This last Sunday was a both sad and joyful day for our little church: it was our pastor’s last sermon. She is retiring, and we have a new pastor coming in sometime in the next few weeks, but she has been the pastor almost my entire life.
30 years of ministry with us.
There were sniffles and tears throughout, and I wasn’t immune to it. Neither was Mom.
She did ask that we give her space for a year so that we can adjust to the new pastor without falling back on her, and she told us she didn’t want to hear us compare them; they’re two different people and neither is better nor worse.
She teared up too.
She’s the pastor that married my husband and I. That I joined the church with. That supported us after the fire that took our neighbor’s children. She supported me through the throes of being newly diagnosed Bipolar I and having 4 hour mood swings.
(I’m not kidding. Rapid cycling Bipolar is no joke. When it started I had full cycles that would pass in less than 8 hours, from full manic to suicidally depressed. She was amazing and there for our family.)
But everything comes to an end, and she wanted to retire and focus on family.
Today, though it was sad, was happy. She’s going to be able to focus on the ones she loves. This is a new stage in her life, and she has given so much to us over the years, often setting aside her own loves and worries. Now, she can do what she wants without weighing her responsibility to us. Be herself, be by herself. Whatever she wants.
So we had cake. (Amazing cake – one of our church ladies makes this amazing cake that always sells for over $100 in church auctions. I’d never had it before because of my wheat allergy, but I had some this morning. It was THE BEST cake I’d ever had. I only regret it a little.)
And we talked.
And said good-bye.