Until today I must have thought there was an actual u-turn available. As though the road we had traveled—the route we’d mapped out on our own—was one we could also travel in reverse.
Perhaps this was a security-thought-blanket, something I wrapped tightly around me to keep tears in place and sorrow suppressed.
But today was the first day I volunteered as a volunteer—no superlative title attached. No pastor’s wife who is in the children’s ministry. No church staff hanging out with the 10 and under. It was just me, an unassuming presence, who didn’t know where anything was located and didn’t know the families to whom the children belonged. I had no authority when schedules were shifted, and no peace-offering for the kids when the fun un-shifted.
It was in that moment I longed for the community we had created. I wished we were only on vacation. I wished to make a u-turn that didn’t exist.
Thirty minutes later, eavesdropping from the kitchen as I made lunch, I heard a service streaming from my husband’s computer. Our ‘back home church’ had found a new pastor—a new someone to care for them and learn their kids’ names. A new someone to uncover God’s word for them and watch them grow into roles of leadership. A new someone to share meals with. A new someone to call friend.
And as he spoke on the church’s ministry of reconciliation, I wanted nothing more than to be reunited with—to be in right standing, standing right beside—my family on the screen. But I couldn’t, because we left them and we chose this.
The finality of that decision has been the heaviest today as I celebrate the incredible leader our former church family has chosen to call theirs.
I’ve been saving a book, unable to open it and unsure of why. Its pages are filled with photographs of Colorado, layered with handwritten farewells. Now I know the why:
I might have moved 8 weeks ago, but today is the day I say goodbye.