Tales From the Wander: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I was trying to think of a title for this blog post, then I heard that line from Shakespeare in my head, "parting is such sweet sorrow".

"Yes, that's it." I thought. Yes it is. Because it describes this time perfectly.

A month ago we decided to visit other churches. We only visited two. They were both nice churches.

We didn't go to church at all for two Sundays and I felt for sure I was headed straight to hell because of it. I laughed about this with Ammye, she said her family has the same sensation when missing more then one Sunday, "Ok, yea, we missed last week but now this is getting ridiculous." Ammye told her husband after missing a second Sunday. Her and I discussed why we feel this way and we both agreed it is because we have been entrenched in church world for so long and also because we want our kids to be given all of the information about faith in Christ, we want them to know how to know Jesus, see messed up people of this world trying to do IT right. See what grace looks like, learn the bible, build relationships with others who share their faith. THIS all is so important. We know this and we want our kids to know this.

We are not in danger of Hell by missing two Sundays of church, that's our own weirdness telling us that but we are in danger of forming a habit, one we don't want to continue. I want my kids to be a part of church. I want them to get involved, learn, feel, worship, build relationships, serve others, help the poor and I want them to know they can question, doubt, wonder, explore this faith we have.

Since 2005 church has meant being a part of an institution that meets the spiritual and physical needs of the community. I haven't agreed with HPC politically, socially, or in a lot of ways theologically for a long time. But they had the Dream Center and there we could love, be loved by and spend our lives with the poor, hurting, outcast, the ones Jesus hung out with so I was able to separate the differences.

But I know now that our season there on Sunday's is over.

So Dean and I will find another church. Eventually. For us and for our kids. Dean is not in as much of a hurry as I am. This has been a long time coming for me. But I don't like change. Sure, I like to change furniture around and repaint my walls randomly but I don't like change in relationships. I hold on long past death.

And this has been a death. I have grieved openly on here. I still grieve. I long for the past but I am also now ready to let go. The way is shut behind me. It's time to move on. And that's not a bad thing.

The Dream Center is moving into a new season as well. Pastor Craig and Hope are leaving next Sunday and Terry & Bree Franks will be the pastors. They are great people who I believe will do amazing. Terry has been serving over outreach there for years, he loves the people of the 70805 and they love him.

I feel like he will do best with new people, so even with some of us leaving, I don't believe it will be a bad thing, he can take it in a new direction under his leadership. It's truly a new season there and I feel encouraged about this next phase of The Baton Rouge Dream Center. 

I will still be at the Dream Center during the week working for a Prison Reentry Grant  starting mid October. This grant is currently housed there, and it may have to move to another location, not sure yet, but for now, the offices are still there. I haven't blogged about this new job yet, I will soon but it's a dream come true; I get to make money helping people.

There's no way to know where this all will lead. So many people have left HPC in the last year, it's heartbreaking that we are spread out everywhere now. I call it the "Church Breakup Clumps". There's a clump of people in California, another clump in Houston, Dallas, and Birmingham, and some here.

Pain and anger no longer guide my thoughts, now I am choosing to walk in grace and mercy. I wish only peace, restoration, strength, humility, love for all of my HPC family everywhere. May we all know Jesus more every day, see Him in others, be Him to others and never stop laying down our lives daily. That is my prayer. We will get through this. I miss you all so much. I miss the past. It's still so painful. I still grieve. And that is why parting is such sweet sorrow because we couldn't go on to what God has for us in the future if we insisted on holding onto what is no longer.  It's time to move on for me, I know the sweetness is ahead. 

All who wander are not lost.


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