A Flying Leap of Faith…Some Big Life Changes…and More Goodbyes

The last thing I should be doing is writing a blog post.

In just a few days, a very large amount of people will be coming to my house to celebrate our oldest son’s high school graduation.

And, my house is a mess.

What we affectionately call the “graduation shrine” has been built. You know…the display of pictures that tell the life story of our kids. I had put off going through the pictures for so long, dreading the memories and missing that would inevitably flood my psyche. It turns out, I laughed out loud much more than I cried as I weeded through the years tucked safely in Rubbermaid containers. There was one moment when the display was finished and my boy’s life was laid out before me that the emotion came, waves crashing hard and fast. But, most of the time, I laughed and smiled fondly. We have been given such precious gifts. Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us…that we should be called His….and that we, for however long or briefly, should be entrusted with the care of these precious, amazing people. I get to be called Mother by each of them. Mother to Timothy, firstborn and first to steal my heart. Mother to Faith and Grace, running in heaven’s meadows until we meet again. Mother to sweet Thomas, who taught us about believing without seeing. We will never forget. And, Mother to James, the one who came to stay, and brought joy with him.

I get to sit in my front room surrounded by memories, sweet and precious. I live in a house, that has known grief, but is mostly filled with laughter and joy…all the sweeter because we have wept.

For the past six years, I have worked as a paraprofessional assisting special needs children in a typical classroom. I have been with the same student for five years, and the class of children, moving up a grade level each year. Working full time has always been a bit of a stretch for me, as I struggle to maintain home life and Sufficient Grace Ministries. My heart has often been torn between the three commitments, and I admit to doing things out of order at times. Just trying to survive the day the best we could. I love the students I work with more than I can ever express. They have taught me about the impact we can have on another life, just by being willing to truly care and listen and  love. They have inspired me with their gifts and abilities. H., who often reminds me of my Ian, and draws me beautifully designed pictures. K.B., strong like his father, but kind-hearted and thoughtful, a deep thinker, who notices much that others miss. B., who always took time for my J.P. and C., who never leaves without hugging me. He has hugged me goodbye, almost everyday, since first grade. A., whose enthusiasm for life and bright smile always bring joy to my heart. And, so many others. Especially my J.P., who swears he will never miss me, and teases me relentlessly about my fear of cats and anything else he can think of, who is sometimes stubborn and willful, and independent, and amazing, an overcomer, a hard worker, a wonderful artist, a quick-witted, Mario-loving,  incredible, intelligent, and sometimes very sweet boy.

But, the time has come for a very hard goodbye.

After many prayers and some recent changes in my position, I will be leaving my current job, and will be working with the ministry full time. Sufficient Grace has grown in recent years, and we’ve found that it is difficult to run the ministry effectively while not being able to devote the time required to fulfill it’s needs. This will help us keep up with our shipments and correspondence, as well as develop the plans we have on our hearts to better serve grieving families, through a possible perinatal hospice, more hospital seminars, meeting with families in person, more online support, and more availability. It will also help to have someone organizing the growing number of volunteers serving SGM. I have had so much on my heart and a vision for the growth of this ministry. While I wasn’t expecting to leave my job so soon, God’s timing isn’t always what we expect. Holly, Becki, Tim, and I are all on the same page about SGM, understanding the growing needs. We look forward to seeing where the Lord will take us on this adventure as we take a big leap, trusting Him.

I also look forward to being available for the ministry, and for our family. Some days, it has seemed like we are lacking a wife and fully focused mother. It will be good to put things in order again…God, family, ministry. In the past, I have not been compensated financially for my time with SGM. We, as a board, have been discussing how that may change now that I will be leaving my job to devote more time to the ministry. We will be ironing all of that out as we move forward, but one area we have discussed will be our family’s health coverage. The ministry will be covering that cost, beginning when our current coverage ends, and we are prayerfully looking into ways to ease that burden through funding. The Lord is certainly aware of the needs, and He has been faithful to provide.

Since many of you have supported SGM, I feel it’s important to disclose these upcoming changes, and to ask for your continued prayers as we navigate these uncharted waters. We will also meet with our lawyer to make sure everything is appropriately handled in keeping with non-profit organization rules.

Thank you for your continued support for SGM and for your prayers. Please keep praying, if you don’t mind. I truly stink at goodbyes, and as grateful as I am for what the Lord is doing, there is also a painful tearing of my heart as I leave these children and teachers, whom I have grown to love so much. All in the midst of preparing for my oldest son to graduate, with plans to enlist in the Marines soon. Goodbyes abound. And, I am being stretched…and clinging to Him, still.

Comments

  1. Def a lot on your plate right now and a few goodbyes I’m sure you’d rather not say, but God has great things in store for you, your family, and the ministry. It may not be easy at first but we know the One who has our backs is able. I am excited for what opportunities you doing the ministry fulltime will bring. I am def praying!!!! Lots of love to you my dear friend!

  2. Oh Kelly, so much coming at you all at once. I having been thinking and praying for you a lot lately. When I was reading about you getting Timothy’s picture set up for his graduation, my eyes were filled with so many tears. I am not far from doing the same. Caleb will be entering the sixth grade this fall, but time flew for him to get through elementary, and before I know it, he will be having his own graduation party. I can’t even think about it……. I am terrible with goodbyes.

    I will continually hold you in prayer Kelly…..

    Lots of love to you…

  3. I’m sure those goodbyes are tough, but I’m excited for this next chapter in your life as well as for SGM! What a blessing to be able to devote more time to your family and the ministry! I will be praying for a wonderful transition!

  4. Praying for you, friend. It’ll be so nice to catch up in person next week and give you a big ol’ hug. (But not too big….my milk is in. ;) Hope that made you smile.)

  5. I think this is an excellent decision. I will be keeping you in my prayers. Have a fun graduation!

  6. You are such an inspiration Kelly. I am so excited for your decision. I pray for you so often because I can only imagine how overwhelming this ministry can be. Sometimes I get overwhelmed just reading other blogs and learning about yet again another fatal diagnosis or the death of another baby. So, I keep you in my prayers. I pray that God would protect your sweet heart and keep your spirit in his hands so that you may continue this ministry. It is so very needed. Hugs to you dear friend.

Leave a Comment

*