One of the questions I get asked over and over again these days is “how are you doing?” This is not asked in the obligatory welcoming way but in the “tell me, really, how are you doing?” way. Usually I answer with a perfunctory “fine” or “OK” but perhaps one month in to my journey it would be helpful to take an account.

It will be four Sundays this Sunday, May 25th, since our last Sunday at Compass and in many ways it feels like our good-bye was much longer than one month ago. It has not been hard to distance myself emotionally from Compass. I admit that I am surprised by this. I would have expected a greater challenge. Even as I write this I feel a twinge of guilt expressing this (just a twinge). I have experienced a number of moments of reconnection. These moments of reconnection include simple little things like driving by the church building, running into someone at Starbucks, or the occasional email with someone from Compass. None of it is bad, all of it is normal, enjoyable and necessary.

Overall I would say I am much more relaxed. I knew I was wound tight but I didn’t know how tightly wound until the string was pulled. The responsibility of church ministry along with all of its privileges has been removed and every week I am feeling more and more weightless. I imagine part of this is also because of the simplicity of our home life right now. We are experiencing this time without children at home and with parents in good health. I am grateful for the gift of this moment in time.

I miss the rhythm of preparation and preaching. I am enjoying the break and having others shepherd me in the ministry of God’s word but my passion for preaching is undeniable.

I am more appreciative of my time with others. When I left Compass I removed myself from an entire network of relationships. I am not part of that normal flow of relationships and I miss that very much. So when I get the opportunity to spend minutes or hours with someone it just brings that much more joy.

I am thankful for God’s care. I am confident in his call. I am blessed with an abiding relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I am enjoying the present even as I am hopeful for the future.

I am appreciative of God’s clarity. The past six months and in particular the past month has been full of helpful conversations with others, which has led to dynamic conversations between Brenda and myself. It has been exciting to reach out to God with Brenda in prayer. God has used all of this to help us discern the desires he is placing in our heart for ministry.

One month in I am grateful.