So it finally hit me that this coming Sunday is going to be my last at Bridgeway.  That has a very sad ring to it.  Until now I have been focused mostly on the logistics of moving… finding a new apartment, sorting & packing, tying up loose ends.  The thoughts that spin around moving to Lynchburg are good ones, and I have focused mostly on those, but the cogitations that bubble up from below about leaving Bridgeway are sad ones. 

I wish I could have done more for Bridgeway–we are smaller now than when I came as pastor two years ago.  I wish I were leaving with Bridgeway vibrant and energetic, not struggling for survival.  I wish our efforts at building community had not been stymied by people moving away… people being too busy… people struggling too much with their own issues to invest in more relationships.  I had my own issues that pulled me down.  I wish I could have connected more with folks here, but it didn’t happen.  That is sad.  I wish I could have made everyone happy, fulfilled everyone’s dreams for a pastor and church–that isn’t possible, not even preferable, but it doesn’t make the failed desire any less painful. 

For the past 15 months, being a pastor has made me more depressed than being unemployed.  I have woken up depressed…  had to force myself to get out of bed and start the day.  I should have resigned a year ago, but my sense of responsibility weighed too heavily on me–I’ve always been better at trying to meet others’ needs than my own.

Despite the pain, this last year has been the most personally fruitful of my life.  I have discovered, faced, and battled through more soul issues these 12 months than in the last 44 years combined.  For the last 10 years, life has been hard as hell, exhausting, deeply painful, horribly depressing, but this last year it has also been richly rewarding… and that gives me hope, a luxury I have not experienced in a decade.

So here’s to Bridgeway folks: May you discover yourself more deeply this year and discover the goodness in one another and discover God’s best intentions in the hardest spots.  My love to all and best wishes.


Posted August 24, 2005 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

2 responses to “

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  1. I’m not sure what is appropriate to say in a public forum. And I don’t know what I can add to what I hope you already know. Even though you’ve only been in my life for a few years, I consider you a close friend. As with Mike & Karen and a few others in our circle, our lives connected at a time when I desperately needed friends I could trust, a church I could feel a part of, lives I could see God’s grace in. Maybe you’ve lifted me up because you’re the only guy I know that’s sometimes more depressed than me! 😎 I’m sorry that me personally and we as a church did not pour more into your life while often leaving you drained. I will miss you a great deal and I hope that you will always feel free to speak wisdom and friendship into my life, as I pray I can do for you.

  2. kent, a lady came up to me at our wedding whom i did not really know well. i had been on a couple of mission trips with a group from her church to brasil but we never spent an extended period of time together. she pulled me aside at the wedding and said “you never know what kind of impact you have on people’s lives. you have meant so much to me and you have no idea how my life has changed because of you.” you NEVER know how you have affected people’s lives. i personally want to thank you for helping Eddie in his spiritual journey to be the man that i am proud to call my husband today.

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