Friday night we had our Christmas Event, basically a big show where we poke fun at everything and everyone. There were a lot of jokes and such. But the second half was a play-like musical thingy (what is it with metro&music?) about the Port of M. At the end, the narrator talked about a new ship getting ready to set sail, and her name was Grace. He said something that really affected me: "People ask me 'how far west will she go; where will she land.' Well, I don't know. I tell them that she is sailing westward, following the Son". (not exact quote). I wanted to cry. The next song was based on "west side story". They had the west side vs. east side and all. At the end, the west side went over and said their good-byes. They went to exit the stage, but dropped thier bags, looked back and ran over to hug the east side one last time. I was crying. it felt stupid, but I couldn't keep it in. The reality that I am really leaving (I haven't been admitting to myself that it's hard because I didn't expect it) couldn't be put off. I'm leaving. For real. As in there is no coming back. Here isn't home and never will be. Haven't been letting myself really think about it. It's uncomfortable. I'm not used to being this emotional. Or wearing it on my sleeve. Don't think I like it.
It's not that I'll never talk to my east-side friends again. But it's not home. Honestly it hasn't felt like home in a long time. Which feels extremely weird. I'll have to build new relationships and reach out. They, and my fellow west-siders will take first priority. Which is all good. It's about sharing the gospel, saving people from hell. Not friends. Sharing the light of this glorious news should be first priority anyway. It's a not just a privilege but a command.
I'm fully committed to planting our new church. It's going to be an amazing adventure. I can't believe God's letting me be a part of it!! I look forward to serving alongside some of the most wonderful people i know. Incredible...I'm glad, I know this is what it is for me right now. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Or always fun, or that I'm always happy. It's a paradox, feeling like your heart's being torn out of you and yet being joyful in the knowledge that it's God's will. Once we get this long good-bye over with, I will stop being surprised that I haven't run out of tears and be able to focus on Christ and His new church.
There are other things I've tossed around in my head but not fully realized. For me, this isn't just about one plant. For now that's my focus and goal. But like somebody said, I'm heading west and don't know how far God's going to lead me. I could keep going west and end up in Israel, or stop at the Gulf Coast. I have no idea. But I know the adventure of a lifetime is beginning. Scary thought indeed!! I feel so unprepared, immature...just not ready! He knows all this. He will shape me like clay into what He wants. It doesn't matter how ready or not I think I am, or what I have to lay down and give up. He knows I'm ready for just what He's planned. Wow.
**This got really long, so if you made it this far, you should get a prize. Like a free trip to Narnia or somewhere, but I'm not licensed to give those away. :)
Thanks to all of ya'll who have encouraged and/or prayed for me. God's so good! And faithful. Amazed.