God was preparing me for change last week. I could feel it. I don’t know how to describe it but it felt like death was looming. I felt panicky a few days and couldn’t sleep at least one night, worrying about what it was.
I think yesterday was what God was preparing me for. It’s like a death but I didn’t lose a family member.
Well… maybe I did…
Sunday we were told at church that our campus was no longer sustainable and that after Easter we would be melting back into the main church campus.
This church has been my family for the past 7, almost 8, years. To be disbursed like that is feeling really heavy because we’re saying goodbye to a family that will never meet together again in the same space again.
We were just starting to find our footing again with this church community as we’ve transitioned to parenting. We’ve formed new friendships with those who are in the midst of parenting newborns and made friends who I care about deeply because they have become my tribe of mommies who really understand what life is like now.
David and I are moving when our lease is up in May so we’ve known for almost a year that we might be leaving our church community to find a new church family closer to home.
So, in some ways this closure makes it easier to just figure out what God has next for us versus trying to make it work driving 30+ minutes to church each week. We were both willing to do that temporarily but we wanted a church that Ellie might have school friends going to one day and the distance didn’t really make that easy.
So, now we’re weirdly transitioning with our whole community instead of just walking through that alone. Now our whole church family is discerning what’s next.
It’s a weird place to be. Our life group community has already been going through transition because so many people have found new church families as their needs have changed. In that sense we’ve been doing this for a little while already, watching others move along in some way and learning how to maintain relationships when we’re not seeing people on a regular basis anymore.
I guess we’re the caboose. It’s our turn now. I’m sad yet hopeful about what that means. I joined this church family in 2010 when the campus first opened. We’ve been through 4 location changes and countless leadership changes in these 8 years. We’ve seen people leave our life group and others join and each one feeling like family.
We’ve been through loss of family, illness, babies, marriages, joblessness, grief, pain, joys, celebrations, moves, vacations, road trips, conflict, broken relationships, singleness, married life, dating, pot lucks, ornament exchanges, holidays, Trunk-N-Treat,
epic Easter services, Coffee at Portola, missions trips, hikes, Israel, apple picking, Mammoth, Fantasy Football, beach bonfires, after church dinners at Lazy Dog, Lucilles, TGI Fridays, and In-n-Out, baby shower, bridal showers, promotions, Christmas parties and I am sure more things then I’ll be thinking about as I look through pictures from doing life with these people the past 8 years.
I love these people God gave me to call family and do life with. I love that David joined into the community and has been able to find his own healing and tribe to care for him.
I look at these pictures and see memories and I also see people who have already transitioned away as their life has moved forward.
Some of these faces I don’t see that much anymore and I wonder how they are doing.
I love all the ways our lives have intersected and it makes me excited for heaven when we’ll be back together again reminiscing about these memories…if that’s what we do in heaven :)
These people loved me in a time I needed friends and a community. They prayed for me when my family was going through our worst times and helped care for me when I was a crazy workaholic. I will always be grateful a girl named Jennifer invited me to her life group 8 years ago. She doesn’t attend RHF anymore but she was an instrument God used to welcome me on a journey I could only dream of.
God’s closing this chapter but he has left me with life long friends I genuinely love and care for. I’m sad but I’m hopeful. He who provided such a good thing with be faithful and provide us with another church community again. He wants to use us somewhere else. Let’s see where that is…