Permanent: Lasting or continuing for a very long time or forever: not temporary or changing: continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change.
As I was praying this morning, I thought about where God is going to lead us and how I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready for such a big change. This new adventure of ours, is scarier than our recent one - selling our home and traveling 40 states in 8 months in a minivan. Why? Because it’s committing to something permanent, which means to invest in a place, its people and to make something unknown known.
What is this new adventure? My husband is looking for a new pastoral job, which could mean moving out of Washington State. A new community. A new everything.
I’ve never been too afraid of commitment. If I know something is good for me or others, I do it. If I’m passionate about something, I’m all in. But since our whole lives could change, I’m starting to see what it is I’m feeling – the weight of commitment...mixed with the anxiety of any change.
This future of ours is a lot different than the way we have been living life for almost 10 months (moving from place to place daily or weekly), but it’s what we’ve done before, and maybe that’s why it’s scary. To know that when you serve in ministry, you will be heartbroken, backstabbed, and you will have lots of unrealistic expectations on you. You will pour out your heart and sometimes get little in return, and you feel lonely at times. But you also love fully and get to see God do awesome stuff in people’s lives. You get to share in their sorrows and joys, you join them in prayer and community. You get to be a blessing and be blessed… And that outweighs the struggles because in the end, every person matters and we are all in this together.
I know wherever God calls us, He will provide for us. That means that once we do find our new church and city/state home, we will embrace it with joy because we love people and the opportunity to work and serve alongside others. …But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. It will be one more area to put all our trust in God as we transition. After that, we trust daily for Him to use us as He wants and to provide for our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs.
A new commitment means remembering the dreams that died in this city. I still fight to trust people with my heart and wonder what a true friend is after we were betrayed by people in our church and a split happened. This is the life for many pastors and their wives. I loved that community dearly and gave my everything into it. Committing to another church means putting my heart out there again (a little more worn and wise I should think), and waiting for the surprises of God to intervene in our lives. It means embracing a community and feeling fulfilled as we serve whole heartedly with all our strengths and weaknesses, trusting Him to use us and give us what we need.
Commitment is like a vow. It’s a promise to yourself and others to invest in something and not give up. That’s a hard thing for people when we're either stretched thin or have been wounded by trust broken in relationships. But to live in the opposite means no return in investment because you haven’t invested, and I can’t live like that. We were created to need, support and help each other. We were made to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. He wants to use our brokenness and our talents. If I know that, then I can commit to Him and His work. He’ll take care of the rest.