Bonnie Gray likes to ask us to write on a common topic and link from her site to ours on Thursdays. I'm out of practice, but this week's letter is LONG overdue, and the timing is just...well...right.
I know that I've been an emotional dork lately. After praying with you so fervently for so long for God to lead, direct, and open a door for your next career step - now here I am all swollen eyes and crying over the move this weekend.
I'm so proud of you, and SO excited for you! I love hearing from you every day, how wonderful work is going (even on challenging days), and all the new things you are getting to do, people you are meeting, departments you are working with. I've known for so long that God created you for so much more, and how you were getting so worn out from the routine stress of the last position. It's such a joy to hear about the way things are working there at the office, how folks like your ideas, even when it stirs up too much attention, and how you are able to solve problems at many different levels. It's the ultimate "fix-it" job! It's good for me to hear you be excited about work again, even when you are tired, or things aren't going perfect - you have hope again, a spring in your step, and as you learn more and more I see you get excited about what it is that you are doing - even if you are still a "missionary in a chicken plant" - now you are in 3 chicken plants, and a huge office!! :)
In some ways, it reminds me of LONG ago, when you had hoped to get into R & D with the bagging company you worked for, before you got into the poultry industry. In a LOT of ways, what you do now is connecting to that - and that's exciting to see that God took a desire of your heart from nearly 25 years ago and brought it to fruition! YAY!!
I'm happy that soon we'll be living in the same place again, and I know that we've always been a team, but I'm ready to have you come home to me again (most) every night, and for me to get to travel with you to new places when you are on the road.
With all I'm excited about, I'm surprised that I've been so tearful this week saying my good-byes to church and friends here. I don't know what's up with that - I know that I'll get to see a lot of them at ICOM in just a few months, and am so grateful that they are willing to let me tag along there still. I think that a lot of it is walking down memory lane to when we first moved here 2 1/2 years ago. Everything happened so easily, so smoothly. Things have gone that smoothly again on the house stuff - selling here in just a few months, and finding one there to buy - but where I had no expectations for spiritual stuff when we made the move here - our friends at Team Expansion were the one's that plugged us in, and God put us right to work - NOW I feel a huge void in the area of ministry. I don't feel God laying a clear path (yet?) for where we'll be used in this new area.
I know that WE have prayed, and talked about what we'd like to do - areas we're willing to work ( is there even one that we wouldn't be willing to work in?) and ideas we'd like to put into actions to bless and build the body of Christ; but I'm at a loss. I don't feel like we're able to make these decisions, or pursue these areas of interest, and I'm not completely sure why.
And THAT makes me more sad to leave all that we've been a part of here. :(
So please, please understand; my sadness is not directed at you, or the move or the new job. My sadness is for me, having to grow in a new way (which I pray will glorify God) and walking a new path with you as we find a ministry to serve in together. Whether it's in a church (and I have NO idea what church it will be in!) or with a para-church organization, or mobilizing with Team Expansion, or ....gosh, I can't even imagine what it might be connected with....Campus ministry?? International Students?? Missionary Care?? We have prayed about all these areas - so I pray now that you'll forgive my tears, and love me through this difficult season. It is sad in my heart - the people and ministries here have nurtured me in new ways through a wonderful season here....and God kept me busy with them while you were working...and a few we got to get to do together (like all the small group memories we have...so fun!!).
I look forward to our life in this new area, and I am excited to learn the details of what God will do IN us and THROUGH us and AROUND us in this new phase of life.
I love you, more than ever, and look forward to spending more time with you as we continue to seek God, building our life, establishing our home, and renewing our love for each other in a new part of the country. Thanks so much for sharing this with me, for bringing new adventures to our marriage, for prayerfully growing me in new ways.