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Sometimes, New Chapters Start Before Old Ones Finish

I will ask you to say a few words, he said.

My brain went into panic mode; images of baby birds leaving the nest popped in. But I’m no baby, my thoughts raged back. I’m a woman on a journey. 

I stood before the congregation after the pastor had announced that I was leaving and after he handed me the mic, I babbled on about a few things: the 44-mile one-way trip that I had to do each time I came to service, the fact that the church was not in my neighborhood, the fact that I needed to serve in my community, and that my heartbeat area of service is homeless ministries (of which this particular town and congregation had no real understanding of) … I expressed my appreciation for their love and care over the years. I said I’d visit.

I think I did okay.

Until I cried.

It couldn’t be helped.

Change is difficult, but this transition was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I’d written a while ago about my existential moment and now this one at least has come to its end. The best part was that I was able to feel part of the new ministry, here in my locale (two miles from my front door, to be precise), before having left the former one. Having a new church home that I could call such, prior to walking out that door for the last time, made it hurt less.

Despite the anguish over the issues, I care for the people there. I will miss many whose faces I saw each week. But my heart is fully happy as I prepare to go forward into the next chapter …

And sometimes, change ain’t so bad.


  1. Leigh W. Smith August 29, 2016 9:22 am

    No one could have said it more eloquently or beautifully; change hurts but it also can make way for peace of mind and strength. And for passing along this wisdom (as well as your being a good human being and fellow writer!), I wish you continued healing on the existential whatchamacalit that is life, AR.

    • AR Neal August 29, 2016 9:28 am

      <3 Thank you!!

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