Last Sunday...I made it through with mascara intact. My man texted me (in the middle of Sunday School with Dr. K!!!) with an encouraging message, letting me know he was thinking of me on this difficult morning. For some reason, maybe the busyness of getting kids in place, talking calmly with friends, or maybe even a sense of peace finally coming, I didn't totally break down.
I shed a few tears as we worshipped, singing "So I will wait for you to come and rescue me." The songs during worship revolved around the theme of peace, so appropriately. We ended communion with "It Is Well," a hymn we also sang the one Sunday I was in Houston. I made it through that as well. And Jeff's message, from Eph. 2, was on our new life and identity as a family once we have new life and identity in Christ. Upon leaving one church family and looking towards a new church family, that was a good reminder that it is so much bigger than just me and my world.
On the way to lunch, I put it to MC this way: Worship and teaching and preaching will be good wherever we end up. But the hardest part of leaving and starting new is not knowing people's stories and knowing they know your story. From my bleacher seat in a noisy gymnasanctorium, I can see a young man--once bitter and angry--sing Gloria! Peace is coming. To see others who have had such loss and tragedy sing with joy and gratitude. It's being stopped in the hall or hugged at the passing of the peace by women who I've had contact with here and there over the past years who have met needs and given wisdom and God's grace to me at just the right time. It's having people who know my quirky kids and love them anyway.
I know in going to a new church I'm still connected to God's family universal and that the Church doesn't reside in a building. My biggest anxiety or desire is for authenticity. (C'mon, I've been friends with Patti, Marie, and Hilda to name a few. If they won't tell you like it is, no one will!) And that takes time more than anything, but I am grateful for their openness and vulnerability and acceptance.
Being at O-wood for these almost 10 years has been a lesson for us. We've grown up here in many ways, coming as college sweethearts, getting engaged and then married, starting first jobs, having two kids. While our journey here hasn't always been easy, I know we've learned a lot about God, His Word, and His people. And I am so excited about how God is moving already through the church in TX. Good things are coming and I can say that because I have a good, good God.