We’re here! Easter weekend is upon us, and with it our ordinary experiment begins. My emotions and thoughts are a jumbled mess – excitement, fear, hope, grief, deep joy, and deep sadness are intertwined. We don’t really have time to process everything that has happened and is happening. And somehow that mixture feels especially right for this weekend, as we grieve and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. I think of Mary, who stood at the foot of the cross on Friday, watched as they buried his body, and left the empty tomb Sunday morning in fear and great joy. What hodge-podge of emotions did she experience in those three days? How long did it take her to process them after things settled down? We know that as she stood weeping that Easter morning, Jesus met her, inquired about the cause for her tears, and Mary worshipped when the Good Shepherd spoke her name. I know that the coming weeks are going to be filled with sorting through the tangled mess of my emotions with my risen Saviour in prayer (while I sort through the tangled mess of our stuff and fill boxes). The story of Mary grieving at the tomb, even on resurrection day, is a most splendid reminder of God’s desire to hear what troubles me even in the midst of his incredible work.
The practical plan is that tomorrow Ken and I will head to my parent’s after Easter worship with our church family here in Kingsville. Monday morning, he will start work with his new employer. I hope to spend a few days with him and my family before I return home to Kingsville, where I will continue working with Faith Reformed Church’s counselling ministry. That’s right… Ken and I will be spending much of the next few months apart. We’ll see each other most weekends, either in Kingsville or Palmerston, but I can tell you that I’m already looking forward to July when we’ll be living together again.
For those of you who have joined us in praying that we would finish well in Kingsville, I can say that God has answered that prayer with a resounding “YES!” We have been tremendously blessed as we visited with the members of Faith Reformed Church: reminiscing about the good times, sharing our sadness over the painful memories, confessing our failures, and sharing our excitement and hope for the future. We’ve been blessed with all the opportunities to again pray for our brothers and sisters. This season of pastoring has been incredible, and I feel like we are saying our “goodbyes” well, even if we don’t really want to say them. Thank you for joining us in praying and thanks be to God who heard and answered those prayers!
Our housing situation is moving along, and we hope to be able to share the incredible story with you soon. For now, since the story isn’t finished, would you pray that God would direct our steps and provide the right place for this experiment at the right time? Flo Dekker, a dear sister in Christ here in Kingsville, recently shared with us the Hebrew image of walking backward into the future. The idea is that as we look back at what God has done in our past, we step backward into the unknown future, trusting the Lord to make our steps secure. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t it comforting? Isn’t it just like our loving Father to command us to do something that is good for us? So, when doubts and fears rise lately over the many unknowns, we’ve been repeating the story of God’s faithfulness in the past as a way of reminding ourselves that our Heavenly Father goes before us. This exercise has been greatly helpful and encouraging to us and I can say from experience that there’s a reason that God commands his people to remember what he’s done: it really does help us to trust him with the future.
So tomorrow, with our eyes fixed firmly on our risen Saviour, we take a step backward into the future, trusting him to plant our feet on solid ground.