I feel a little like Dorothy hitting the ground after the tornado tore through her house. I mean, I’m not a girl and I don’t have a dog but other than that, it’s pretty much the same thing. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind and I’ve hardly had the time to reflect on all that is truly changing about my life.
But, there have been moments. Moments where the change became real. Where what was a “one day, when…” became a tangible reality.
Leaving my key on the desk at the church office.
Hearing the band rehearse without me while I was moving out the last of my boxes.
Walking through our empty house after packing.
Tearful goodbyes with friends who are more like family.
And then there were the hundreds of little things, normally insignificant, if they weren’t accompanied by the small voice in my head saying, “this is the last time…”
It’s hard to start over. It’s overwhelming to think about how little you are known in an new place. There is this internal pressure to to prove myself and show my value that I just simply haven’t felt in a long, long time. I have been so privileged to be at a place where my gifts and talents were well known and somewhat celebrated. We were loved very well and had the general respect of just about everyone we knew. The significance of walking away from an environment like that is just too much to measure. But it has been a much needed reminder for me.
A reminder that I am not valuable simply because of what I do. That I don’t have to cave to those inner voices that are telling me that I need to clamor for approval and seek recognition. I am who I have always been. Underneath everyone else’s approval or disapproval, underneath all of my accomplishments and failures, I am a child of God. Loved by the Father. Celebrated by the Creator of all things. Approved of, not because I earned it, but because of what Jesus has earned on my behalf.
Now comes the discipline of silence. Not the silence that looks like sitting alone in a quiet room or some deserted nature trail. The silence that does not choose to speak of myself in every conversation. The silence that does not feel the need to roll out my resume and shout my credentials from the rooftop. The silence that patiently trusts that the God who has led me this far will not forget about me. He knows me at the deepest level and he loves me more than anyone else could.
When Erin and I packed up and moved to Florida we trusted Him and he brought us into the loving community that we so desperately needed. He used it to grow and stretch us beyond what we thought we were capable of. He used it to shape our view of ministry, parenting, friendship, leadership and just about every other …ship. We would never be the same without the Clermont chapter of our story. And as we turn the page and stare at this blank, yet to be written chapter, I am confident that he will do it again.