The weird thing about publishing my first book and shutting down my church in the same week, is that it feels like the doctor gave me an arm I have been waiting my entire life for but in the same breath told me that he had to cut off my leg. It’s a crazy mixed up way of living and feeling. I feel that I am in the midst of sorting my feelings into little boxes so that they don’t spill out into my everyday world in a big jumbled mess.
All of those emotions course through my body, and yet it still feels surreal to me. But Sunday as I sat in a completely different service in the first steps of “church shopping” the reality felt like a brick building tumbling down on top of me. It seemed so crazy final. I won’t ever go to Mosaic again. Sadder still, there is no Mosaic in Lethbridge. It was a season in our lives that is now gone forever. And I wasn’t really ready to see that season go. I wasn’t ready for Mosaic to simply be a memory.
It is like reading a book and you get to the end of the book and you are angry that you have to close the book. You aren’t ready to begin to read the next adventure because you became friends with the people in this book. You belonged. You understood their adventures, their heartache, their victories. You related and became so intricately carved into their future and their lives. And it just doesn’t seem fair to close the book and place it back on the shelf with all the others.
The thing of it is, I have had lots of people write me or ask me point blank, “Why did you really close the Church down.” I think that people are looking for a big juicy story. Whether they like it or not – they want to know the dirt. They want to be involved in a story that is far more dramatic than it really is.
And then there are others (many more others) who are concerned about our health; or concerned that we have walked away from God. Or just concerned – period.
And I am afraid that the true answer is a lot more boring than people would like to admit.
Our health is great. Our hearts are great. Our relationships with each other and the ones that were in our beloved Mosaic are great.
Here is the real reason. We got tired. But more importantly, our team got tired. They worked, and pushed and pulled and prodded and walked and ran and loved and worked some more – every Sunday and every week. One day, we looked around and we realized that our team as loyal as they were, were beginning to see burn out. And so were we!
We had people come to our Church, filled up, healed and go on their way. We had broken people join our church for a season and then God would call them elsewhere to serve as whole people in their calling. We saw miracles and we saw beautiful things.
My husband preached a powerful message on our last day that I think thousands should listen to. Honestly. He writes about it here . He preached about everything having a season. When that season is over then it’s time to let go. Or the beautiful becomes ugly. We wanted to let go while it was still beautiful. We wanted to let go before burn out reached our hearts and our spirits. We wanted to be smart about closing a season, a chapter down.
Am I disappointed? Absolutely.
Am I angry at any of those who left the church in the last 10 years? Not even remotely. All of us have a journey. All of us at the end of the journey, have to stand before God and answer to Him for the journey that he set before us. We are all following it the best of our ability.
Am I angry at God? Not right now, but I may be in the future. If I am to be honest. I know that he had the power. I know that he had the means to bring hundreds of people and in the law of sowing and reaping, we should have a thriving church by now. We have done everything right. We are good pastors and we have worked really really really hard. And so has our team and our family. But you know what?! It’s really okay if I get angry with God because he is a “big Boy” and He can handle it. I promise you. He has broad shoulders and Paul in the Bible got super angry with him. Job got angry with him. In fact, there were many that got angry with God. He either responded in love and compassion, or he put them in their place. Either is okay with me as long as I can be brutally honest with the One who I have the closest relationship with.
At the end of the day, I love him. At the end of the day, I will never walk away from him. I know he has a plan and purpose and that plan is not to harm me or hurt me. I have been through too much, seen too much, felt too much and forged that relationship deep and wide with Jesus – I can’t run away from the very One who can help me the most.
Am I heart broken? I really am. We had a vision. We had plans and a strong purpose for this church. It feels like death. It’s a death of a dream. In a short wisp, it’s gone. It’s hard to pick up the pieces from that.
But this is what I know. I have been heartbroken before. I have been at a loss, totally not understanding the season that I was facing – and I made it. I am still standing. I am still smiling even. Because I KNOW. I KNOW. I won’t feel this heartbreak forever. I won’t feel this confusion forever. I won’t feel this emptiness forever. Tomorrow is another day. There will be another season. There will be another chapter.
This is what else I know. It doesn’t matter where I am at, He will find me. He will find me as the waters rush over my head and I feel myself drowning in a sea of doubt and cynicism. He will find me in the mud when I have stumbled and I am too weak to lift my weary body onto my feet. He will find me and when he does he will gently lift my bare soul and bring it to His place of healing and warmth.
He will find you too.