Friday, July 11, 2008

Long Overdue Update

Hello Everyone,

I pray you are all doing well. Since my last update, there have been many highs and many lows. Settling in to my first 6 weeks of ministry has been wonderful. The congregations have both been so warm, open, and understanding when I make newby mistakes. I have now presided at Holy Communion four times and still get chills. At the "little church", we have started our first Bible Study. When I arrived there was no Sunday school/Bible study of any kind. We had a great turn out and everyone loved it! It was only supposed to be an hour long, but everyone wanted to stay. We ended up staying for just under two hours!

At the "big church" I have been doing a lot of program planning. I will soon attend my first youth committee meeting followed later by an informational meeting on the ELCA national youth gathering. It seems everyone in the congregation is excited to try out new and fun ideas for youth and intergenerational ministries. One of the first events I have on my calendar will be an intergenerational reformation party; should be fun!

Outside of that, I have had a very rough few weeks. My relationship with my fiance took a dramatic turn in June when he broke into a deep depression. I will not share many of the details, but it has been difficult. After really trying to "save" the relationship, which included outside help, prayer, and discernment, I made the decision just last evening to end the relationship completely. While it broke my heart to do so, I knew it had to be done for the health of both of us. Please keep us both in your prayers as we work through the pain of this experience and move forward on our individual journeys. Even though I am hurting now, I have learned a great deal and will grow from this experience. There is so much to look forward to in the future, I know we will both be just fine.

The beginning of my time in ordained ministry has already had so many twists and turns both professionally and personally. While some of it has been hard, there are many good things happening. I have vacation time scheduled for when the wedding was going to be and plan to still take that time. Today my friend Heather is hopefully going to be able to make reservations to come out for a visit. This would be great as she has never been out here and I could show her around Pennsylvania, Maryland, and DC. If this does not occur, I will head out to Oklahoma to spend time with her family that week (which would mean seeing Asher!). I think this time of rest will be very good for me and will help in regaining some of my energy and focus. I pray you are all doing well. Thank you, as always, for the prayers and support you offer. I hope my next update will bring good news and joyous experiences to share with you!


Sue said...

Prayers are coming your way. As you are well aware God will heal when you rely on him and pave the way for what is right. Trust in the Lord right now. I am so glad that Heather might come and if not you will go visit her family. Nothing like family to heal a heart. Take care and know I pray for you and hold you very close to my heart.

Paul & Denise said...

Seems we get trials right when we feel we are a spiritual high. I hope it is a growing experience and that you continue to thoroughly enjoy your other projects and activities.

Gibson Twins said...

We are praying for you, Laura. I hope you get to spend lots of time with Asher, it will be good for your heart! Thanks for all of the hard work you do on Asher and Jacobs friends site. It never goes unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

Laura you always have my prayers. If I were to say I didn't miss the web site being updated I would be lying, I really do but I also understand you are very busy at this time in your life and you will get back to it. As you tell us that does not mean we don't need to pray for all of Asher and Jacobs friends.
I also have to tell you I attend church weekly but want you to know how much I appreciate you being so honest with your updates about your personal life. Sometime we think of our clergy as being abnormal and not having "real" lives what ever that might be.
Thank you for sharing, God Bless You.
Walla Walla

bexx said...

Oh Laura, I am so sorry to hear about your recent break up. My daughter and her guy just broke up after dating for 5 years. It's tough. I'm glad that you are enjoying your real Pastor job! I think visiting Heather is a terrific idea! Good luck and remember what Sir Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never give up."
God Bless ~Becki S.