"Change is usually good. It's the transition that stinks."
This quote is from a friend of mine and I have stolen it, preached it and reminded myself of it just about every day since the news broke here at DPC and then at MPC that I was going to be moving from one to the other.
One of the challenges for me has been that I am an 'all-in/rip-the-band-aid-off-quickly' kind of person and everything about this transition has been more like a slow pulling off of the band-aid that seems to grab at you and certainly hurt more than a quicker removal would.
The transition has been slow for good reason. Usually no one would know what was coming, but because of the proximity of the two churches and a desire to be the one that told my current congregation (rather than the rumor mill), they were actually informed before this past Sunday when things became official.
Because all of this is happening at the beginning of the year I had very little vacation accrued and so I had to work at DPC longer, and take only 5 days vacation rather than a preferable longer amount.
Because my home is a new-build it will not be done until late May (or so it is scheduled) and so I am going to be living here on the grounds of my current church - paying rent - while I work at the new church for at least 3 months.
Admittedly my instinct is to skip all transition and just immediately jump into the next thing, but here is where God is in the details.
I want to make sure DPC hears me when I say 'thank you' and in order for that to be heard, there needs to be time to absorb the 'she's leaving' news first.
In order for this to be a healthy transition time must be made to listen to the people who have walked with me the last 7+ years. Admittedly, not all of it will be positive (if they're honest) but it will be good for both them and me if we have some time to reflect together, find our common ground, and then move on from this place with no regrets.
Much like I will open my next phase of ministry by listening to where that church and those people have been, it is crucial that I end this phase of my ministry listening to where we have been together and affirming our individual and corporate roles in it.
One of these Advent seasons I am going to have quite the illustration of what it means to celebrate the past and yet live in the now all with the excitement and expectations for the future.
But for now, I'm living it.