In a recent newsletter, a friend quoted from Heraclitus about change: “The only thing that is constant is change”. To be honest, I could plagiarize most of what he said in his letter.
While we know change is constant, we lament getting older, replacing those shoes that form perfectly around our feet, giving up our favorite shirt, and sitting in a different seat at church. Change is hard most of the time. The shoes do not fit. The shirt collar is not quite right. And the extremely tall person is right in front of you and the cushion is not quite comfortable.
The other side of change that I am coming to accept, but cannot quite embrace is that given time, the new shoes do fit. I begin to like the cut of a new shirt. The new seat allows us to meet new people. Time, or change, is both a curse and an adventure. That depends on what one chooses to focus. Longing for, fixating on the past; or looking to the future, learning from and remembering the past.
We are now approaching a new change. We are excited about the future and the possibilities, but are still transitioning from the “curse” to the “joy”. For nearly 3 years (2012 – 2014), we lived in constant transition. In the last 2 years, we have settled. The shoe fits. We have a garden. Thad has a fig tree. Oliver is in a good school, and has made friends. Simon has started Óvoda (Hungarian pre-school). And, our seats at church are just starting to feel comfortable. For those reasons, and many others, we have not sought change.
Thad was asked to apply for the role of National Operations Director for Agapé UK (Cru UK). Initially, we said no. During our ministry’s world-wide day of prayer last spring Thad recalls fervently praying for this role to be filled. After time, and nudging from the Lord, we decided to look at applying for the role over the summer. The change, the leaving, the disruption would be painful. However, the opportunity would be challenging and rewarding.
Some things to highlight:
National – We have always served at a Regional level: Western and Eastern Europe. This will be a National role. One country.
Operations Director – For this, I will allow the ministry to define the role:
“Implementation of the National Strategic Plan giving operational leadership across the whole ministry, in particular ensuring the Operations team fulfills its responsibilities. Provide all the necessary reporting to… statutory and legal bodies and internally to the Executive Leadership team, [Board of Directors] and the [Regional] leadership.”
The application process was thorough with the purpose of determining whether Thad would be a good fit for the role and ministry, as well as determining whether or not we felt the role and ministry would be good for our family. We were delighted to see these words in an email: “we would like to invite you to join the UK staff in the role of Operations Director!”
We are happy to say that we have accepted that invitation.
There are many questions. We have many answers, but cannot fit them all here. In the coming months, Thad will return to the US to raise the needed support for the move.
This will mean change and transition. It will also mean more “good-byes”. It will mean we will need to find a new church that has our seats available. But, it also means we continue trusting the Lord and taking these steps of faith.