Missing You Already…But Does God Care?

So as we get ready to become two campuses, the reality of "not seeing" the Orillia people is starting to hit me emotionally. While I’ve got piles of friends at the Barrie campus, I live much closer to Orillia than to Barrie, so that means many of my personal network of friends will be at the Orillia campus. Which means, I won’t see them much anymore on Sundays.

For years, I’ve struggled with knowing "everyone" at our former ministry.  Naturally, I didn’t know and couldn’t know well over a thousand people.  And that’s why we have community groups — so everyone at Connexus can be connected with a leader and others who love them and know them and care about them. And when we announced that Connexus would be at two locations, many of you came up and said "but we’ won’t see you anymore, and we’ll miss you".  And I explained why I’d be in Barrie and that it was no big deal that we wouldn’t see each other because the church does not depend on one pastor knowing everybody, because then all churches couldn’t grow to more than 200 people and that we would always know each other anyway and blah blah blah.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been struggling with this week.  I miss the Orillia people already.  And I know I’ll miss the Muskoka people twelve months from now.  And then I’ll miss the Barrie people who will go to Barrie for a year or two until we can do something in the GTA and our southern ring from the Barrie campus will disappear.  I miss you guys already too. 

This is just turning into a sap-fest, isn’t it?

I’ve been praying about it though.  And here’s what I believe God is saying to me (please realize that the older I get, the less I like to say "this is what God said to me", because I want to speak for God less and less and let Him speak for Himself more and more…). Nevertheless, here’s what I believe God is saying to me as I pray about it:  "If you want to build a church on your relationships and your influence, go ahead.  But if you want to build a church on my strength, on my power, on my influence, then let go.  Let me care for the Orillia people and the Muskoka people and the Barrie people and eventually the GTA people  and you do your little thing in your little world and I’ll use it any way I want."

What do you say to that?  Basically, I clear my throat and change the subject.

I really kind of feel like I want to be in two places at once on Sunday.  I do.  But I can’t be.  (We have to set up one site with full equipment for filming and we picked Barrie…and no, I can’t float between sites, and yes I’d like to change that but we can’t and blah blah blah). 

So, I think as we practice being Connexus for one more weekend, God is about to do something bigger than any one of us and probably bigger than all of us.  He’s going to do something based on His influence.  Based on His dreams.  His scope.  His size.  His power.  Not mine, not yours, not ours.

So I’m getting ready for that.  I need to you to know I miss you already…but I’m just not sure God cares about how I feel nearly as much as he cares about the people He wants to influence through all of us through all our communities.    And I think somehow that’s far more important than how I or any one of us feels.

6 Comments

  1. Heather on November 26, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Well, I miss the many people I have been blessed with knowing and sharing and growing with too but, to quote from an old 80's Michael W. Smith song " FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS FOREVER IF THE LORDS' THE LORD OF THEM" Immagine the joy we will have hearing what wonderful things God is doing in the lives of our "other location" friends, which is what I did on the phone just this morning! I think God does care if we miss our friends, but try to miss them in a "good" way and anticipiate and look forward to hearing how God is blessing them and others through them !! I hope that each of my "other location" friends will tell me a story of what God is doing or has done in their lives the next time I see them, here -there -or -in -the -air !

  2. cathy baker courts on November 23, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    I know that i am not alone with this but i am so confused and undecided and missing everyone everywhere at the same time.

    i truly enjoy the building and comfort of trinity. (and yes, i know that a building is not a church…"we the people, are the church" says the old song.) but i feel very much at home there. but it's not the same. yes, there are still many people there that i know and care about. i pray that with time when a new minister is found for trinity that we will grow and Jesus will continue to help us walk with him, in oro. and our goal will be to continue to bring people to know Jesus.

    at the same time i miss those old mugs and hugs from the old gang..the big, old gang at the big, new church building where there was always something new and exciting going on. you couldn't close your eyes for a minute or poof…your minister was gone!

    i am not angry, i am just sad. i know that we have to continue to spread the word of God and there are lots of people beyond the 15th line of oro that are waiting to meet God too. just because the one that brought you to God is now helping others to find God you can't sit down and pout. that's called being immature and jealous. but those are my feelings and i am not finished with them yet.

    i pray that soon i will be shown what i need to do next. maybe if i wasn't so busy crying, and pouting, and stomping my feet i could hear what God is telling me. And this too shall pass.

    may you spread the word and joy of Jesus to all, wherever you choose to hang your hat.

    cathy

  3. Dora & Walker Dobson on November 23, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Carey your message touched me so deeply – as you are aware from our previous conversation, I have been praying about the "location" that our family will attend as well. Knowing that I will not see & hear you, & many loving & caring friends that I have met through Trinity tears at my heart. We miss you as well, but know that even in not seeing you & our friends that move onto Connexus the way you touch us in the past will stay with us forever. May you & the Connexus ministry be deeply blessed, you are in our prayers. Dora & Walker Dobson & family

  4. Christine on November 23, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Carey I feel the same way! I honestly feel staying at Trinity is the right thing for our family, but after three weeks I miss you all so much. I pray for Connexus, and will pop in to see you sometime. I know God is going to bless our three Churches so much. Thank you for all you have taught us! Bless you-and miss you!

  5. Joanne on November 23, 2007 at 6:18 am

    Carey, I hear you! I miss my friends at Trinity, I am going to miss my Orillia Connexus friends and I just heard three dear Christian friends who have been an enormous positive influence on my life are moving far away from Barrie. I'm going to miss them so much. My husband (always wise!) reminded me that the early disciples didn't get to just stay in Jerusalem hanging around with each other, no matter how much they must have loved and missed each other. That they always faced enormous change to grow the church too. He reminded me of all of the wonderful new people I'm going to meet at the Barrie Campus. And now you post this message reminding me that it isn't about me and my friendships and comfort levels, but about Jesus.

  6. Laurie McNair on November 22, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    You know what Carey, I so totally get what you are talking about. So many things have happened in the last few years–it has been an amazing journey so far. When God directs the journey some times the paths of the ones we have travelled with go in different directions. That is so hard to understand and it hurts when we realize that those that we care about and are comfortable with will not be travelling with us at this time.

    We can say that God is the Master of all and is in control but until we experience that first hand it is just words. Trusting Him fully is a struggle when it seems to us there has been a mistake but God makes no mistakes. Human relationships come & go as we weave through this journey on earth and I have struggled to let go and let God direct things but man what a party it is going to be when we all get to heaven–an eternity of story telling and catching-up with all of those that we have loved and who have loved us!

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