She was the first face I saw when my family pulled into the church parking lot for the first time. With a toddler on a hip and a preschooler by the hand, Cliff and I asked Alice where the nursery was.
“I’m the nursery worker tonight,” she fibbed.
And the rest is history. For more than 17 years, Alice has been a listening ear, a quiet cheerleader, a prayer partner, a faith builder, a selfless friend. My sons think of her as a second mom, and, boy, has her love for them been a comfort to this momma who needs all the help she can get.
Dave and Alice have been quietly serving Christ at the Heart of Mesa for more than two decades. They’re the type who will do pretty much anything that needs doing just because they love Jesus and His people.
God’s been doing some “shuffly nudgy” stuff in my friends’ hearts. He told them it’s time to move on.
Some folks change churches like they change clothes.
The pastor preaches one too many sermons on tithing. Time to change churches.
Sister Sue got the solo in the Christmas cantata even though she can’t carry a tune. Time to change churches.
The new pastor doesn’t do things just like the old pastor. Time to change churches.
The church opens its doors to people not quite like them. Time to change churches.
Well, Dave and Alice love the Heart of Mesa family. It pains them to leave. But when God said move, they said, “Yes.”
The heart is fickle sometimes. Right now, my heart both sinks and soars. Oh, how I will miss this extraordinary couple. I’ll miss our Sunday lunches and their steady, sweet presence. I’ll miss Alice’s passion for teenage hearts made whole. I’ll miss the way Dave calls Jesus his “Abba Daddy.” I’ll just miss them.
But, when I see the new-adventure sparkle in their eyes, I can’t help but rejoice with them. God’s up to something big! While I won’t get to watch it up-close-and-personal, I’ll get to hear about it. And better yet, I get to pray about it.
Part of the pray-without-ceasing life is listening to Him and doing what He says. Will you join me in praying for Dave and Alice as they trust and obey? Perhaps you are in a similar spot? If so, this prayer’s for you, too.
Thank you for the beauty of obedience. My friends purely glow with anticipation as they step away from the comfortable and into the adventure. Even though I grieve the goodbye, I can’t wait to see what You’re up to, Lord! Please, Lord, keep Your gentle, guiding hand on my friends as they make this move. May they sense Your prompting and Your pleasure as they trust and obey.
Make their path clear.
May Your Word be a lamp for their feet and a light for their path (Psalm 119:105 NIV).
Open hearts to receive them warmly.
May they be greeted with holy kisses and welcomed in peace (1 Peter 5:14).
Verify their calling at every turn.
Empower them to “to add to [their] faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.For if [they] possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep [them] from being ineffective and unproductive in [their] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV).
May “my [brother and sister]make every effort to confirm [their] calling and election. For if [they] do these things, [they] will never stumble,and [they] will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV).
Expand their reach beyond their wildest imaginings.
Oh, Lord, bless them, indeed! Expand their reach! Keep Your hand upon them, so they will bring about nothing but blessings (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Lord, thank you for the many years I’ve been able to serve alongside these extraordinary people. As hard as it is to let them go, I rejoice over Your trustworthy plans. Bless them, Lord. Bless them big.
In the faithful name of Jesus I pray, AMEN and AMEN