I've learned that to take hold of something you have to let go of something. I've also learned that joy and sadness aren't a mountaintop and valley, they're parallel roads traveling together and sometimes intersecting.
Today at church Chris and I announced that our journey is changing course. Our time in Cody is winding to an end and we're being led in a new direction. We'll leave at the end of March. Where? Good question. I have a feeling Abraham asked the same question but he learned, as have I, that when God's leading you don't need a map. As of yet we don't know where God will lead us, but God does. We're praying that he will move us to a new place of ministry soon. But if he doesn't we will relocate to be near our family and work while we wait.
As I look back over the last four years I'm amazed at the amount of refining God has done in my heart, I am not who I was. And I'm thankful. I'm thankful for the refining processes. I'm thankful for the people who have invested in me, even at my worst. I'm thankful for the refining, pruning, correcting, healing, etc. Jesus has done in my life.
I don't think I've ever experienced a greater joy in my life than loving the church, Jesus' very own family. It is a privilege to love the people he loves. Hard sometimes but a joy. When you've loved and lived, hurt and hoped with a group of people for four years it's never easy to say goodbye. Even when there is hope and expectation of what God is going to do. Joy and sorrow, always, at least in this world, mingle.