Welcome to Messy Mondays!
I'm glad that we're back to regular programming. Give me a few days, and I'm sure I'll have writer's block again as per the usual, but for now, I'm done with last week's break from writing. Warning: Today's post might be just a tad anxiety-ridden and thus rather emotional.
I don't want to move. I mean, it has no real bearing on me whether we do or not, because Williamsburg is my home for 90% of the year now anyway, but at a very basic sentimental level, I don't want to move. I'm okay moving away from Chicago and the Theatre of Western Springs (where I took classes literally from when I was in preschool to when I graduated high school) and even my friends, because that's life, and moving away doesn't mean good-bye, and I'll still be able to see everyone on occasion, and anyway, there's always Facebook. But as we get closer and closer to the actual move, it keeps hitting me: I really don't want to find another church.
I love my church. I love my pastors. I love everyone that I see every Monday morning at our weekly meetings. I don't want to leave the church where I was baptized. I don't want to leave the church where I was confirmed. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tearing up right now (and trying desperately not to, because my mom and I are about to go to my dad's going away party at work, and I don't want to have to redo my make-up). I don't want to leave the people who have been so formative for me so far in my journey towards being a pastor.
And I know I won't take up membership at another church, because I want nothing more than to be ordained at my home church, as is UCC ordination custom. I can't think of any other way more special to start my ministry. And if I have my way, I'll probably be married at my home church, too. So it's not really good-bye. But the point is, I don't want to come home from school and go to some other church on Sundays that I don't really know that well. If I'm being completely honest, I don't want to share the bread and the wine with strangers. I don't want to share the meaningful traditions I've grown up with at my home church with any other congregation.
That's where grace comes in. That's where I feel the Spirit nudging me as I wallow for the tenth time today in the fact that, soon, I won't be able to come home and visit my pastors and admire our gorgeous new stained glass windows. That's where Jesus takes my hand and gently reminds me that there are no strangers, not anymore. We are all one in Christ.
And so, this is a call for grace. I know it's there, I can feel it. But maybe I want to feel it a bit more. I'm not 100% happy about the move, but that's okay. Life is a journey. Everything is a process. Nothing is good-bye. I'm sure I'll make it back up to Chicago to visit my beautiful, wonderful church plenty of times over the years, and when I can't, I know that grace will lead me to a new family in Christ that I can come to know in the meantime. And when I feel uneasy, or if I find myself wallowing again, I'll softly say to myself, all is grace.
Peace be with you.