It is becoming common knowledge that I am leaving Horsham and district at the end of this year and although I still have two months to go, the goodbyes have already begun.
Saying goodbye to places is easy; visiting locations of beauty one last time and taking photographs to remind you of the landscape.
Saying goodbye to work is good. My ninth year of ministry in the Wimmera has taken me from Dimboola to Brimpaen, from Marnoo to Minimay and all around Horsham. Baptisms, weddings, worship, carols and funeral services ... so many stories of fun and laughter, of love and joy, of hardship and loss.
The stories become a part of me, so I leave taking the recollections of conversations with people at important moments in their lives with me.
Saying goodbye to people, from my family to your family, is the hardest. Counting down the days in many small sad, yet precious, farewells. Letting go of ties that bind ... community, friends and church family.
When we take the risk of making large decisions in our life, when we make risks for our faith, the words of God come to us "I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29:11) We bring hope for the future, moving forward in our faith. Knowing that God is forever with us.