30 April 2012

I didn't know exactly what to call this one - everything just seemed so trite...

Aaron and I have been on staff in several positions at Freedom for the past 14 years (youth, associate and now lead pastors). It has been an honor, a privilege and a joy to serve alongside of our best friends, Jason and Krista Miller for the bulk of that time.

Jason led worship on staff for the past 13 years. And while I consider myself fairly articulate and capable of writing pretty accurate "word pictures," I am at a complete loss of how to describe Jason's ability to "lead worship" as anything other than a perfect amalgamation of God-given gift combined with adoration for a deserving Savior combined with deep love for the people he leads.

He and Krista feel that this chapter of their lives has come to an end. He is simply done leading worship. Period. They will remain at Freedom as "just regular church folk." :) Whatever that means or looks like.

Yesterday was his last day leading worship and it was a wonderful time of reflection, fun, emotion, appreciation and most importantly, the presence of God. The church presented them with an award and a farewell (which isn't really the correct word since they aren't going anywhere, but for lack of a better one, I'll use the word "farewell") luncheon complete with gifts (some heartfelt, some kinda sketchy), their favorite foods, their least favorite songs. And of course, what farewell (insert better word) luncheon would be complete without tears and hugs?

It was a bittersweet time.

I tend to have a fairly "compartmentalized" way of thinking of things. My husband says I'm a kind of a dude like that. So, in that regard, I've been able to compartmentalize this particular life transition. Here is my personal summary:

  • I am sad that this chapter of worship has ended at Freedom.
  • I am excited about the next chapter of worship at Freedom.
  • I am going to miss the ministry-related aspects of our friendship that made it easy to spend time with my dear friends (staff work-away weekends, conferences, banquets, lunches after church, pastors' wives retreats, etc.)
  • I am looking forward to new, creative ways of spending time with them where we talk NOTHING about ministry!

But I realize that this particular way of thinking isn't necessarily commonplace. Especially for those with the double X chromosomes. So, I'll make a particularly "female" and obvious analogy (and it applies primarily to those at Freedom...)

In the process of childbirth, there is a stage of labor and delivery known as "transition." Up until this point, it's not uncommon for a woman in labor to spend the first few hours of the process pleasantly chatting with family members in the hospital room as things progress - or an entire stinkin' entourage - as was the case with my first child. I married a Hlavin. They are very social beings.

Transition is described by babycenter.com (and those of us who've experienced it live), as "the most intense part of labor." And that's putting it very mildly. I'll protect naive readers from the reality of this for now. You'll thank me later.

I think that the what gets us through "transition," in both childbirth and other areas of life, is knowing that just on the other side of this particularly difficult part of the process is something really good and perhaps even life changing. We may not know exactly what it will look like, sound like or feel like, but we trust the process because we know we're in good hands:
His perfect, nail-scarred hands.

1 comment:

Netta said...

Wow... beautifully said, Jaime.

(and just to affirm your "birthing transition" analogy: During 3 of my 5 birthing experiences, I barfed my guts out during transition! But every time... totally worth it!
Love you