It seems odd to write my last blog for Holy Cross when it has become such a normal rhythm every month. For the past three years, each month I would think about my life and what God was showing me in it and then write it down to share with all of you. This month will be no different.
When I first sat down to write this, I had so many thank you’s that I felt like I should have just written the two words over and over again in succession, and it’s because I have been blessed here by so many wonderful people. You all loved a “fresh off the presses” young woman in her first big girl job. You have supported, encouraged, and grown me into the woman I am today. From staff to youth to congregation members, I am so loved. Moreover, I love all of you very much and my heart will miss seeing you every day and week! God has done so much in me through all of you!
So, instead of 6 billion “thank you’s”, I will continue to share what God has done in this transition. He has shown me his beautiful timing! Over the past few weeks, I’ve had conversations with students that I could better understand because of what I am going through, leaving a place that has become as much of a home as Albuquerque. I remember some of what they are feeling but without God’s perfect timing, I wouldn’t be able to communicate the gospel and love in such a personal way. God is good, even though goodbyes are really hard.
The silver lining is that goodbye really only means see you later! God has reminded me that deep relationships run through our hearts even when we won’t be physically together. Take Paul, in many of his letters he writes about missing the people he loves dearly that he left to continue sharing God’s kingdom. Yet, he keeps up with them and vice versa, and they did it with letters! How blessed are we to have technology and its such a wonderful feeling to know that our relationships will continue!
So, I will leave you with a benediction, a tradition that one of my college professors started. He would end every class with a benediction from scripture as we would pack up. It was always a way to send each other into the world with God’s grace but we always knew we would be together again soon. He did the same when we graduated college, so now it is my turn to pass it on to you. Every time you read these words, remember you are loved deeply by Jesus, you matter immensely to me (and Him) and we will see each other again soon! So here it is:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Amen! I love you all!