It hit me hard the other day when I had to correct myself from saying something that "we're" going to do was something that "you're" going to do. I'm excited about some new possibilities that are coming to Our Redeemer, some new ministry avenues, and I am sad that I am going to miss them. I have invested in this congregation, my time, effort, energy, and emotions, yet in two days this will no longer be my congregation anymore.
As harder as that makes it, I don't regret any of it. Before I arrived, I promised myself that I would behave in such a way that I wasn't leaving, as if this wasn't a temporary assignment. I did not want to close off myself from the people at Our Redeemer simply because I was going to be there a year. Even in the last few weeks I have allowed myself to continue developing and deepening relationships with people here.
While this makes it hard to leave, there has been some relief. For example, there are at least three families that will be coming to St. Louis while I am there, some using the 'excuse' of visiting family to justify coming and seeing is! ;) Some already had plans to visit family and taking time out from their visit to see us. It helps remind me that goodbyes are not always forever, even on this side of eternity.
I don't know what else to say. This has truly been an amazing year. I have been blessed so much by the Saints at Our Redeemer, and I will never forget this year. They have definitely been a big part of my formation as a pastor/chaplain. To God be the glory. Amen.