Bitter Sweet

BittersweetLaneSignThis is bitter sweet actually. It’s bitter because it’s hard. It is sweet because I will be starting something new. A few weeks ago, I made the announcement in church that I had accepted a call to serve a new church in west Michigan. It was a struggle, emotionally, physically and spiritually to come to a decision such as that.

It was a long process, one that I didn’t think would end the way it did. I began speaking with another church sometime back. And things to happen in silence. Only snippets here and there about information concerning the church. And then it happened. I had an interview over Skype. Love modern technology. But then after a little while. Nothing. I figured I bombed it. I wasn’t sure if this was the right direction or not. I felt like I was cheating on my church. I was flirting with another girl. I felt ashamed. I felt excited. I felt like I was betraying a loved one. I felt the rush of something new. And then I did another interview. I felt I bombed that one. That was it. It wasn’t meant to be.

I went back to work. Nose to the grindstone. I felt guilty for cheating and I felt saddened that what could have been probably wasn’t going to happen after all. And then I received the phone call. I was their man. I was their candidate. They wanted me. I was wanted. And a surge of excitement and guilt swept over me. Two completely different emotions at once hitting hard.

And then I had to tell my leadership. I had to let them know that I was being considered for a call to another church. That was hard. That was a struggle. But the worse was yet to come.

We went out to the church in west Michigan and interviewed there. We met so many people my head began to spin. Names and faces swirled into one glob. Excitement was all over the place. It felt great. But in the back of my mind I still felt guilt. I felt like I was still cheating on my church. I felt like I was planning things that couldn’t be. Was there still work to be done back home. Was I supposed to do this.

And then the words from my grandmother came to me “Don’t borrow trouble.” Don’t let it hit you right now. Nothing’s been decided. No call had been offered. Let it be.

And then a few weeks later it did happen. The call, the offer, was extended. And then we had three weeks to make a decision. And reality hit. We were really offered this position. This was actually happening. This was actually going on. What could we do. What should we do. What was the right decision.

My wife and I spend hours in prayer and discussion. I spent so much time on my phone I was grateful I had unlimited minutes on my phone. I had people telling me to stay, I’d be a fool to leave. I had people telling me to come, that I was needed. I had people telling me to stay because I’d leave a hole not only in the church but in the community. I had people say come because I was needed to help build community.

What should I do? What should I do?

And searching God’s word. Searching him in prayer. Searching in the words of guidance of others, we came to the conclusion that God truly was leading us to this new adventure in serving him.

The announcement at church was tough. It was hard. I choked up. People teared up. Hands were shaken and some even asked me if I would consider changing my mind.

And now, we have a week before the move. We have a week before we begin this new adventure. It’s been great here in Corsica. It’s been great living here. I love the people. I love the time I’ve spent here. And it is bitter to leave. I am sad to leave but excited to go. It is sweet because it is something that I know God is leading us to. It is something that God is directing us to.

And so, I’ve been living this bitter sweetness these last few weeks. Trying to live it out and do my best to end strong. Bitter sweet is not the best but it is what I have right now.

And soon, before I know it, the moving van will be here and we’ll start something new in a new place. And those faces that swirled and twirled into a glob will need to be sorted out. New names. New faces. New places.

I will always remember those here in Corsica. I will always remember them and cherish them in my heart. At the same time, I’m excited.

It is truly bitter sweet indeed.

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2 Responses to Bitter Sweet

  1. Melanie says:

    God has opened the door to this new adventure. Embrace the challenge and fondly remember the path you’ve been on. Welcome back to the Midwest. Congratulations!

  2. Bruce says:

    Very interesting blog Josh. I feel your pain and emotion in the decision. God bless you in the new adventure and His new call for you!

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