Friday, October 21, 2011


Life is rarely black and white and neither are goodbye's.

Goodbye's often come with mixed emotions.

Sadness for what is lost. Anticipation for the future and what opportunities it might afford. Perhaps a portion of hurt is blended in, too. Feeling let down, cast aside, unimportant enough to keep the person around. Loneliness. An unease that makes your insides feel brittle.

How do goodbyes speak to you?

Last Sunday we said goodbye to our pastor of five years. I will miss her sermons (I can honestly say that not one of her sermons lulled me to sleep, which is far more than I can say for a few of the speakers we have had in the past), and I'll miss the understanding we were gradually building of one another. I'm not the easiest person to get to know, so trust is an exercise in patience. There are times when I feel that this chapter at our church was cut much too short, though I saw the end coming quite a while ago.

I mourn what could have been.

See, time is the most precious of gifts, I think. Given enough time a deep, special report can be built between pastor and parishioner. A respect and meaningful understanding that can work wonders in the running of God's church can be formed. But that takes time. It takes conflicts and working through them, it takes growing side by side and learning how each other ticks and respecting each other's ways.

But now that time has come to an end and we must start all over, afresh, with whoever God sends our way.

Though I trust that God is in control and what is to come is healthier for everyone involved, I still question this detour put before us. But most of all, I pray that we continue to grow together as a congregation, being an instrument through which God works in our community and beyond.

Are you mourning a loss, today? May I lift it in prayer for you?

Surrendering to Him,



Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow Eileen, That has to be a tough transition. I haven't experienced the loss of a pastor at my current church, but I know it will be very difficult whenever it happens.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I'm lifting prayers for you and your church family. That's tough.

Sandra Orchard said...

I like what you said about respect and understanding taking time and "It takes conflicts and working through them, it takes growing side by side and learning how each other ticks and respecting each other's ways."

Too often, in church and marriages and any relationship we bail rather than work through and around our differences. This is a good reminder no matter where we're at.

Praying this transition in your church will be to his glory.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I pray your church continues to thrive and I miss a friend who moved several months ago.

~ Wendy

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ladies!

Transitions are a part of growing and I find we always learn something new about ourselves in the process, which is a good thing.

Wendy, lifting you in prayer. May you be able to reach out to each other via social networking and phone. I know it's not the same, but it is a blessing if we use it as such.

Loree Huebner said...

I'm also lifting prayers up for you and your church. Not an easy time for anyone.

quietspirit said...

Whenever a relationship changes, it causes grief and sadness. Knowing that this woman is no longer your pastor causes a mixture of emotions.
Peace will come to you as you get to know your new pastor. One pastor we had for seven years got re-assigned to a larger church
in Indpls. He eventually developed Cancer that had been misdiagnosed when he was with us. Our church people prayed for him at every worship service for several years. We missed him but we had to accept God's Will for his life.

Shauna Renee' said...

I really relate to this post, Eileen. Our church has been through several growing pains after our long-time (over 40 years) pastor resigned. God blessed us in the process, but there was a time when many of us felt the church was definitely being attacked. Through prayer and perseverance we have all grown as Christians. Praying for peace and guidance as your church travels through this transition.