We sat in the back in an empty office. No one was saying much of anything, at least that I can remember. A man walked in a few minutes later and asked my dad how he liked his new office. I don’t remember his answer. The next thing I knew we were being escorted back down a long hallway to the sanctuary. My vision was blurred by a mixture of tears and bright lights as applause echoed in the room. I stood next to my brothers and parents in front of what would become our home church for twelve years. It was that evening many years ago that FBC Moss Bluff became part of our family, and us a part of theirs.
I’ll be honest, for not yet eleven years old, the idea of being uprooted from Oklahoma (which had always been home to me) to a small place in Louisiana (which I knew nothing about, and neither did anyone in my 5th grade class in Oklahoma) was not one I was particularly fond of. I laid in bed at night crying, asking God why in the world He brought us down there, because personally, I couldn’t see any reason why we needed to leave Oklahoma.
Oh how ignorant was I of God’s greater plan for my life.
Through the vessels of FBC Moss Bluff God has blessed me with growth I honestly don’t think I could have received anywhere else. It was that church, its people, and their heart that grew and shaped my heart for a love for missions which eventually was shaped into seeing that God had planned for me to one day marry a man called into ministry.
It was at FBC Moss Bluff that I met friends who stood by my side through every difficult moment and every moment of joy. We all stuck together, meeting on our own while we waited for God to bring us a youth minister who would eventually lead and grow us miraculously. We grew together; we graduated together; and many of us went to college together.
FBC Moss Bluff provided my second families, the sisters I never had, my third families, and more brothers than I thought I wanted. I’d go through names, but I know I would leave someone out, but you all know who you are.
It was where Paul, David, and I all had Graduation Sunday.
It was where my husband proposed, and where we were married.
It was where my little brother was baptized after he had swimming lessons.
It was where so much happened, and I hoped that much more would.
12 years is a long time for the life of a pastor, so around 8 or 9 years in, we began to be very comfortable and finally “at home” in Moss Bluff. So when the news came that my dad would be resigning (you can read his letter of resignation here), it hit harder than I expected.
The emotions that came were not just pregnancy related. FBC Moss Bluff was my home. It was evident as the deacon reading my dad’s letter (as my dad was not well enough to do so) became choked up. My mom and I fought tears during the worship service as the songs echoed praise for God be ever sustaining and good, and even more so as Dad’s letter was read. As the church service ended, we were greeted with hugs and encouragement. But as we made our way out of the church we passed people who wore their hearts on their sleeves: all of our hearts were breaking, and many of us could not make eye contact with each other, as words couldn’t do justice in the parting.
Even now as I try to get my words together, there is just no good or easy way to go about saying my goodbye. This post has been on my mind since Dad resigned, but words, though I love them, fall short in some circumstances. Whenever you have to say goodbye to a church family, that is definitely one of those circumstances.
So my dear FBC Moss Bluff Family, I thank you, and I love you. Please know that I will always thank God for you and for the role you had in my life. Goodbye for now, but we can rejoice in the assurance that we will all be together again as one gigantic church family in the presence of God.