in town, handwritten, with incredible thoughtfulness and much grace. I didn’t see that coming. I ran into another local pastor on Sunday. He told me that he had personally prayed for us (he knew about our congregational meeting) in front of his church, and that he got emotional thinking about my long ministry here. He was with his wife and child, and I could see his wife welling up with tears while he told the story.

Moments like those two have been happening these last few months, and I am humbled and overwhelmed. In the uncertainties of the coming changes, I hear the voice of God in those kind words. He seems to be demonstrating his faithful love, and reminding us that he will never leave us nor forsake us.

Thank you, church, for all your kind sentiments. It really has meant so much to us!

In Christ,

Don


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