It’s the first day of my new life. We have many such days but often do not recognize how significant the turning of seemingly small events can really be doorways to a new leg of the journey. It is also very human to struggle greatly within ourselves before we accept that just perhaps this turning of events that cause us to launch out is not mere circumstance, nor due ultimately to some other human being so much as it is the hand of God leading us through new hallways of faith.
For me starting again as an artist after years of full-time ministry is that new hallway. Oh, ministry continues for sure, but it will be in new forms. In fact, in some ways I feel I must be stronger in my faith now than when I wore my ministry hat. In my mind’s eye I am like a rock climber on a look over viewing the new landscape that lies below. What new opportunities will God bring? In what ways can I meet new people and share the story of the One who fills my life with purpose and meaning and makes good out of craziness, at times? How can I share the hope we have in Christ through even the darkest of times? God has put many things in my heart, and in my best moments I am very excited to see what will take place.
These transitions are not without a cascade of emotions. Good-byes are hard, no way around that for me. But that is o.k., it is part of the journey. When we love tremendously and with all our heart those whom we have ministered to and those whom we have served, it is inevitable that we have great emotion. God made us that way. Yet emotions come, they go and we move forward. Things never fully feel o.k. until we get to heaven.
I am reminded of a passage in Joshua 3 where the Israelites are starting to cross the Jordan. “The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of the water will be cut off upstream and the river will stand up like a wall.” God did not part the waters until their feet hit the water. Oh, how we would love the neon signs to appear when we have a decision to make and give us very clear direction. Yet the life of faith is rarely that in my experience. We, against our logic and human judgment, have to take that step to experience the miracles ahead. And sometimes that is just downright scary. But it is a wild and thrilling ride, and I am holding on tight!