Ten years ago in march, Jonathan left his youth pastor position with the hope of attending a reformed seminary before re entering the world of vocational ministry. That was God’s plan, too, but it was a much longer path than we could have ever dreamed. The Lord had a lot to teach us personally, and theologically and a lot of sanctification to work in us before he led us back to that original goal. We have changed dramatically in this decade in so many ways: from infertility to three children, from Baptist through the Home Church movement into confessional Presbyterianism, from angry conservative into dependent humiliation, from the people we were then into the people we are now.
But in that decade of being led through change, change and transition became the new normal for us. Every year we wondered what the next year would bring. We made plans loosely, not having a definite aim for our future; and even in the plans we made, we found ourselves waiting some more. Seminary was both a blessing and a curse, in that we had a fixed date for our next transition (turns out even that was more flexible than we thought) but the temporary nature of seminary always hung, like a shroud, over every relationship and conversation. The Lord has blessed these last 3 years and allowed us to love deeply and be loved well, but always knowing it was one more stop on the journey. This decade has pointed me to the shadow of sin that taints every hello with goodbye until the final restoration when there will be no more wandering or goodbyes.
So here we are, on the brink of that original dream and I fear the goodbyes and the hellos. I fear that having said goodbye so often and having anticipated this goodbye for three years, I will disregard the people who have been so treasured to me as I turn my face to the next thing. I fear that reaching our destination, I will find that a decade of wandering will make it harder to put down roots. I fear that despite having yearned to stop and stay, this now rambling soul won’t find it so easy to stop on a dime.
Can I ask you friends, old and new, here and there, for mercy in the journey?