Yesterday I told my church, Church on the Hill, I’m resigning my position as pastor and will be leaving on June 19. I began attending Church on the Hill in 2001, hired to be part of the pastoral staff at the end of 2006. If, you asked me why I’m stepping down from my position, I could give you a list that would mostly bore you. So. I will relieve you and tell you the main reason is that something needs to change so I can be healthier and stronger to be able to live the way I’m created and called to live.
It’s not an easy decision but I’ve known something needed to change for quite some time. I just had not been sure what the change should be or how it should look. A couple of weeks ago I talked with my doctor. Well, let me put it more honestly, she talked and I argued. The thing is . . . I’m not known for being passive . . . no one will argue with me on that fact. At least I’m aware of my propensity to enter a situation like a tornado on a mission. I’ve been working on trying to be more like a gentle breeze. It’s a work in progress.
Though I didn’t want to change in the way it was being proposed, I heard the words of warning, issuing the need to step back and take time to get healthy, changing my ways. The last few years, I’ve experienced many changes in my life–good, sad, and difficult. It seemed to me that perhaps status quo may be better than needing to manage another change.
But. I had one of those “aha” moments. Whether or not I like it, there will be some kind of change. I could wait for life to change, adjusting as necessary or I could implement change by changing how I live.
As a pastor, I watch what happens to those who choose to work on adjusting to life as it happens rather than taking the steps towards transformative change.
It’s nothing new to be stuck, waiting for life to change rather than to be the change. One of my favorite scenes in the Bible that depicts what happens when no one will risk change is found in the familiar story told about David and Goliath. It’s written in one sentence:
- For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army. 1 Samuel 17:16 (NLT)
It’s crazy to think that the huge warrior, Goliath, yelled his threats for forty days and nights. No one stopped him. Neither of the warring nations (Israelites and Philistines) changed their tactics—so the same thing continually re-occurred for forty days and nights. It fits the saying: Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. Change did not happen until the young shepherd boy, David, came along and changed it all by fighting Goliath. David leaped into action, winning the battle that no one would fight. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to change what needs to be changed. I can’t see the future right now; however, I know I must take a leap of faith, believing there is something more.
Most of us have experienced some kind of battle that never seems to be fully won. Whatever the Goliath is in our life, whether it’s poor health, stress, pressure, unhealthy behavior, a bad habit, addiction, brokenness, hurt or something else, the battle will not be won until there’s change in us, and we willingly face and fight the battle.
So. I’m resigning, saddened to leave all the amazing people at my church. I never imagined serving such a great church. I am grateful and will give thanks all of my life for the opportunity to be a part of my church for thirteen years. It’s hard to change and enter into a new season; however, I want to make change happen rather than adjusting to what would occur if I fail to change. I choose to take a leap of faith, fighting the battle to win, believing I’m not done but beginning something new.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)