Nobody likes to say Good Byes. One of the things we all look forward to in heaven is that we will never have to say good bye. Last September our youngest son and his wife and their 2 children moved to the other side of the country...I did not want to say good bye; I wanted them to stay with us, but God had another plan and He is using them for His service where they have moved.
This past Sunday we had to say a most difficult good bye as after nine years of pastoring the Redwood Baptist Church we had our last service with the church family that we love so dearly. My husband has always been burdened about church planting, and about 16 months ago God dealt with his heart and that burden became a call. It has been such an emotional time for me personally - you know women like to nest; we like to feel secure about where we are and that we'll be able to cozy in and call it home forever...that has not been the case with me.
I remember when we were at our previous ministry I really struggled with leaving when my husband was called to the pastorate. In fact, I down right fought him! I was unwilling and disobedient. Our pastor knew I was struggling and very pointedly "suggested" that I get alone with God and figure it all out. I remember spending an afternoon in prayer and I read from the Book of Isaiah - from chapter one to 36! The Lord dealth with my heart and gave me my answer in the first chapter, but I battled Him until I finished reading chapter 36. My fear was that if we moved I wouldn't be able to be with my kids in church, I would miss out on what I was accustomed to doing with my family and in my church. God's answer to me was Isaiah 1:18-20 which says, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
I learned that if I was willing and obedient to the Lord I would enjoy good at His Hand. As it turned out, 3 of our 4 children served with us in the ministry for 8 years! This past year God began moving us one by one. When my husband told me how God was dealing with Him, as difficult as I knew it would be heart breaking to say good bye - I learned by experience that I will be much better off by being willing and obedient - as my daughter reminded me when she moved away I used to tell her after she was cured from cancer that I would be happy to have her anywhere God used her to serve Him because it would be closer than heaven.
Through tears and a broken heart I hugged the dear ladies of our church and said "if I don't see you here, I'll see you there." I have learned that being willing and obedient to God will allow us to see good. Good bye comes from "God be with ye" and so while I close this chapter and say "God be with ye," (goodbye) I look forward with great anticipation to see what God will do as we willingly and obediently answer His call to Oakdale, CA, and planting the Lighthouse Baptist Church. Please pray for us. I will keep you posted and will continue posting the Tender Touch as God leads.
Have a wonderful day!