31 May See you later, IAC
A few months after I decided that IAC would be my home, Ken Ross invited me to write my introduction for the IAC notes. I had left a toxic situation at a church, and I found IAC refreshing as I continued my faith journey. I was happy to write about my faith journey and how the Lord bought me to IAC.
Now, seventeen years later, I must write my goodbye note. I’ve met so many friends, was apart of some awesome small groups, read Scripture, and wrote the sermon reflections. My faith grew, and I swore that I’d never leave this church.
The Lord has other plans.
I was hospitalized in March when the Lord told me that my time at IAC was coming to the end. It took me 45 minutes and a battle with God to write “I am leaving IAC.” I didn’t want to type those words because they would make it true. But the Lord was so gentle with me. He held me as I cried and tried to make sense of it.
Do you know what? Once I typed those words, I experienced freedom like I haven’t felt since I wheeled into Shove Chapel many years ago. I couldn’t praise the Lord more for what he has done.
As some of you know, my wife Kelly hasn’t been attending IAC since before Covid. She has been gracious to me saying I could stay at IAC as long as I was getting fed. I was hoping she would find a new church and I would follow along. I never thought I’d be the one to take the lead in finding a new church. God is full of surprises.
I am ending up at New Life Downtown. Kelly still has some healing to do, but I’m convinced that God is sending me there. There are some opportunities to explore, and some friends I need to get to know and minister with. My seminary has a close relationship with New Life, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in story as we start this new adventure.
Please don’t be sad for me. As I wrote this out this week, Michael W Smith’s song, Pray For Me, kept running through my mind. I’d like to end by reciting the first verse.
Here is where the road divides
Here is where we realize
The sculpting of the Father’s great design
Thru’ time you’ve been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye
But I know the road he chose for me
Is not the road he chose for you
So as we chase the dreams we’re after
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Thank you, friends. May God bless us as we part ways.
JenJennifer HillsPosted at 16:26h, 31 May
We will miss you and Kelly! Blessings on you and your ministry!!