Endings and Beginnings

As I write this post, we are just a little over two weeks away from moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana. A lot of things are coming to an end in our lives right now. Madison's finishing her last week of teaching. Piper is spending her last week with her babysitters. We are trying to connect with as many friends as we can one last time before we move. It's a strange feeling to do something and think, "this may be the last time I ever do that." Even simple things like going on a trail run with a friend and thinking, "this may be the last time we run together." This season of life has been a good reminder to enjoy the little things and not take them for granted.

As I reflect back on the last seven years of my life, I am so grateful for how God has blessed me and my family here. We had the opportunity to work with an incredible church where I learned so much about ministry and leadership. We made some of the best friends we've ever had. We bought our first home. We had our first child. We've made some of the best memories of our lives here. It is tough to say goodbye to a place we have grown to love and call home. Yet, that is where we are. We are in a season of endings.

On the other hand, I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about what's ahead. I've spent a good amount of my time in Fort Wayne for the last couple of months. Momentum is already building for the new church plant. We've found a place to call home in another incredible church that is sending us out to plant this new church. I've been reconnecting with some great friends from my childhood. We have a team of people who are helping us explore different areas in the Fort Wayne region to plant the church. And we haven't even scratched the surface yet.

As I look forward to what's next, I am once again full of gratitude for how God has already brought so many great things together for this next season of our life, and also for what God has in store for us that we don't even know about yet. It's exhilarating to dream about the future and what will unfold as we enter this next stage of life. This too is where we are. We are in a season of beginnings.

All of this reminds me of a passage from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. The third chapter begins this way:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot

For us, we find ourselves in both seasons. "A time to plant and a time to uproot." In order for us to plant, we first have to be uprooted. We are finding that God's grace exists in both places. And for that, we are once again very grateful. One of the things I've learned about church planting is that it's just as much about what God wants to do in you as it is what he wants to do through you. I can honestly say that God is really at work in me these days. He's teaching me a lot. He's molding me a lot. And he's using each of these seasons to do so.

So what about you? What season of life are you in right now? Are you in a season of endings? Are you in a season of beginnings? Or both? Or somewhere in between the two? What is God teaching you in this season? How is he shaping you? The truth is that God wants to work in you just as much as he wants to work through you. My hope is that you would experience the grace of God wherever you are, and that you would see this season as an opportunity to be shaped and molded by the God who loves you in each and every season of life.