But when it comes to being surrounded by the people of God, I like sticking with the ones I have for years. So when God says,"It's time to change" in that area, what a hard thing to say, "Yes, Lord!" to.
So, we are changing churches. This is a big deal. My husband has gone to the same church his entire life; I have attended since age 15. Though it's a peaceful move onward to what God has for us, it's difficult nonetheless. Kind of bittersweet, you know? This is the church where Mike and I met, where we got married, and where we dedicated our daughter Brilla. These are the people who wept and comforted us when we lost Amelia. They are an amazing group of people who love the LORD...and who love us. At this church is where I learned what everyone eventually learns - that God's people aren't perfect, we are saved sinners, who get to encourage everyone to be like Jesus in serving wherever we can!
Reason for change? Since Mike and I married five years ago and moved North a ways, it's hard to get involved in ministry there other than on Sundays. 30 min away, and up to an hour during weekday traffic. We currently teach the High School/Junior High Sunday School. I am on the rotating nursery schedule. I play for offertories and our seasonal cantatas. Mike and I also assist in kids portion for the large assembly time. All these ministries are on Sundays, but we aren't able to get involved any other days of the week.
We want to attend a church where we can invite our neighbor-friends and neighborhood kids, especially the ones who attend our in-home Bible club. A place where we can participate on more than just Sundays, and not have to weigh traffic issues. We have felt the Holy Spirit's prompting during this last year, but haven't known the "when".
And now we know.
This past Sunday was our last :( I love my church family so much, it was hard to stand up there as Pastor Matt commissioned us off to a new church and prayed over us. I'm not publicly emotional (usually), but in the quietness of Monday morning before my daughter woke up, I cried. I will miss them so much! I am slightly nervous about the prospect of having to find a new church body, having to build new friendships, and being "the new ones" nobody knows. But at the same time, I have peace that we are obeying the Holy Spirit. We have not rushed ahead on this decision. We have truly patiently waited on the Lord's guidance. And that brings assurance.
The cool thing is we are not moving away to a far and distant land. Church family is just that...church family. They will always be our brothers and sisters! I am glad we will be able to go back and visit from time to time, especially to show off our sweet new daughter! I'm hoping there will be some kind of party/shower for her after she's born so everyone can say "hi" to her right away.
This next Sunday begins the journey of finding a new body of believers. We've visited one church that we like, but definitely want to try a few others before making a decision.
So here's to obeying God even when it's out of our comfort zone! All in all, I embrace change when I know it comes from the hand of my Father.