Tomorrow…

Kahlil Gibran said it best when he said, “The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.”

Lately, I’ve been really thinking about the various changes that we go thru in life and how changes in one area have an affect on so many other areas of our life. What I have come back with is that some times change just simply STINKS!!!

You see, our church is going thru a MAJOR transition. Our pastor recently announced that he will be relocating to California and that we will be transitioning the ministry into and under his son’s leadership. So, our church will be merging with his son’s church. We are selling our property and liquidating assets. AND, I’m an employee of the church. This change is huge!!! But, this isn’t the only change that’s happening…

When a church closes, whether there is provision to go somewhere else or not, we are left with the decision of continuing with the merge or going somewhere else. I don’t care how spiritual you may be but we are not only following God but we are also following our leader. When our leader leaves, it has an affect. We have communed together and it’s like losing a loved one, partner or brother.

My view is a tiny bit different than many because, as the minister of music, I work directly with our pastor. He and I have spent time together. We’ve shared various victories, trials, and battles together. We’ve been thru the ringer together. One of the hardest parts of this is that I consider my pastor to be my friend.

If you’ve followed my letters, at all, you will see a common theme of relationship and my passion towards it. Over the past several months, I’ve really been battling with my emotions about friendships because once I connect with you… you have a friend for life. I’m also not an idiot and I know that “time waits for no man” and “seasons change” and “time brings about change” and “people change” and all of that. But, I am one who truly invests in those around me. I work hard. I play hard. And I love hard. To be totally honest, I can’t afford to keep losing friends… And the closing of a church, any church, can be the catalyst for that loss.

I told the worship team the other day that none of us know what tomorrow brings and that I truly love each of them and have enjoyed working with them. It took every ounce of strength that I had not to weep uncontrollably in front of them. We have been thru not only battles but all out wars together. We’ve laughed and cried. We celebrated victories and held each other in times of grief. I have to hold back the tears even as I write this letter.

Why is this so hard? It’s hard because I’m in love. I love my church. I love my pastor. I love my team. The mere thought of losing that love is enough to break my heart. And now the reality of calling everyone in to clean up and prepare the facilities for sell and liquidation brings that heartache right to the top. The problem is that I can’t keep smiling like everything is okay. It’s not okay…

How do we fix it? In this case, there isn’t a fix on decisions to be made. Do you explore the opportunity of relocating to California with the pastor? Do you continue with the church as she merges with his son’s ministry? Do you follow one of the other ministries that will be birthed? Do you find another church? So, many questions… But, wait!! There is one answer tho… Jesus.

In all thy getting, get understanding. When all of these questions arise, and they will, all we need to do is look to Him for the answers. The Word says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. It also says to seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added. We have to keep a kingdom mindset and that says, “He’s got our back!!”

I may be in love but He loved me first and best. I love Him enough to trust Him completely. It may be hard. It may be unbearable. But I know that WE WILL SURVIVE!!

But for the record… BK, Tina, Conia, Shameca, Tracy, Jeff, Michael, Kevin, Trevon, Irene, Derrick, the sound team, the media team, and everyone else that has worked with and on the Worship and Arts Department…

I love you and speak the blessings of God over each of your lives AND those connected to you.
I pray that God continues to favor you both now and in the future.
I pray that your worst days are behind you and your best is no longer coming but is HERE.
You have blessed my family’s and my life and I will never be able to express how much you truly mean to me.
I thank God for you.
-MJ

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

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Fruitless Pursuit…

If you’ve learned anything about me either face-to-face or thru my letters, you’ll know that I am the greatest advocate for creating, building, salvaging and growing relationships. The most important thing in life isn’t the stuff that I’ve acquired but the friends that I’ve made. Another personal trait of mine is that I am THEE most loyal person that you will find. Combine those two traits and you have a friend for eternity. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that not all relationships will last. No matter how much you love and hard you fight for it, some friendships come to an end. The difficult part is knowing when to step away and move on.

In every relation-/friendship (for my own sanity I will just say ‘ship’ for the rest of this letter), you have those times of disagreement, troubles and hurt. Every ship has them. I don’t care how wonderful either of you are… your ship will be tested and tried. The key is YOU knowing where their heart lies and vice versa. It’s easy to say, “I’ll be there thru thick and thin” or “we’ll be friends until the toe tags”. But, what happens when we don’t fully recover from those rough spots? What happens when one of us doesn’t want to stay in the ship? Well, then the real comes out…

Whenever a ship dies there are a plethora of emotions flying around. There is the love, the hurt, the joy, the disbelief, the anticipation, the grief, and the list goes on. For now, I’ll only comment on a couple of these emotions… love and hurt.

You’re in a ship because on some level love is shared. Now, for the super deep people… not all love is that that’s physically shared between a man and woman, or sexual. Actually, if that’s all you feel for any person then I pity you. There is a love that you can have with a someone that transcends our physical nature and is held in the cradle of the universe. A love so strong that you don’t even see the flaws in a person, that the mere thought of them envelopes you in joy and makes you smile or just seeing them makes you fall in love over and over again. I digress, that may be too deep for some of you… but seriously, every ship carries love. It may be displayed as mutual respect, comaraderie, teacher/student, etc. The point is that this is what the ship is built on.

The hurt comes when that foundation has been marred, damaged or destroyed and the ship is unrecoverable. I was talking to a guy and he said that the worst feeling ever was being in love with someone and they leave you. That’s true but there is an even greater tormentor. The feeling you have when they accept another, or when they’ve moved on and you haven’t… He acknowledged how people can go postal in light of these situations. And sadly, it’s true.

Here’s my ultimate point with this gloomy epitaph… Life is short and all we have is today. It may hurt like Hades but sometimes a ship isn’t worth saving. That doesn’t mean there is any less love or that our affections have been diminished, just that they need to be redirected. Time is a gift and it shouldn’t be wasted on anything or anyone…

So, here is today’s assignment:
We all have ships that can’t be saved. We need to acknowledge which ones they are and bring them to a close… first, in our hearts and then for real.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie