Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Love Note

To my family at Christ Church Brenham,

First of all, let me start by saying, thank you for last week, for blessing us, for sending us, for commissioning us onward and outward to continue the work of Christ. Thank you for your prayers of protection and prayers for wisdom and prayers for faithfulness. It was such a bitter sweet day for I am excited for the work ahead of us, but having such tender affections for you, I am sad to think of a Sunday without you. But, I can't think about that just yet. Thankfully, there are still services to be shared!

I also want to say that the past three years have been some of the most precious of my life. Our first days here, when things were still in boxes and I was still a little light-headed from all the fresh air, I remember doubting the prudence of our decision. I remember thinking how strange it was to spend so much time around the dinner table with the same people night after night. But soon, very soon, after a few long evenings spent together, outside and over dinner, strangers became friends, and not long after that, friends became family. What lessons I learned in those first months! I learned that "doing life" with people takes time and it takes home-cooked meals (with dessert!) and it takes clearing your schedule a bit to make room for guests and it takes a willingness to let your house get a little messy. It does take a lot, I suppose, but it gives so much more than it takes. I learned that because of you.

I also remember learning that when people are unified and on mission together, attack will come, both personally and corporately. And it did, didn't it?! But, I remember praising God (and I still praise Him for this) that we endured together. We carried each others burdens. We encouraged one another. We grew stronger in faith and in friendship and were all the more resolved to carry on with Kingdom work. I am thankful that I learned that with you.

And just so you know...
I learned how have people in my house all the time.
I learned how to cook...sort of. ;)
I learned how to play poker...sort of. ;)
I learned that sometimes the most important conversations happen at 2am on my couch.
I learned how to have a picnic.
I learned that having cable and DVR is useful for making friends.
I learned that I love having little sisters. And that I love going to coffee with them each week.
I learned that gardening hoes are useful for killing snakes.
I learned that the best is not always the best. Sometimes simplicity is best.
I learned so many wonderful things...because of you and the Jesus in you.

To my family at Christ Church...I love you. I thank you for loving my family so well. I thank our Father that I am different than when I got here. And I thank Him for the privilege of serving alongside you.

All my love,


Erica said...

Stephhhhhh, must you make me cry AGAIN????
Even though I was a little bit of a basket case last week, I am so excited and happy for yall. I really am. Yall have just become a second (better) family to me, and I'm so sad to think of not seeing yall every Sunday. But, since you're going to be my Matron of Honor, I know you're still stuck with me for another year at least ;]

Love you so much!

mandi said...

that was tough to get through! what a sweet letter, and an even sweeter time that you shared with us here in the country.
so thankful that God brought us here at the same time. and thankful that He is moving you on to more for His glory!

Mommy, M.D. said...

i've been refusing to comment on this, because that would mean admitting that you're really going. which i'm not ready to do yet. but i love you. i'm excited for you. so glad you came out here with us to do this crazy thing.