It has been quiet on the newsletter front for awhile. The last couple of months have brought about dramatic changes, the biggest of which I could not disclose until the time was right. A little over two weeks ago, my husband and I announced our resignation from the lead pastorate we share in Mountain Home, Idaho. I have accepted the position as the Campus Pastor (formerly titled Chaplain) at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. (Read more about it here!)
I did not think it possible to experience every human emotion in one fell swoop, but I can now testify that it is absolutely possible. I am filled with joy and hope for the work ahead, while I am also heavy with grief at leaving a congregation I have loved deeply. I am excited and eager to learn and grow in this new position, and yet also nagged by doubts and insecurities concerning my abilities and qualifications. I am grateful that my husband and I will have a chance to flourish in our own ways, and yet I mourn the end (for now at least) of this decade-long season of co-pastoring.
There are many unknowns ahead. While I will still be a pastor, it will be a very different parish. I have a great deal to learn. Then of course, there are the “practical bits” that consume my thoughts...bits like like preschool enrollment, packing every blessed possession (why do I need four 9x13 pans??), moving across the country, finding a house. We have yet to find a home that both meets our needs and our budget. At times, I am overwhelmed by this particular uncertainty. I imagine us camped out on the university lawn, with no house to live in, cooking hotdogs over a propane stove while college kids scurry by, eyes wide in horror.
A couple days ago, I flipped to Psalms 104, the assigned psalm of the day. The text describes the majesty of creation as the Psalms often do, but the Psalmist goes beyond mere description. The writer describes the Lord’s active hand at work in all things: You set the foundations of the earth…You make springs gush forth…You cause the grass to grow for the cattle. It is not a scientific play-by-play of “how we got streams” but rather a declaration of trust in the lordship of God, the source of all life. It is a confession of faith: You are Lord. I am not. All of creation looks to God, even worried, anxious pastors embarking on new adventures, for God to “give them their food in due season…when you open your hand they are filled with good things.” We are reliant upon God’s generosity and care. It is only when God "sends forth the Spirit” that we are created.
I am chastened. The God who calls, makes a way. The God who creates, provides. The God who invites, accompanies us on the journey. Breathe on me, Spirit of God. Recreate me once again. Reorder my anxious heart that I might have eyes to see all that you have done and long to do in and through me.
Take courage, dear one. The Lord is with you. In due season, God will provide all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
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