In February, I sent the letter to my district superintendent stating my plans to discontinue my service as a licensed local pastor. There was some seriously mixed emotions involved in that experience because I got absolutely no response or acknowledgement of this from the district office. Still, there was a certain sense of relief and freedom having done this.
In the middle of this, I applied for and was accepted to the Academy for Spiritual Formation. Our first session will be the first week of August. I've already started doing some reading and met some important people, so I'm looking forward to a great two years.
Last Sunday, I announced to my congregation that I would be leaving, which was a really difficult experience. Although there were plenty of smiles and hugs, there were also a lot of tears. Although I have two more months, I know those months will fly by before I know it.
This next season in my life will be one of rest and care for myself and allowing myself to be cared for and nurtured by others. It will also mean some firsts in our marriage, like finding a church home where we can both be connected, making friends our age in our community, and taking weekend trips for the heck of it! I am looking forward to it, but there is a little bit of fear of the unknown in these things!
In the weeks and months ahead, expect to hear more about how this season plays out!