As I type at 10:13 P.M., tears are beginning to form at the corners of my eyes.
Michael Hart, my youth minster, is moving.
This family has been more than a blessing in my life. Michael has been there since before I really began to understand the gospel and has guided me in my Christian walk more than I can put into words.
The way Michael loves the Lord is undeniable. He is always trying to put into practice real, genuine worship. When he prays, he really thinks about what he is praying and believes it. Michael has loved our youth group so well. He has imagined with us, dreamed, prayed, cried, sang, laughed, worshiped, and has been raw with us. He is so near and dear to our hearts.
Miriam, his wife, has been such a wonderful example of a woman of God. She is sweet as they come, and even with two children under three, she always seems to have a joyful smile. Her constant effort to make guest feel like family is so warming to my heart. She is always willing to listen intently to what others have to say and gives incredible advice.
At first I was a little bitter. Why did they want to leave, anyway? Were we not good enough? How silly of me.
God is calling this household. That is more exciting than I can imagine. God is calling him to leave and follow Him. Jesus is commanding his family to take up their crosses and follow Him. And their Protector will hold them under Himself every step of the way. He will be their true Refuge. He will show them redemption and joy and love through this. What an adventure.
Paul wrote this to the Christian church in the city of Philippi:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14
God calls us to look ahead at what he has planned. There have been so many amazing things that have happened while the Harts have been here, and God is saying, “Press on, explore more of what I have in store for your life.” We don’t literally have to forget the memories; what would be the point if we did? But we can’t live in them. If even greater things lie ahead, I am like a child on Christmas morning eager for it. My heart yearns for the things that our Father has planned, and I am sure that the Harts feel the same way.
So thank you, Lord. Thank you for the memories that have already happened. Thank you for the ones that lie ahead. I pray that the Harts feel You with them in every breath. I pray that whoever comes to take the position Michael leaves, that you will guide them. That we will love them just as much. That they will love us just as much as Michael has. I have fallen in love with this family, and my prayer is that through this you will break our hearts a little more for you.
I could say goodbye, but that would bee quite incorrect. Because really, in the body of Christ there are no real goodbyes. We will all see each other again one day.
So to the Hart’s: I love you, and I’ll see you later.