My Facebook Memories reminded me that today a year ago was my last day as Associate Pastor at my former church. I took a picture of myself outside the church and posted it on Facebook. It was wonderful to read through the comments and blessings on that post. Today is my last day as your Interim Pastor; tomorrow marks the beginning of our journey together as you’ve called me to be your settled Lead Pastor. 

It is important for me to reflect on this ending and beginning; in January 2022 I was burned out and ready to quit ministry; I told Bob, “I’ll go work at Target.” But Bob said to me, “You can’t do that.” And God whispered the same message in my soul. God then led me to conversations with Brother John Jantzi, which led me to this peaceful fellowship of believers at The Grove. I am thankful!

Endings and beginnings are normal parts of our lives; they happen all the time. Some of us find change more difficult than others. Sometimes we must grieve the losses and changes that each transition brings; even joyful change can bring grief as we move from one reality to the next. Grief is a recognition that we have lost something or someone that has been important and valuable to us.

The early believers experienced deep loss and grief as they witnessed Jesus’ arrest and death. Then they experienced deep joy after his resurrection and presence with them once again. Then grief again as they watched him ascend into heaven. Then Luke 24:52 states they returned to Jerusalem with great joy! And then the Holy Spirit swept in for a powerful beginning in which nothing would ever be the same again. That is an emotional rollercoaster in the span of 40 days (Acts 1:9)! Powerful ending of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the powerful beginning of the church as they met together, held carry-in meals (yay!), praised God, and “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).

Years ago, a camp friend of mine, Tillie Nauraine, said, “We cannot possibly imagine the future of this ministry and what God will do with it when we place ourselves and our resources at His disposal.” A powerful statement: one which I pray becomes our reality as we begin and continue to follow Jesus, and as we hoist the sails of our souls to the wind of the Spirit, together.

“And He will be leading you. He’ll be with you, and He’ll never fail you or abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

I’m praying for you, Pastor Deb