LwF on twitter
« Celebrating God | Main | A PAL meeting to remember »


Today is a sad day. I hate days like today.

Today, a brother and sister who have been part of our church for years are leaving. In a sense, they had left some time ago (in terms of connection to us and attendance at meetings). But this weekend, they are moving. They are physically leaving us, and it's hard for me.

It's interesting how I define "leaving." It's really difficult to say when someone leaves and when someone becomes part of us. Obviously, we have no membership card or roster. Some people in our church have never and perhaps will never live in the same neighborhood that many of us do. So it's not just the fact that this couple is moving. Living close together is not a requirement to be part of God's people, although I do think it's a great benefit. But having already lived in the neighborhood, and knowing that they moved into the neighborhood for the express purpose of being in physical community with the rest of us, really does solidify this as leaving. They sacrificed a lot to be with us. They gave up a nice house and bought another house that made no sense from a rational, worldly perspective. And in the end, they determined the cost outweighed the benefit. They are moving just 10 minutes away. I hope and expect we will continue to stay connected, continue to be friends. It feels like they are moving to China.

Several thoughts run through my mind at random times:

  • We really failed them.
  • They shouldn't do this.
  • Life happens. People come and go. Life goes on.
  • We will be just fine without them.
  • We are losing irreplaceable expressions of the living God.
  • How could they do this?
  • Why would they not do this?
  • What are they doing?
  • What are we doing?

Are any of these thoughts true? Are all of them true? I don't know. Maybe I don't want to know. But I do want to take time to be sad...to mourn. I think it's right to mourn. I hope God blesses them through this, but I cannot pretend that it doesn't hurt. What are we doing? What is the meaning of life? Why...why...why?

We can't talk about how important each person is in the church and then turnaround and act like it's not a big deal when someone leaves. Even if God is the reason (and I have no idea if He is or not), it still hurts. It's still a loss. A loss that I feel in the depths of my soul.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (6)

thanks for sharing your thoughts.

i too am sad.


April 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria


Thanks for this. I appreciate you letting me (ok, everyone) know how you feel.

I don't know if it is God or not, but the move feels right to us. We didn't move to create space from the church. We needed to sell the house for financial reasons, and the neighborhood is not a good fit for us. We prefer newer and smaller to older and larger. This kind of preference might be a lower priority for some than living in a community with fellow church-goers. But not for us. We know that now and it has been a learning experience.

Of course, our moving away emotionally from the church has also had an impact. But not as much as you might think. The emotional distance between us and the church probably allowed us to make the decision to move. Were we still involved, we probably would still live in the neighborhood. But I don't think we would be much happier about it.

I hope no one takes this personally. There are many wonderful things about your neighborhood. But our preference is to live in a newer area, even if we have to sacrifice trees and character and history and proximity.

Finally, I do not feel as though anyone failed us. No one church form (or, for that matter, living situation) is best for everyone. We tried this, and it didn't work for us. But I'm glad we gave it a shot.

April 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Thanks so much for commenting, Mark. Please know there is no judgment here whatsoever. More than anything, I hope you and Jennifer know that you are loved and will be missed. But who knows...maybe the distance (albeit 10 minutes) will somehow lead to more connections rather than less.

April 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiving with Freaks

I appreciate what you are trying to say. But do you really mean there is "no judgment here whatsoever"? I think it depends on what you mean by "judgment".

Just to be clear: I was not offended by your original post (or your reply, for that matter).

April 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I think that's a fair question. What I mean by judgment is: I am not saying you moving was right or wrong, good or bad. I really can say that with an honest heart. I make no judgment about that. I can't, because I really do not know, and I am not the best person to determine what is best for you and your family. But what I can portray is the loss I feel because of it.

April 15, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiving with Freaks

I believe you. Thanks again for expressing this. Its good to know we are missed.

April 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>