The day we arrive at a new church I think about what the day that we leave will be like. This Sunday will be our last at Englewood Baptist Church. We will miss our EBC family so much. I have friends that are more like sisters, and in Christ, we are sisters. We have been blessed to be a part of this church family twice and leaving it the first time was hard enough. Now we must do it again.
Man months ago, God began to stir us. We knew that He was moving us but where we did not know. When it became more clear as to where, I prayed and waited. As I waited for a clear answer from God, He spoke in many ways. I really think I am an obedient Christian until God reveals the truth about that. When I felt it was time to begin acting on what we believed to be God’s plan, I was mad. Mad that I had to start applying for jobs knowing full well that I had a great one. Crockett County High School will be forever one of my favorite schools. It’s the best. Going through this agonizing process, I distinctly remember pulling into our garage and saying out loud, “God, yes or no? Do we stay or go? ” That still small voice came back with the same question I have had to answer every time we are facing this situation: “Who do you love more?”
I have to admit I love my comfort, I don’t care to start over, make new friends or sell our house. Our current house is the one where both of our daughters drove out of that driveway for the first time, had their first boyfriend come to our door and where our precious collie Jack is buried in our backyard. I can still stand and look at the stairs and see those two faces come down them at different ages, for Christmas mornings and just for a regular school day. Both of my daughters have graduated while we have been in our house.
These memories are priceless. But I must return to the question, “Who do you love more?” If I am unwilling to let them go and move forward, I am in essence saying that I love me more. I love my comfort. As Christians, our life is not one of a closed fist, so to speak. It is one of an open hand.
As I was searching for scripture on this, God lead me to Romans 12. We are to be a living sacrifice. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 I don’t like sacrifice. What’s in it for me? How will this work out? Will I find another teaching job as good as the one I already have? You know, the one that you want me to give up, God?
Who do you love more, Kathy?
“In view of God’s mercy…” I am to keep in my view God’s mercy for us. The epitome of His mercy is Christ. Since I am a Christian, I must follow Christ. He knew a thing or two about sacrifice. I must offer my body as a living sacrifice. This means that my wilt is not to take precedence over God’s will.
Who do I love more?
As I ponder this question, my soul just starts to cry out, “God, I love you more.” I see a man on a cross, who gave it all for me: how could I give less? All my thoughts of keeping things easy start to sound like a whining two-year-old. As we met people from our new church, God started giving me a glimpse of His plan. That excitement of knowing that you are following God’s will began to stir. We will have the privilege of serving alongside some long time friends of ours, and God only knows what He has in store for all of us, including Englewood. Only a true Christ follower can know the joy of God’s moving and His allowing us to be a part of that. There is no other feeling like it.
The sum of it is this: I love Him more. Through the tears and gut wrenching goodbyes, I choose Him. It’s time for a new adventure of the best kind.
So I ask you, my friend, “Who do you love more?”