Thankful Thursday – Bittersweet Endings

Thank you God, for these amazing sisters in Christ!

Thank you, God, for these amazing sisters in Christ!

This Thankful Thursday I”m thinking about endings.

A bittersweet fact of life.

I have been wrestling with God over an ending in my life.  God has been inviting me to make more space in my life these days for some new things He is doing.  But making space for the new means letting go of other things.  Never easy.

I sensed the need to let go of my leadership of a small group Bible study – sounds easy enough, right?  Except that I love these women.  This group is filled with amazing women who have journeyed together with me over the past two years.

These women are fierce followers of Christ, willing to risk vulnerability with their deeply personal flaws and traumas, willing to wait patiently for others to come out of their spiritual hiding places, willing to hold one another’s pain up to a loving God, and willing to hunger and thirst after more of God together.

I’ve been wrestling with God over this for the past four months.  These women have become part of the rhythm of my spiritual life.  Surely (I said to God), there must be a way to embrace the new areas God is leading me into while remaining active with this life-giving group.

 

As I wrestled, I was reminded of my ongoing list of things to be thankful for…

74.  A friend who laughs at my jokes

75.  The excitement of reading a new book

76.  A restful, rather than merely lazy, Sabbath

 

This reminds me that I can trust God to lead me in “paths of righteousness for his name’s sake,” because he is my Good Shepherd.

77.  Gentle weather

78.  A healthy immune system

79.  The ability to be surprised

 

Letting go is hard work.  I fight against it.  God, isn’t there some other way?

80.  Meeting myself under the redwood canopy over Occidental Highway

81.  Ocean spray on my face.

82.  Truth-tellers in my life.

 

But God is patient with me.  He keeps inviting, keeps listening to my questions, keeps waiting for me to exhaust my own wisdom and accept His deeper wisdom.  And in that, peace finally comes. . .

 

Two days ago, my small group met for a celebration brunch and time to say good bye.  It was an amazing celebration of God’s goodness in our lives through one another.  Several shared that this was the first group of women they had ever felt safe with.  In fact, this was the first small group Bible study some of them had ever been part of.  Others shared how deeply encouraged and helped they were in their faith journey because of the love and unity of this community.

My heart swelled.

I saw God’s fingerprints all over these women.

And I was encouraged to see how God is raising up new leadership in the group – in fact, my willingness to follow God’s invitation to “let go” is opening an opportunity for others to experience the joy of leading such an incredible group.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”  So true!  He has given me the gift of sharing the journey with these dear sisters, and I know He will continue to give each of us good gifts as we are willing to listen for His voice and follow closely (even if it’s hard at times).

I want to say THANK YOU to my group for the blessing you have been to me.  I also want to encourage those of you who are not currently in a small group to pray and ask God to lead you to a group like this where you can connect and grow.  This is holy ground – where God can move in powerful ways.

 

 PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SHARE BELOW…

What are you grateful for on this Thankful Thursday?  It may be something small.  It may be something big and life-changing.  It may be God’s grace to see you through a difficult letting go experience.  

REMEMBER: Those who take time to share a thanks on one of my Thankful Thursdays (before the end of June) will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card.  Plus, you will bless the rest of us as we share in your gratitude.

 

 


10 Comments

  1. Arlene Billups

    Thankful for the opportunity to be one of the woman to have grown under your leadership for the past two years. Thankful that God like a mother bird sometimes has to push us out of our nests and into new adventures so we can experience His purpose for our lives.
    Thankful for the smell of fresh rain.

    • linda

      Thanks, Arlene, for stopping by and leaving a comment. I, too, am thankful for the gift of being in a group together with you.

      And I love the picture of God as a loving mother bird who knows when to push us out of the nest for the next great thing he has in our lives.

  2. Diane

    133. Encountering someone with a great deal of intelligence, the social kind

    136. Spectacular summer twilight sky, shades of blue, rose, grey, orange

    137. a thankful child

    • Linda Sommerville

      Wow, Diane – I LOVE your descriptive words of thanks (especially they sky). Helps me picture and enter into your thanks. 🙂

  3. Carrie

    I am thankful, through tears, for 10 months with two foreign exchange students that are now at home with their families. I am thankful for friends who have helped me to heal and now are moving away. I’m thankful for a grandma who helped me feel loved and safe whom I am also grieving. Thankful with a lump in my throat and tears running down my face. Knowing that my life is richer because these people have been a part of it. Knowing that I will always hold them in my heart. Yet feeling, oh so sad.

    • Linda Sommerville

      Carrie, thank you for sharing your difficult but grace-filled words of thanks. What a gift that God has given you in these amazing relationships. But I also grieve with you over the sadness of having to let go. Never easy. May God lift your burden today and help you lean closer into Him.

  4. Thank you for a friend and fellow leader who truly gets what it means to serve, to love, to give herself away and drink deeply of God’s love. So grateful for you, Linda.

    • Linda Sommerville

      Janet, the gratefulness goes right back to you! Thank you for creating the space for our small group to thrive and grow and become. Your leadership and vision for Connections, and your understanding of our need for safe places to explore faith have been truly life-giving. Thank you, my friend.

  5. Joyce Owen

    What a gorgeous bunch of women you all are, I love your small group, and loved watching God move and knit you all together. I write this with tears at the ending and will rejoice at all the new beginnings God is going to bring to each one of you, all the lives waiting to be touched by what you’ve been given in this group. I always love the call to go give away what I’ve been given, there are women everywhere waiting for the friendship you have to give, the love you have to share, the hugs and smiles in good times and the tears to weep with others when there are no words. God just multiplied this group in a major way. I’m also praying that you will be led to exactly the new spot God has for you, in a group that only he knows is perfect for you. God bless you all, I know how hard the endings are too. Love you all.

    • Linda Sommerville

      Joyce, thank your for your blessings and prayers and wise words. God does move us into new seasons in our lives, and He always brings His good plans through that. It’s always best to cooperate and not resist! 🙂 Bless you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: