, , , , , ,

“John, sometimes I forget we even lived in Tennessee. I don’t understand how I could forget, because so much of our life was lived there, but I do.”

I never thought I would say that. It broke my heart and healed it at the same time. With the exception of a few people who will remain lifelong friends, there is nothing left for us in Tennessee. I have been praying for God to give me a complete release and in His timing and wisdom, He has. My prayer when we went to finish up some stuff out there a couple weeks ago was that God would allow me to feel like a stranger in the place I had called home. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling and emotion, but as soon as we drove into Lascassas, we looked at each other and just knew. This was no longer home.

And I was ok with it.

As I sat on the platform that we had ministered out of for almost 5 years and watched the guys move our piano, I looked at each and every pew. Prayed a blessing over every family.

Over my youth kids who sat stage left on the first 4 rows. Over the amazing woman who helped deliver 3 of my 5 babies. Over the sunday school teacher who helped me see the Israelites journey out of bondage. Over the bald fireman who loved on my kids and who they call “Uncle”. Over the sweet old white-headed man who called me “buddy”. Over a businessman who has found favor in the eyes of man and we have watched mature in the faith. Over a woman who had lost hope for her marriage and her husband who found Jesus that now sits beside her. Over a dear friend who realized his need for salvation during revival and fell broken before the Lord. Over a giant of a man with hands as big as his heart, who openly wept with my husband over our leaving. Over his sweet little mom who gifted me a beautiful pair of earrings that pale in comparison to the beauty that shines from within her. Over a precious friend that is waiting for the child God has birthed in her heart. Over a wonderful family that my Wakey spent every moment he could with. Over the woman who is my Tennessee mother and loved my family with every ounce of her being and became the grandmother Brooks needed. Over my sweet baby girl who is aware of her need for Jesus but afraid to talk to anyone but John. Over her mom who became one of my closest friends and is growing in her relationship with her Father. Over the best friend I ever had, who took me in when I didn’t know anyone and became like a sister. Over the man who had been hurt by the church more times than he could count, yet still had the courage to walk thru the doors and realize it was important for his family to be there. Over the man who is faithfully bringing his kids to church and trying to love his wife back to him. Over the couple that took us under their wing after the tornado and love us like their own kids. Over the man who named me his “illegitimate adopted daughter” and his family that I love more than I could ever express.

I prayed over every single person that sits in those pews and for their families.

I prayed for the men in leadership. That they would seek God’s face in the direction the church needs to go and that they would quit trying to let the past dictate the future. That they would make loving on people and preaching the Word the most important thing.

I love Lascassas Baptist Church. It holds some amazingly, wonderful memories for me. We publically dedicated all of our children there. We gave everything we had to ministering to the people there. My husband shared his heart every single Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. My kids grew to love church because of the environment LBC fostered. Brooks was prepared for kindergarten because of the Preschool LBC offers.

I had never been a Pastor’s wife before and the people of LBC graciously allowed me the time to learn and grow. John had never been a Pastor before and I don’t think he could’ve asked for a better group of people to learn with than the people at LBC.

I am not forgetting the lives that have been changed or the hope that has been restored.

I am ready for a new group of people to love.

I am looking forward to our new ministry, where ever that is.

I am praying for God to show Himself to John and I and that every decision we make will bring Him glory.

I’m forgetting what lies behind and reaching for what lies ahead.