It's all been happening so fast it's been so surreal, but reality is catching up. On call day, when I heard my name paired with "Our Redeemer Lutheran Church; Texas District; Wichita Falls, TX" my first thought wasn't of the church that I would be going to, but "This is really happening!" Nothing made vicarage more real than hearing my name paired with a real congregation with real people. From that day excitement has abounded as we've been getting ready to move and make our transition to Texas. That was until the other side of reality hit on Friday. Don't get me wrong, I am still way too excited about going some place new and meeting new people, but that means that I am leaving where I am now and leaving good friends and family.
Friday was my last day of work, and I had to say good bye to some of my bosses and other seminary staff who has become more than just "people" in my life. They have become good friends and have helped me become who I am today. And yes, while it may "only be a year," that does not make leaving them behind any easier. And when I think of it "being only a year," then I think of only being back a year before I leave them again, and that time for good.
That is part of life though: saying good bye. Thankfully, that saying goodbye is paired with saying hello. I will be with the good people at Our Redeemer for a year. I will live with them, I will laugh with them, I will cry with them. Wichita Falls will be our home. I know that in a year from now it will be extremely hard to say goodbye to them, but our strength will come with being reunited with family and friends. Then once I receive my first call I will leave the seminary once again to say "Hello" to my first call.
We often say that we are in a life transition at the seminary, but all life is transition. Yet there is one constant: God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. It is leaning on Him that we find the strength to continue on, to say good bye and to say hello, trusting in Him as He guides us through our ministry. Amen.