Not sure if it's the fact that I've been so terribly lazy these last few days, finally taking a few days off with no other commitments.... or maybe it was having coffee with a friend and just being struck by how fast the years can seem to go by.... but I've found myself suddenly thinking about this past year; all that has changed and all that has stayed the same. Some things I expected and some things I certainly did not, but what a year it has been. The biggest change obviously was quitting my job at YFC after 14 years of ministry, but it also ended up brining one of the biggest surprises. I really thought it was completely over......
It was with a very strange and reassuring peace that I wrote my resignation letter in April, with much of that peace coming from the clear direction God had given me in moving into my responsibilities at church. God also gave me great peace however in the form of the people He had put in place in leadership at Cedarwood, and I knew my time had come to an end and that it was ending well. My final event was on May 10th, and if you go back a few blog entries you can find what I shared about that evening. The summer wasn't difficult at all for me as surprising as that might sound, and when I went out to visit for the first time a few weeks in, it was with great joy that I watched the Cedarwood staff do their thing. Any remaining longings to still be on the Cedarwood stage quickly vanished as I watched this new team serve the campers with such love, care, and excellence.
Now after so many years, I know what it's like for the new team when past staff come to visit. The staff really do become a family, and it can be especially hard when someone walks in who is not part of the family they know, even if they know all the family secrets. Hope that makes sense, but anyway, this is where the surprise came in. For whatever reason, this new Cedarwood family has not only allowed me to visit, but has invited me back in as part of the family, and for that I am truly grateful. It is not deserved, it was not necessary, and to me it has been a gift. You see, as much as I was ready to leave, for some reason that I don't quite understand God has allowed me to continue to do what I love to do, caring for both campers and the staff that care for them, and yet to do it in a bit of a different way.
Anyway, I feel like there's much more to write about this past year, but I'll save it for some future entries. This wasn't even what I was going to write about in the first place!!! I sat down intending to write about the many ministry lessons that God has taught me in my role at NKMB this past year, but I guess one lesson I've learned in a huge way is that our gracious God sometimes likes to surprise us.