The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do? Hmmm. If you know me, you may already have a guess. Perhaps, as I hinted at in my last post, it was figuring out how to kill a cockroach without having a panic attack. Or, perhaps, giving public speaking presentations through 4-H. Maybe it was moving a couple of hours away from home for an internship (which later turned into a full-time job). While all of those were difficult at one point or another, they were not the hardest thing I have ever had to do. No, that happened this past Sunday. I had to say goodbye to my church family.
I have been given a wonderful opportunity to get a Ph.D., full tuition and stipend included. The downside – I need to move halfway across the country to do so. The politics in my home state are ridiculous and I strongly object to my tax dollars supporting policies which are so clearly against God. That being said, I may likely never come back. The only thing that I regret about this move is that I am unable to take my church family with me (although I have begun trying to convince them to move as well).
With my moving day set at the end of this week, I had put off saying goodbye until this past Sunday. I was perfectly fine up until the very end of service, when people started coming up to me and telling me how much they would miss me. That’s when I started to cry.
You see, many of the people in my church have known me for over seventeen years. They’ve watched me grow up, listened to me play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on my first violin way out of key (yet they still encouraged me), helped me learn a lot about life (such as canning, knitting, and even pointers on how to trap a mouse) and definitely many things about God (setting a good example for me by their actions).
And they didn’t let me get by with anything either. One of my favorite memories was being in a class learning about how Jesus turned water into wine at the Marriage Ceremony in John 2. My teacher started off with “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee;” (John 2:1a). Now, me, being the helpful little girl that I was (about 5 or 6 years old), I corrected her, “Canaan” (because, clearly, my teacher forgot how to say Canaan and just stopped with Cana). She said, “No, Cana.” That is where I had my first public debate, because I was sure that I was right and she meant Canaan. Needless to say, I didn’t win that debate, but I sure do remember the lesson. She gently, but firmly, corrected me, and showed me in the Bible what was true. She taught me to always be willing to learn, read my Bible (where I would have clearly seen the word Cana), to know my facts before I enter a debate, and admit when I am wrong (and to, hello, not argue with my teachers).
You may find it strange, but my church family is closer to me than most of my blood relatives. They have proven time and time again that they’ll be there for me – whether it’s a phone call, a visit, or prayer. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was say goodbye.
If you are not 100% sure that you’ll go to Heaven when you die, now is the time to repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ. If you have any questions or doubts about your salvation, click here to learn how you can be saved!
All scripture taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version.