I was messing around with one of those random facebook applications earlier. The one where it shows you your year worth of status updates and puts it into a pretty collage thingy. You ever wish you just didn’t do something? The status updates around the time of our leaving officership are so difficult. The conversations, the THQ interview, the promise of another appointment when it was clear we couldn’t stay in Torry, the disappointment of that appointment being with drawn and our previously withdrawn resignation being accepted, being asked to leave the quarters to make way for another officer (who for whatever reason has yet to arrive even now) which made the ‘tent-making ministry’ we offered to the Army in Aberdeen impossible for us financially, our ‘farewell meeting’ and then just the heartache of driving out of Aberdeen.
God called me to be a Salvo. God called me to be an officer. He also placed a burden on my heart and I went for it and now I’m no longer those things. Just sadness. The conclusion doesn’t really feel like its what the Lord ordained. To say that leaving the Army was a bereavement is an understatement. Its more than that. Its like a whole part of me died. Thats pretty painful folks.
In spite of that, I’m so thankful that God has provided what he has provided for us at this time. We have a roof over out heads and food to eat and more. He has planted me within a fruitful ministry amongst people who are open and receptive and who appreciate all I bring and yet its so hard. You know, more than that, its been such a humbling experience to be allowed to offer my learning, experience and ministry to people just delighted to receive it.
Do I regret leaving officership? Quite simply, I didn’t walk away from the Army. I had no choice whatsoever. Well, I could have laid aside any conviction that I had, kept my head down and kept my opinions on the future of leadership in urban SA corps to myself. I could have chosen to ignore what God was saying to me about my officership leadership. I could have fallen into line and continued on. I could have continued to try to be what others expected me to be.
This blog is subtitled ‘notes and rhymes on following Jesus after Christendom.’ Not all the notes and rhymes are happy ones friends. I grieve the fact that for whatever reason, the Army weren’t willing to embrace a different beat from us. The Lord knows that I’d be willing to step up to the plate again. But the Lord also knows that I was pressed to breaking point. At the end of the day, the Lord knows – I don’t. I’m not bitter, the anger has gone….all that is left is just the sadness, the latent Salvo passion and the questions about what the last 15 years of my life have been about and about what the future holds.
Continued prayers appreciated if you’re willing.