Excited for the future - YES!
Thrilled at the opportunities and doors opening for our family - YES!
Confident that we are living in OBEDIENCE to God's Will - YES!
Easy to say goodbye to our GCC FAMILY - NO!
Goodbyes are hard... even when they aren't really goodbyes, just see ya laters, see ya soons, we're still around, etc. Any way we say it, the people that we have seen week in and week out for 9 years won't be as big a part of our lives anymore. Even still, our Graefenburg Christian Church family will be in our hearts forever.
July 3rd was very emotional day. I pretty much cried from the time the worship service began... Jon had his moments as well. However, I give him many kudos. He was emotional, tearful, sincere, but never all out blubbering. Way to hold it together babe... he even got a few laughs. Yes, that would, of course, have to be at the expense of the Louisville fans! Serves them right, huh?
Our church family surprised us with an extremely generous monetary gift. We had a closing prayer circle, and then many hugs, tears, and dear words were shared. The most heart-wrenching part came when it was time to say goodbye to some of the kids. College age, high-school, middle school... we've watched these guys and gals grow up. Even though we weren't ever really in a youth ministry role, these youth are so special to us. We are proud of them and the way they put Christ first in their lives. We have been truly touched to see the way they have loved and cared for our own three little ones.
In fact, Jeremiah had a really tough time seeing his "big brothers" so upset. Lots of tears toward the end from my little man. Rachel was a clingy basket case because her mommy was being a boo-hoo baby. She hasn't really seen Mommy lose it, so it scared her a bit. She had quite the bear hug going on... so much so that my earring got stuck in her hair on a couple occasions requiring assistance from others to detach us. Caleb seemed to take it all in stride. His main concern of the day... could his girlfriend Tori come over for a sleepover? Hmmm... well, maybe with Rachel someday. Haha - love 5 year old innocence.
After our bawlfest, we went out to eat with dear friends and then headed home to regroup before our farewell dinner and annual patriotic God and Country service. We enjoyed food, fellowship, and our GCC family. Blue No More and Sweet Spirit blessed us in song. Then, the Ladies Circle ensured I'd cry one last time. Rita spoke of my heart and passion for vulnerable children and adoption. Then, she presented me with a donation to Light Will Rise, the non-profit organization I have the privilege of serving. My heartfelt thanks to these sweet ladies who understand and support that which is so important to me.
A few more goodbyes and then outside to launch water rockets, play volleyball, basketball, and sit and chat. The kiddos had the best time running around, laughing, playing with their friends, and getting absolutely water logged. It made for a soggy ride home, but I'm so glad that we were able to make our final departure with smiling kiddo faces instead of sad faces. This was just what they needed!
So farewell GCC... we'll always be around and in time look forward to visiting. It has been an honor and a joy to serve alongside you for 9 years. Our prayers are for this to be a catalyst for great growth in spirit and number for the church. We pray believing that God will direct the leaders of the church as they seek out a man of faith to fill the pulpit and serve. Love to you all!