Grief Upon Grief Upon Grief

In the last 3 weeks, our dog died, my daughter got food poisoning on Thanksgiving day, the boiler broke at church, and my son was in an accident. We’re shuffling cars, dealing with insurance, and there’s a pandemic.

Did I mention I’m a pastor? It’s Advent. That’s like tax season for accountants. Also, there’s a pandemic. Wait. Did I say that already?

And tomorrow our church celebrates 10 years. Well, we were supposed to.

I’ve had to make a lot of hard decisions this year. Many of them made me unpopular. I’ve had to weigh my own wants against the needs of the larger community and the vision God has for us. I wouldn’t wish this burden on anyone and yet it’s exactly what God called me to do. It’s what he anointed me to do.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m not sad tonight. My shoulders are feeling heavy. My heart is hurting and it feels like the longest night of the year. It’s nowhere close to how I pictured us celebrating 10 years ago.

The year 2020 has brought grief upon grief. I’m grieving. You’re grieving. We are all grieving in some way.

A few years ago, I developed Broken Heart Syndrome. It’s a real thing. And it returned this week. So I’m doing my best to take slow deep breathes and take mindful walks. How do you minister to one another with a broken heart?

I say this so that you will also cut yourself some slack. We have all been pushed to the breaking point. Don’t deplete yourself as you rush towards December 31st. Walk, don’t run, to the finish line. I know we all want this year to be over, but you want to make it there in one piece.

However, as we finish the year, I’m being conscious of what we’ve done with God’s help. So here’s what’s happened in 10 years:

people found God, marriages were healed, lonely people made friends, children were born, captives were set free from their burdens, and grace and mercy flowed into the community.

And that’s the church God sent us to plant 10 years ago. Well done!

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