Elton John and Bernie Taupin once wrote, "I'm sorry seems to be the hardest words". I used to think that was right, but now I'm not so sure...
Last Sunday I read my letter of resignation to our congregation. I had told myself that it was ok, I had read and practiced the letter many times and I was sure that I could keep my emotions in check. However, once again I over estimated my abilities and that one page letter turned into the longest thing that I have ever had to publically read.
I knew that this was comming, and the congregation knew it was comming, and I knew that the Congregation knew, but it still didn't make things any easier. I think that presenting the letter to people whom i have come to care about in a place that, although I sometimes complain about, really made me realize the reality of my leaving.
I have learned that saying goodbye seems to be the hardest words for me! Saying, "I'm sorry," is easy, my pride is not an issue. However, my emotions have always been close to the surface, and it is hard to leave a place you care about, no matter how irritated you can get with the institution at times. And that is the key! That is the reason that I went into the ministry in the first place. It wasn't for the institution, that is the thing I like least in my ministry, it was (and is) for the people. I love people, and I especially love the people of my church!
This has been a wonderful learning experience for me! I have gotten back in touch with the reason for my carrer choice. It was because of people! Will I still continue to vent and moan about the institution of Christianity? But, of course! However, I leave this church with no regrets because of the love that i have shared with its people, and (even more so) the love that they have shared with me!
Goodbye seems to be the hardest word!