So I should be packing. I really should get off of my couch and get to my bedroom and begin doing as much as possible. There's not a lot of time left and even though I have done so much, it's been mushrooming. I look around and it seems like I haven't done anything. But I'm finding I can't do much more right now.
These past few weeks I have spent so much time in prayer, tears, and desperation. I feel like God is leading the way, but I am constantly pulling and clinging to what is familiar. I know where He is leading is right, it always is. I also know in a few weeks this panic feeling will leave and I will be able to rest in the assurance that my God makes no mistakes. That His hand is always sovereign. He sees the big picture, whereas I see a little snapshot. Doesn't make it easier, but it does make it worth while.
Tomorrow I say goodbye to my church and church family. I've prayed for strength but just thinking about it sends me a little deeper into overwhelming sadness. Barksdale Baptist church has been more than a church. It has been my family. They have taught me the Bible, shown me the grace of God, and allowed God to work in them to such an extent that I cannot image another church like it. Through childhood, mistakes, and sins, I've been surrounded by a forgiving family. People that believe in second chances, that truly live the Red Letters, and are always eager to help people grow.
Most of the church members will never read this, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be said. There have been men that have been a living example to my husband about what it means to be the spiritual head of the household. There have been women who love and nurture my son, praying for him to have a future grounded in the love of Christ. This is a church family that doesn't need to simply preach the love of Christ, because they know it, they live it, and they show it to those of us lucky enough to worship alongside them.
I've been here since I was in third grade maybe? I've helped my mom with Wednesday night suppers. I've seen us move buildings, follow the Lord's leading, and grow in ways I never thought possible. I've been so lucky to worship with my dad leading me. For years my mom taught my Sunday school and only left to teach Kolton's. I've sat next to best friends, strangers, and people who have become my family. At my wedding and baby showers I came home and cried at the outpouring that was so above expectations that I couldn't handle it.
This is will be the first time, other than my time in college, that I will have to change churches. My heart aches at the thought of telling all of my dear family goodbye. Of walking out of the doors of the church that grew me. Gave me the courage to find my niche and encouraged me. Bible studies, fellowships, and festivals aren't just precious memories, they were learning experiences about what Christ expects from His bride. All of this first hand. Everything gained. Nothing was ever lost by walking through those doors. Every Sunday I felt the Lord, I saw Him on the faces of all the dear people who helped raised me.
As I sat on my knees crying my eyes out I pray for comfort. For understanding. This church raised me, but in a way it's been a crutch. I will always be Rob and Robins daughter. I will always be underneath the shadow of what I've grown from. Tomorrow God is going to grow me. He's allowing me to take all of the love and strength bestowed to me by these wonderful people and challenge me to live it! To push my boundaries. Find my own ministries. To lean on Him and acknowledge that the dreams of who I want to be in Him, don't have to be dreams. I know if I follow Him, I will grow into the Christian woman He expects me to be. It's time to leave my crutch at Barksdale and forge new relationships. To find new areas to work in His will.
This is where I grew up. Where I found me. I may not have been saved there but I came to know the Lord in such an intimate amazing way that I will never be the same. I feel like Moses leaving the mountain. Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the Lord indeed. In the face of every person who has loved us in that church. You will never know the impact you've had on my life. I hope I make you proud when I move. But I will always keep you close to my heart, in my prayers, and on my mind.