February 10, 2014 § 1 Comment
Tonight was Ben’s ordination service. It had been planned for weeks, and I had joked with Ben that I would need to wear waterproof mascara. I did cry, but nothing like the Sunday of December 29th when I bawled through the whole service. That night — why the 29th I’m not sure — but that night it hit me that it was coming to an end. Mercy Seat would no longer be my community. Sure, I’d keep track of them on Facebook, and certainly stay friends with many of them, but this unique, weird, close relationship I had with them was ending. I felt myself slipping out of the finance committee and the committee of the future. I decidedly stopped serving communion as often knowing that someone else should take my place. The past couple of months have been a painful tearing away of.
Tonight I heard a lot of two things: 1) Are you exited about moving to Fergus Falls? and 2) It just hit me that this is your last Sunday. To address those who asked that first question: I am excited. But if you sense some hesitation in my response, it’s because I’m overwhelmed with sadness. Because I cannot talk about moving to this new place without also recognizing the cost of what I’m leaving behind. And to address those who said the latter to me: Yeah, that feeling hit me a month and a half ago when I could not look at Mark and Kae without weeping. I couldn’t sing without weeping. I couldn’t pass the peace without weeping. Everything hit me like a gut punch that Sunday. But tonight? I sat next to Laura Brown, Jennie, and the Mennings. And while I deeply love those people, I felt far away. Not to them, but to the church. I felt like I had already left. (Which felt really really weird.) Maybe because we had already left in a way. Ben has accepted the call. We accepted an offer on a house today. (WHAT?! Yeah, more on that later.) We are moving on. Tonight just felt like the formalization of all of that.
I feel exhausted. I feel so emotionally exhausted that I don’t even want to cry or acknowledge that I’m leaving (because, honestly, having a last Sunday at Mercy Seat is kind of unfathomable). But I want to make sure that I don’t leave without telling you how much Mercy Seat has meant to me.
So, Mercy Seat. You have been a good home to me. You welcomed me in when I was going through the hardest time of my life. You made me laugh. You sat by me. You offered to beat up people who hurt me. (Yeah, that’s not very Christian-like, but the sentiment was very much appreciated.) You encouraged me to write (and to share what I wrote), and valued my words. You showed up at my writing class reading in your sweaty gym clothes (I’m looking at you, Kae). You walked around Lake Como with me. You gave me the love of my life. (Hey, Ben!) And you have even encouraged me to keep writing. (Yes, you Erick!) You showed up all over the place. Which means, you have been the best kind of home someone could hope for.
I’ll come back and visit. I’ll stay in touch. And I hope and pray that more people fall in love with that church like I did.