Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Pain of Losing

I just found out today, in the Sunday service, that our youth pastor has taken a job at another church. He and his family will be leaving us August 1st. I feel like my heart is breaking in my chest. Since coming to us last year, Tom and Jen have planted themselves in our hearts and it is sad to let them go.

In some ways, it’s truly a blessing that the Lord has called them to another church. Tom and Jen came here a year ago with a strong conviction that the Lord was calling them to FCC. However, we’ve struggled financially for some time now and can no longer support 2 pastors. I believe it is God’s blessing on the faithfulness of Tom and Jen that has opened another position for them nearby. I pray that it will be a good thing for them and their family.

I am sad, for many reasons, at the loss of this family.

Tom has done an amazing job with our youth. In the time that he’s been here, we seen a number of students come to know the Lord and be baptized. He’s taken the staff under his wings and encouraged them to step up and lead as God would have them. He’s done an excellent job with all the programs under his care. He’s a great teacher and I’ve enjoyed the moments when I’ve been able to see him teach. He truly has a gift and heart for teaching students. He will be sorely missed.

Jen has truly become my friend. She has done a great job in the band and in the women’s ministry. She has selflessly served each week as vocalist and guitarist and always been willing to share what he Lord has on her heart. Our Saturday morning Bible study has been lead by her and has become something I look forward to each week. And, as much as I am going to miss her as a ministry asset at FCC, I am going to miss my friend. Jen is one of the few people in my life who are bold enough, or close enough, to speak the truth in love to me. She has corrected me when I really thought I was in the right. She has gently shown me a different perspective and given me the space to work through what she said. All the while, I knew she didn’t love me any less for my weakness and failings. We’ve prayed together and encouraged one another as we’ve both sought God’s plan for our futures and for the future of FCC. She’s been a precious gem to me in the last year and I am going to miss her fiercely.

Now, I know they aren’t moving far away (an hour and a half) and the miracle of modern technology will keep us somewhat connected. But, it will be different. And, it makes me sad to know that they will be closing this chapter of their life and beginning another. But, at the same time, I’m excited for the opportunities before them.

The ironic thing is, two of the songs we sang today seem to speak directly to how my heart is feeling right now (Blessed be Your name and Trading my Sorrows). I didn’t know until after the service that they would be leaving. But, I will cling to the truth in those songs and praise the Lord for what’s ahead of Jen, Tom, and their family.

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow, Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be, Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering, Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Jacobs family – you are loved and you will be sorely missed! May God bless the next chapter in your journey and may you continue to show others what it is to live lives of surrender to the Lord.

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