I was shocked by the tears that burned my eyes. It seemed a simple task to check my calendar for a possible date, however, when I took a look at the proposed month I noticed I had jotted a ministry event that is no longer in my future plans.
“Stay present, Ellen.” I took a deep breath and hesitated.
It felt hard to hold my emotions. I was on the phone when my feelings surfaced, bubbling up from the loss I have felt and experienced over the past few weeks in my decision to depart from a ministry I have served in for over 10 years. I ended the phone call, took a walk and soon realized that my heart needed to put words to what I have been holding tightly to.
Though I had made the decision to leave a few months ago, the loss of the relationships I have experienced and enjoyed throughout the past 10 years feels real and tender.
Change has happened, and some of the people, the places and the community I once knew are now held in my heart as cherished memories.
It would be unlike me and unkind to ignore my heart and avoid naming my truth: I will miss the people that I shared relationships with while serving in ministry together. To say nothing and depart without a word would be to silence my deeply caring heart. The enemy would love to take the beauty of what Jesus has done and leave a blemish on God’s glory.
So for now, to those I had the privilege of serving with:
I will remember the footprints of Jesus and the friendships and graces that happened throughout our years of serving together. Had I known I was leaving at the time of our last meeting, I would have looked into your eyes and shared my gratitude and my heartfelt ‘see you down the road’. But that was not God’s plan.
I trust God’s goodness and faithfulness in His plan.
I choose to believe God’s kindness in allowing the holiness of my memories and his redemption to remain in my heart unblemished by evil’s attempts to divide.
To God be the glory. Always.
So, for now I say with love, ‘see you down the road’ and I leave you with a prayer…
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”