Bittersweet

Every Sunday now is bittersweet.

Sweet because it’s the Lord’s Day and we are blessed with wonderful friends whom we love at church.  Sweet because we get to worship and listen to the preaching of God’s word… and well, I am sort of biased and I absolutely love listening to my husband preach.  I guess it’s partly because I am with him as he processes and learns what he is going to preach… but he never “practices” and rarely gives me glimpses into what the sermon will actually look like because it’s a work in progress all week until God pulls all of it together at the end like a seamstress does.

Bitter because each Sunday is tinged with sadness and punctuated with tears as we are so sad to be saying goodbye to these dear friends and we know that the road ahead is as bumpy for them as a body as it could be for us in our following God to the place He leads next… which is still open ended.  We still do not know for sure what is next.  We continue to wait.  There are no guarantees that we can point to and say, “This is what our life will look like six months from now.”   But the one guarantee is that Christ is all and is in all and He will not abandon us.  Nor will he abandon the people in the church family we have been a part of for seven years.  Life will look markedly different for us in this next phase and, similarly, the church will go through a period of many changes.

What will we look like on the other side of this transition?  Where will we be?  What will be our new “title” and our new calling?  How will God grow us through the process?  The same questions hold for our family, my husband as an individual… me, our children… as they do for the church body and the individuals that make it up.  Whatever happens it will be a period of growth and a period of testing for all.

All of this makes Sundays that much sweeter and that much sadder.  We labored over this decision and prayed and sought advice and wisdom, ultimately coming to the decision that God has led us to.  And now our sweet church body must go through those same struggles that we endured.  My heart is with them, and aches for them.  More than anything I pray that they would seek God in prayer, perhaps like never before, with a true openness to the unknown and uncharted to which they might be called… and that they might take the steps that God leads them to no matter how hard they are, leaving the results to God… seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness.  He is so good.  I have been reminded over and over again lately that God doesn’t just give his children a hard “NO” when they truly seek Him… His “no” always means He has something better for us… even when better might not have the face that we expect it to.

Please keep our church in your prayers.

Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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4 Comments

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  1. Hey Nan, we’re going to miss the Doud’s. I’m going to miss Shawn’s preaching & his abilities to lead worship. Even though we don’t know what it is, I’m confident that the Lord will use you all in amazing ways in this next phase of life. G&P, John

  2. Last year we had our final days with a church we had been with for five years. We had no idea where God was going to move us, but it was a blessed time for us. Our family was able to heal in so many different ways and to become more reliant upon God.
    The church we are in now has been a balm in so many ways. I trust that God will care for you all and guide you to your new home!
    And I’m so glad to read that your health is so much improved!

    Tina’s last blog post..Back home!

  3. Love that section of Scripture… it is one of my all time faves.

    Forest Gump wasn’t that far off when he said that “Life is like a box of chocolates” . Personally, bittersweet,dark chocolate is my favorite. Probably because it is most like my life.

    Julie Coney’s last blog post..Busy Week

  4. Thanks Nancy.
    You are so encouraging to me. Always pointing back to the God who takes care of us no matter what the situation.
    Love you lots and lots and will greatly miss you. T

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