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Transitionings, or "I choose not to work"

Posted by Maureen Thursday, July 31, 2008 Labels: , , ,

"Transitionings" by John Raux

Today was (willfully) my last day as a staff member at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas City, MO. For the past two years I have been the Student Ministries Director, working primarily with middle school students. I have loved it, the kids, their families, my volunteers. Also, I have simply loved being on staff. The group of people that forms the staff of this church are just phenomenal. Now, I know anyone could say that and that "no church is perfect", and fair enough. But what is simply true is that those who form the staff are truly committed to seeking truth and the love of Jesus in their lives and their work. I have learned so much in the past two years, simply from being around them regularly, from sharing meals, from attending staff meetings, from watching how they go about life and ministry. Each and every one has taught me something. I am so thankful for these two years and the life I have been given through healing, compassion, honesty, and love.

So. You may recall just under a year ago, I posted a similar message about my departure from YouthFront. I have worked in vocational Christian ministry, and at a church as well, ever since I graduated college four years ago. Now, this is the last tie to be cut from that season of my life. And it feels healthy, balanced, and assured. I will miss it. I have gained from it and appreciated it. I think and speak highly of ALL of those I've worked with over the past 4 years, in spite of the challenges. I am changing paths because that is where my heart and head are leading me, not because its not a wonderful, life-giving vocation.

So next up is life as a full-time graduate student. I will continue in working on my master's degree in International Studies at KU. Without a part-time job, I'll finish my degree in May. I'm very pleased about this development, although I can't hardly get my mind around the reality of not having a job and that being okay!

As I prepared to leave, my wonderful supervisor and friend Mimi Keel threw me not one, but two small surprise parties! How kind. The first was on Sunday with the kids, parents and volunteers. The second was on Tuesday with the staff. It was an honor. And what's more, Mimi commissioned my dear friend John Raux to create a painting for me representing this time of transition. This blew my mind--a truly perfect gift in many ways. Above is a photo of the watercolor, its about 4x6 and titled "Transitionings".

So, farewell to Employment, for at least six months. Even though it hasn't paid me much, it's still been good to me. Over the past four years, I have found both myself and Jesus in new ways, and much of that is due in part to those places and people. So, thank you Gaskins. Thank you, Analee and the other youthworkers at IBC Hong Kong. Thank you, Carlsons. Thank you, Brian. Thank you, Jody Matthews at Leawood Presbyterian Church. Thank you, Mike King and Ray Zuercher and Eric Peterson and Topher Philgreen and Aaron Mitchum and Andy Garlich and Nick Pickrell and Amy Vanarsdall and....oof....every single person on YouthFront's staff. Thank you Tim Keel and Mike King (again) and Mimi Keel and Deth Im and Mike Crawford and Philip Lesniewksi and Beth and Shayne and Kelli and Bea and Charity and Leslie and Micah and Tim B and Ginger.....again...every SINGLE one of you. Each and every one has changed me for the better in some small or hugely significant way. Thank you. I love you all.

And uh...I mean, see you at church this Sunday..... ;)

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