So, we did the ugly cry today in church.
More me than Jake, but he had his share of tears. These were tears of joy and thanksgiving and some sadness, too.
We shared with our church family today that Jake has accepted a call to be the Pastor of Highland Hills Baptist Church in Macon, GA. It is a wonderful church and we are thrilled to journey with them in ministry. We are very happy about this new chapter for our family.
But today was heavy with emotion. Jake announced his resignation as Pastor and I resigned as Minister of Congregational Life. It began in sunday school when I had a heart to heart with my youth and had the “this is where I talk and you listen” moment. And I told them what I wanted to say about how proud I am of them and how I have been blessed to minister with the coolest kids in the world. And how they are just amazing. We all had a good cry and then Brooke snapped us all back to reality with her fabulous “no filter” sensibility: “Oh my God, WHO are they going to stick us with?” Um, if anyone wants something to be said that no one else wants to say out loud, just call Brooke.
Just as we took a deep breath and got ready to make it through worship, I realized that our dear David had a lovely anthem planned that I would have to fuss at him about later: “Here I Am, Lord.” Nicely played, David. And you thought we wouldn’t cry today. . .
This song has always been special to Jake and me, and as soon as we heard the choir sing “I will hold your people in my heart” I grabbed the tissues.
We will always hold Heritage in our hearts. This has been our home for 7 years. We have loved each other well, whether side by side in hospitals or classrooms or youth trips or home groups. We have shared life with these beloved people and we have been amazed at what God has done in and through them. This is no small church. This is an amazing fellowship of people who see a need, jump right in and serve, and then look around and say, “Oh, that was a pretty big challenge to tackle. Now, what’s next?”
What’s next for Heritage is going to be just as amazing. As Jake said today, he can’t wait to see what minister will be lucky enough to serve this church. (Brooke, no worries, you won’t be “stuck” with anyone. You will be blessed by a person uniquely called and gifted to lead an amazing congregation)
We leave this church with so much love and thankfulness. This church has been a home for us. We are thankful for the journey over these many years and we are stepping forward with trust in the One who can do exceedingly more than all we ask or imagine.