Towards the end of the MOPS year, we (leadership) always start thinking about the following year and there are always changes to be dealt with. Pretty normal. So I was confident as I prepared to "coach" my team through change. And then I learned of some more changes that will be taking place in this ministry that is a big part of my life.
I'll give you a personal example. I've been living in the same community for a long time. Much longer than I anticipated living somewhere as an adult, when I was a youth. The thought of moving is quite exciting to me. Certainly not the packing and unpacking part, but starting fresh somewhere new and experiencing another part of God's great earth is a thrilling idea. I just love to travel and want to see and experience this entire world. Living in Alaska on a teacher's salary for a family of 7 can make you pretty "stuck". Before you start spreading any rumors, there is no moving in our near future that we can see. But that would be a huge change. A change that many would hate but, to me, sounds exciting.
On the other hand, some changes are harder for me to accept. Such as opening up my blog after 17 days away from it and finding everything different. Or when an organization I have been involved with for several years decide to change their terminology. Why? I thought it was all working pretty well the way it was!
The truth is, when I wanted to start writing about "change", I didn't know what changes were going to take place (other than having a baby!). But I knew changes were coming and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Fearful would probably be the most accurate word. And if you are wondering just what I am referring to, it is MOPS, because, next to my family, MOPS has been the biggest and most important thing in my life since becoming an adult. There's too much history to tell there, but oh, how I wish I could! If you want to learn more, you can find snippets on this blog by typing in the word MOPS in the search bar. I've tried to tag them all...
Back to the changes....I knew I was having a baby and I knew I wanted to be able focus more on this precious gift when he/she arrives. Really, truly enjoy and savor all it. (In case you haven't guessed, I am trying to convince myself to be done having babies.) But MOPS holds a big part of my heart and I wasn't willing to just let it disappear. There are a small group of committed leaders ready to go for next year and I couldn't just drop them. Not only that, but this community is FULL of young mothers of preschoolers looking to connect with other moms. When I see them, I see myself 5,6,7 years ago and the dark, lonely place I was in. Unfortunately, there is no interest in leadership from within my church. So, a bit reluctantly, I committed to Coordinate again. I was so thankful for a precious mom/leader/friend on my team who said she is willing to help in whatever capacity I would like, as an assistant coordinator.
But God was still nagging me and I knew in my heart that something was not right with the plans I was making. It was at this point that He planted the idea in my mind of the possibility of MOPS not ending, but moving. I began to pray about this scenario. I had to process the idea of "letting go" of MOPS, essentially. But it has never been about me, it has always been about God and he gave me a peace about this idea so quickly. I approach my friend about this idea God has placed in my heart and it is no surprise that she has already considered this scenario. I just love the way God works. :) Now there were two of us praying. In the meantime, it becomes very clear to me that MOPS is supposed to end at my church, regardless of whether another church is ready and willing to take it on. So I make that call. It was still hard to make and I dragged my feet for more days than I should have...
But as soon as I did, the peace and joy that comes with knowing I am within the will of God just washed over me. It's such a good feeling. And almost immediately God started showing me why I needed this change and some ideas of what I will be focusing on (for the short term, anyways).
We are still praying for another church in this community to be ready to support a MOPS group. And if God provides a church, then I will still be involved for at least a year to help with a smooth transition (assuming the coordinator wants that ;). And I have no intention of quitting my Field Leadership anytime soon. I have such a passion for this ministry and the way it can change lives. And I love being a part of something greater than myself in my own little world. God really uses MOPS to change lives. He used it to change me. For the better, I might add!