Saying Goodbye

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This goodbye stuff is just a mess.

Our time serving at Heritage Baptist is soon finished. Tomorrow, we will say goodbye to our church family, these beloved people we have journeyed with for seven years. It’s hard to believe that we won’t be here next Sunday, sitting around coffee fellowship time telling stories, teaching, preaching, watching Logan and his buddies in the nursery. We will be starting a new journey by then. We are so glad for this next step and all the new people we will come to love at Highland Hills. But, for today, we are preparing our hearts to say goodbye.

We’ve had some really nice goodbye moments. Dinner and coffee with people we could squeeze in.  Not everyone we would like to see one last time, and that’s a little sad. But some good times these past couple of weeks, too.

My MOMS group had a little party for me at our last meeting and then a fun girls dinner out. They gave me the most beautiful memory box, filled with pictures of our times together. Those smiling faces and the memories are just treasures to me. Love them.  We got one last dinner on the “mountain” with David and Susan. Their house is like a sanctuary out by the pool, with the forest of trees in fall so absolutely beautiful. We treasure those sweet moments with them, as they prepare to do brave things, too. Our hearts are steadfast in prayer for David’s surgery soon.

My youth had our last worship together. This little band of the “coolest kids in the world” will have a piece of my heart forever.

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During that last Wednesday night, I talked to them about a lot of things. And I put each of their names on a rock. They know the meaning of this. I can only imagine the amazing things God will make of the Church through their lives. We also got to see three loves get baptized in the past few weeks. One was sweet Erica . . . she was dedicated to God on the first Sunday Jake preached at Heritage and he baptized her on one of his last Sundays.

Tomorrow, we will sing and worship and spend time with one of the best congregations I have ever heard of. These people are wonderful. Sure, we’ve had our moments. Sure, we’ve had silly discussions about church business meeting gobbledygook and little things that matter very little to the kingdom of God. But we have done good and important things about important matters, like caring for hurting people and feeding hungry children. Sure this church’s life has not always been easy. There was a season we saw church friction threaten to undo this fellowship, and our hearts broke and cried out to God for new life to flourish here. But we saw amazing life spring forth in the years that followed. We got to journey with these dear folks into something new. We have laughed more than we’ve cried here, and that’s something special in a church. We’ve walked with people through deaths, births, new journeys in their careers, crossroad moments where tremendous life change has happened and even hilarious moments  . . . like when Jake said from the Communion table, ” God breast this cup.” Yep. That happened.

We worshipped and worked here, I was ordained here, our son was dedicated here, this church prayed him into life.

So, overall, we will go into tomorrow with thankful hearts. We are thankful that God works through people like the beautiful tapestry of Heritage Baptist Fellowship.

We had a moment, just the three of us, in the sanctuary the other day. We cleaned out my office, started on Jake’s office clean out (that is a task of epic proportions) and, to tell the truth, let Logan play in the sanctuary. This was not the first time this PK has done that.  Well, this time he definitely did not take a sippy cup in the sanctuary (oops, Miss Mary) and he surely did not play with Miss Carolyn’s step stool. He definitely did not try to climb up on Miss Joan’s piano bench and he of course did not climb in and out of Mr. David’s chair on the chancel. As he rambled throughout this place, I could not help but be overwhelmed with a heart of thanks for all the people who have touched our lives, who have loved our son and who forever shaped our lives.  We are better because of you.

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I heard this song, about a tapestry, and it rings true to what we are thankful for as we worship with our Heritage family for the last time tomorrow.

“God will, He will finish what He started

No thread will be unwoven

Nothing will be left undone

Every plan and every purpose That He has will be accomplished

And God will finish what He’s begun.”

We cannot wait to see that beautiful things God will do through Heritage Baptist Fellowship.

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