Monday, October 17, 2016

It's Time

I'm going to go ahead and say it:

I hate transitions.

Changing of the seasons? Totally fine. The beginning/end of certain sports seasons? Also fine. Friends getting married and/or having babies? Also also fine.

Moving? No. Absolutely not. I like having a home base of some kind. No matter what's going on in the day, the job/school/community/home I am at or whatever I'm doing, I'll somehow get comfortable and bury myself into that life like a tick. I find everything I need, and I'm good.

My last transition was when I came out to the Boston area just over 3 years ago in the pursuit of a Master's degree and being more equipped to serve in vocational ministry of some kind. But, I admit, I came into the Northeast with a fair bit of ignorance and snobbiness (#westcoastbestcoast). I had my way of doing things in school and church, and everyone else had their way. In fact, my favorite activity was throwing these little grenades into conversations at school just to stir the pot (Okay, I admit, I still do that, but that's how I coped in transition). I kept people and the Northeast area at arms length. I didn't get too comfortable with people. I longed for PNW coffee, mountains taller than 10,000 feet, and the Pacific Ocean. Oh yeah, and my family German Shepherd dog.

But, as time has passed since I've been here, I've learned a couple things. First, Jesus did not care what my apprehensions were, and He started chipping away at my soul. He started to soften it. I thought the prickly, private, hard soil nature of New Englanders (and Pats fans) would be the end of me, but I've discovered that the soil is super rich underneath (no, I'm not a Pats fan... I'm not relinquishing that). This community saw me and knew me in a way I never thought possible. Jesus sent me to a church that was certainly a gift I can never repay. My time out here would surely be miserable if I did not come across this church. Second, I needed time away from my roots. I never thought I would end up in the Boston area, but as time has gone by since I've been here, I have received new ways of thinking, new challenges (both inside and outside the classroom and the church), and have been healing in almost all facets: physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. The people of New England, and frankly, people from all over the Midwest and South, as well, taught me more than I could have imagined. I have a long way to go, but as one friend said, my time here has been like being in a healthy greenhouse: I needed a safe, healthy place to grow, and be nourished and tended to by the people at my school, my friends, and my church.

But now, I need to be taken out of that greenhouse and planted in an outside garden, or more accurately, the forest. I don't want to leave. Like I said, I want to bury myself in my current situation like a tick. I like it here. I really do. The people I've grown to love and care for deeply... I don't want to leave that... but I am.

I'm heading home.

Sometime in the next few weeks or so, I'll be driving back across the country to replant back in the Portland area. I have been offered, and have accepted, a job as a youth pastor at a local Chinese English church in Portland. I'm not looking forward to leaving the people I call family in the Northeast, but at least I'll know I have their love and support as I move on to the next step.

Cheers to transitions.

4 comments:

danmbob said...

Glad you resurrected the blog. Post more stuff about your adventures. Thanks for sharing

jess.modaff said...

Proud of you, Win. Tough decision. We will miss you around here.

Annastasia McPherson said...

Congratulations on the job and moving home! You will be a great youth pastor!

Meg Baatz said...

Man. I just barely met you at Highrock and now you're leaving? ;) The best thing about the family of God is that every goodbye is necessarily temporary. May the Lord be your home as He prepares specific people in Portland to be a part of your next chapter. Your family will only continue to grow.