When I quit my job at my church in June I left a pastor and his family who I had been doing life with and ministry alongside for 7 years. They were the closest thing to what felt like family I had ever had. About a year a half ago, though, things got messy. Not messy in any scandalous sort of way just messy in the sense that feelings were hurt and relationships honestly looked liked they would end, unable to be repaired. It happens, even in the church, because we’re people and we’re sinful.
But, we pushed on. Ministry continued but relationships were drastically different. It was a lot of work and not a lot of personal. Eventually that got to me because it led to me forgetting that I was working with people and also to not feeling treated like a person. I did a pretty good job, though, of suppressing all of that “for the good of the ministry.” Not until after I left my job at the church did I realize just how much hurt and honestly bitterness I had built up.
I am glad I didn’t realize it until after I left, though, because it allowed me to leave well. I didn’t leave because of the negative things that had happened, I left because God said it was time to go. Since then, God has healed my heart and helped me to truly forgive.
It’s really cool to look back now and see God’s hand in all of it. Had those relationships not changed, I’m not sure I would have been willing to let them go and leave when God said it was time. He detached me and uninvested me because He knew I’d need that in order to follow His calling me away.
It’s also amazing to see how He has brought it full circle and redeemed and restored friendships. It took time…a lot of time and I’ve just been processing it all recently, but God has proven Himself faithful…as always. I am incredibly blessed to still have a friendship with people who have seen me at my best but more importantly at my worst.
My encouragement to you? Fight for the relationships, despite how awkward or uncomfortable or hard it may be, because they are worth it. But also be encouraged when things don’t go well, feelings are hurt, you feel “wronged,” or you don’t handle a situation well, that God is greater than all of it and He will redeem it.