Sunday, March 6, 2011

Farewell Cambridge

I still remember our first Sunday at Cambridge.  Bryan was simply filling the pulpit while we traveled home to visit family and friends.  We were living in Clinton at the time.  Bryan was a youth pastor, and I was working as a pediatric nurse.  I remember bringing my flute and asking Mrs. Peggy if I could play along with her during the worship service, and I remember her warm reception.  I remember leaving the service and turning to Bryan in the car and agreeing that God was clearly calling us there next.  We were so sure that we drove around Gautier looking at possible houses that were for sale and praying over our future.  We just knew that was where God wanted us, and we had complete peace about it.  Sure enough, the next day, Skip, the chairman of the deacons called and asked if Bryan would be interested in submitting his resume and interviewing to be the pastor of Cambridge Baptist Church.  Months later, we moved into Gautier and made our home here.

It was over three years ago now.  We've grown up a lot since that first Sunday.  Cambridge has been pivotal in helping us mature as believers, as a ministry couple, and as husband and wife.  We birthed a child during our ministry and lost another.  We saw deaths, baptisms, and salvations.  We experienced Christian community done well and Christian community done poorly.  We were loved well and hated well.  Today was our last day of ministry at Cambridge.  Since Abby and I were both sick today, we were unable to see Bryan preach his last sermon there, which was a blessing in disguise for me emotionally.  So it is with a sad heart that I bid farewell to the church that I sincerely believed we would be part of until the day we died.  It is with a hopeful heart that I welcome the future with open arms.

Oh God,
You have seen our journey, and You know our hearts.  Help us to learn from our past but not to live in it.  Help us to rejoice in what You have done so far and to embrace our future.  You are the God who brought us to this city, and we know You are not finished with us until You call us home to be with You.  Help us to be as brave, meek, kind, and forgiving as Jesus.  May we be faithful to the end.  Give us the grace to finish well.  We want to hear "Well done" when we meet You face to face one day.  Do not waste our pain.  May it bring forth a new ministry that is even more beautiful than we could have imagined.  May we see good come forth from our suffering.  Oh Father, we want to see You work in our city in a new way, so that those who have no hope could know Your hope, so that those who feel unloved will find Jesus, the Love, so that those who feel unforgivable could know Your forgiveness.  Reap Your harvest Father.  We are willing and ready. Because of Jesus, we come to You now and ask these things.  Because of Your great faithfulness, we can stay in the fight and not give up.  Receive much glory.  We are humbled to be Yours.  You are worth everything.


Sue Ann said...

Amen Anna! I was an honor to sit and watch Bryan preach today. I know in my heart that God has a plan for you guys. We love you!

Peggy said...

Anna and Bryan,
I believe with my whole heart that God did have plans for the two of you at Cambridge. I honestly don't know where it went haywired, but I do know that God can use you both in Gautier. I am thankful that I was a part of your lives while you both served at Cambridge and you will be missed more than you will ever know......this is just the beginning not farwell. You have both touched my heart and I will always be thankful for that and the memories. Continue to follow in Jesus' footsteps and He will lead you where He wants you to go. I love you both and Abby.

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