I love blogs. I love to read them; I love to write mine. But they can sometimes get me in trouble. How, you may ask, does it get me in trouble? (Even if you weren't asking, I'm going to tell you...) It's not really in the area of wasting time...I'm pretty much good about only letting myself bunny-trail around if I have the time to do so, otherwise I stick to my 5-10 minute routine blogs. It's because I find myself comparing myself to those wonderful people who seem to be doing, and doing well, all the things that I want to/think I should be doing. The same goes for websites. That's my problem tonight...I've been visiting church websites. Some of them look so good, I'M ready to join...and I'm one of the leaders of MY church!! (JUST KIDDING, by the way, all you Koinonia-ers...I truly do love our church). But seriously, lately I've been contemplating our church planting experience, and church planting in general. There are so many ways to do it, and none of them are easy, I know, but I must admit, I have been asking God a lot lately why He asked us to do this. (Actually, to be perfectly honest, I haven't really been asking him, I've more just been wondering...I guess I'm not sure I really want to know what his answer would be if I asked him directly.) It's easy to look at everyone else and think how great what they are doing is, and I feel so insignificant. And yet, as a dear friend pointed out to me this week...every person at our church has been impacted in some way by Koinonia House and its existence. They have been touched in a way, grown in a way, that they could not have if we had not stepped out to plant. Mostly I lose sight of this, but I am thankful for friends who can point it out to me...not because it has anything to do with me, but because it reminds me that God has a plan for every individual, and my part might be touching a lesser number than other bigger, more "successful" (read: thriving kids programs, multiple ministries, nicer buildings, etc.) churches, but the value of those fewer numbers who might have gotten lost or never made their way to those big churches is just the same. When I stop and think of our church in terms of individuals instead of numbers or programs, I really do see God's hand at work, and my heart is so full.
I guess part of me is still going through a process of what was a tidal wave of changes that happened in my life in the past few years. We planted a church (which meant leaving a church that I really did love, and several people who I loved, and still do, but don't get to see as much), moved, left a job, lost my dad, returned to a job, etc., etc. New people came to the church, some old ones left. All this in the past 2 1/2 years, after living a fairly steady, unchanging life for the previous 12 or so years. I can't help but occasionally feeling a sense of loss. Not because what I have now isn't good or right - it is. I'm certain we did what God wanted, He is in control, and I am blessed beyond measure. I'm not complaining in any way; rather, I'm trying to process this sentimental sadness that occasionally comes over me. It's like I long for things to be the way they were, and yet, I know they never can, so I can't allow myself to stay in that place too long. Even if I went back to some things, some places, they really would not be the same. Because life keeps on going...nothing stays the same. But I profoundly miss some people, and it's an ache that I wish would go away, and yet at the same time it's part of who I am and where I came from.
I'm glad that I am not in control of time...that God keeps it marching forward. Otherwise, I might've decide to move us all back about 3 years and just keep playing that time over and over like a favorite old movie. The funny thing...at that time, I know my life had frustrations and imperfections. I know I now am looking back through rose colored glasses. But in a way, it's nice...God and time have healed those hurts, and all that remains is fond memories. And I find that brings me full circle...because it gives me hope that maybe in 3 years from now, I won't remember so much the occasional sadness or struggle, but will be filled with warmth from all the good that God is working in the midst of this day, month and year.