Monday, June 09, 2008
Help I Work With Children On The Move
I can now officially blog about the greatest event to hit my life since meeting Jesus, getting married and the births of my two children............(all several years apart!)
I am moving church. I have never done that before. Obviously this is something as a family we feel we are being asked to do. I came to faith age 14 in the church I am part of and work for. That was twenty-something years ago - so long ago I can't remember :-) Being called onto staff there five years ago was an awesome privilege. I remember still the feeling that I could hardly believe it....I got to work with and for my church family for God's kingdom to grow. How exciting was that!! And tremendous freedom to grow teams, develop vision and strategy, care for children and their parents, get stuck into evangelistic initiatives, disciple those new to the faith (or now release others to do that) and indulge in one of my greatest passions; lead/teach all ages together to hear and respond to God. How privileged have I been!?!? Spoilt actually. I've been resourced, supported, encouraged, released, forgiven (!) I've been given permission to dream big dreams, try new things and best of all, shape lives, as happened to me.
I will NEVER forget what has happened to me here in these "on the job" years but at a deeper level than that my current fellowship will always retain a memory of home; where a sparky teenager with far too big a gob was lovingly embraced.
Out of that which I experienced, I'm desperate to see that same nurturing heart towards children and young people demonstrated at the very core of a fellowship and if I can play even a tiny part in helping that to happen, then I will be satisfied. I will forever be grateful to the spiritual heritage and leadership of my current church who imparted so much to me.
So why the move at this stage of our lives?.... there's always to be MORE and we now realise as a family that we are being called out of a place of security and comfort and ease to minister to somewhere.........we don't know. In that fact that we don't know much about it, we will have to decrease so that he increases. What do I mean by that? Where it's me and you, God, chatting over many decisions, every day. Who will be my friend? Who will be my children's friends? And who can babysit? - that question on every young parent's lips.
It's been a long journey to get to the point where we were ready to move, full of questions, far too complicated to blog about here in detail, but all revolving around us attempting to walk in obedience to whatever God asked us to do. I'm ashamed of the moments where I hesitated but God is so faithful, he never gives up on someone who is honest and cries out "help me discern your ways oh Lord" (with loads of snotters and bawling and that was just Mr HIWWC)
There will be people reading this who have walked through the experience of being asked or called to work in another church and total respect to you: it's probably one of the hardest things I have ever walked through in my life. I thought giving up teaching full time to work for a church was jolly hard - pffff!! - at least in that job I didn't worry about my Principal Teacher's dismay at me leaving; nor feel disloyal, nor worrying about causing them hurt.
I was DREADING the announcement to the congregation and it feels like I have cried a million tears this week. People are gutted, there is no doubt about it, perhaps more because they thought we were in with the bricks. Some of the women with whom I had a deep pastoral input sobbed uncontrollably on my shoulder at the end of the service. THAT was hard :-( I cried a lot about that when I was alone at home.
One of my friends told me that when I spoke to explain why I was leaving there was an audible gasp; and I found it hard to keep my voice steady as I talked about the growing conviction of how it was time to be fruit given away; that it wasn't out of hurt of frustration or "not getting on with others in the team". The reality is that I truly love the people I work with, we do laugh a lot and we do support one another, so much that I was so afraid of making the wrong decision and hurting them badly. I'd be a liar if I said there was nothing that annoyed or frustrated me...but there was nothing bad enough to make me up and leave, making my family move house and leave friends and careers behind!
More about this will follow in days to come, as and when I feel able to blog a little about it. We move towards the end of the summer (ha. In Scotland the end of the summer could be.......28 June!) so there is much to be done. Apart from selling a house, I have a weekend away with P6s and 7s to finish preparing for in 5 days time and many summer activities to be worked on.
Oh gosh, and I have a NT exam on Thursday.......