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Lord, Give Me Strength

Joy's final blog.

"Lord give me strength!" This is what my mother would say in an exasperated tone when I was trying her patience, which I did frequently. Now, however, this has been my saying, my prayer, and my request, as I get ready to say farewell to all of you here at Messiah. As we look for houses and for a new community to call home up north, I cannot help comparing everything to the people here. You have all been with us through more than you know, but the most beautiful part of our lives have been while employed here. Every person in this church, children especially, have made a difference in our lives and Everett has grown up with a church family that loves and adores him.

From newborn baby to now two and a half, Everett has been in the office with me, carried and loved on by staff and moms group, adored and praised by all of Messiah and made friends with fellow "littles" of the church. We found out that we were expecting Everett and one of the first people we told was former Pastoral intern Joe. When I was in the hospital having Everett, former Pastoral intern Kristen came to my side (though I told the nurses no one was to come in, tricky Kristen). When we were ready for Everett to be baptized, it was former Pastoral interns Ben and Kristen that together did the most beautiful job. When we moved offices around, former Pastoral intern Alison was here to share the space with us, and was always kind about Everett's napping schedule and working with the lights out. When we would come to church this past year, Everett always looked for Pastor intern Mary and I truly believe she helped grow his love of dinosaurs. Not to mention his bond with summer interns both Austin and Zach.

Oh Messiah family, how you open your hearts and doors to interns and new staff members each time is just beautiful. You let the church change and grow, and grow alongside it. Sometimes it hurts to say goodbye, but the way you can continue to say hello and welcome the next person is a gift. THIS is what makes Messiah such a healthy congregation, your ability to adapt with a smile. You have loved our little family and made Everett feel a sense of security and welcome that you did not even know you exude. Therefore, for that and so much more, Garet and I would like to say thank you. For loving us, for welcoming us, for opening your hearts to me being the Director of Children and Family Ministries and helping us grow our faith through being part of yours.

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 4:8 (NRSV)

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