I could use a less dramatic sounding term, but it would not fully encapsulate the truth.
The church that I have loved and poured myself out for in the last three years will have its final worship service in two weeks, and I am grieving.
I am grieving that it won't ever be all that I dreamed it would be.
I am grieving that I won't have a place to belong on Sunday mornings for a while.
I am grieving that, right or wrong, it feels like all that I invested of myself is lost.
I am grieving that God chose to answer my prayers differently from what I hoped.
I am grieving the friendships and relationships that have been lost, strained, or broken.
I am grieving.
And, as you know, grief is unpredictable and irrational. It strikes unexpectedly, rolls over you like a tidal wave knocking you off your feet, doubles you over like a sucker punch to the gut at an unanticipated trigger. It ruins the carefully painted mask you wear. It steals the words right out of your mouth.
You want to know what I hate most about grief? You can't skip to fine. I know I will be fine, but I'm not today. I know that one morning, I'll wake up and it won't hurt as bad. I'll make it an entire week without crying about it. I'll remember with a smile, not sadness, and I'll begin to see fruit coming from what I thought was a barren crop. I will be fine.
But, I can't skip to fine.
Fine is on the other side of the mountain, and the only way over it is one step at a time. So, I'm praying for wisdom on the way. To harvest every possible lesson. To find every hidden blessing. To bear the soul markings of this journey gracefully. To walk gently with others whose grief is the same yet wholly different.