*The following blog was written by a dear sister, friend, neighbor, and co-laborer – Brit. As the chapter of the South Side, Billings Fellowship, and CLDI comes to a close, a new chapter begins. We have been blessed to have the Malloch family as part of the fold. We praise the Lord that He will continue to lead, guide, and bless them in His way, to do His work, for their pleasure and joy, and His glory. We love you Malloch’s! – Eric
Leaving something familiar and something you know is never easy. Leaving something good and something you love is even harder. And when what you’re stepping into is unknown and unchartered, the question is often asked, “Why leave a good thing?”
Over the last month, I have asked myself that same question as this weekmarks my last week in Billings and my last week at CLDI. The South Side has been home for the last four years, and the community and relationships I have here has been some of the richest I’ve experienced. The thought of leaving has brought more tears then this wannabe-tough-girl cares to admit, and on Thursday, my husband and I will leave our home on South 30thStreet, to embrace a new ministry, a new city, and a new home. All that’s become familiar the last four years will stay behind, and what fills the 600-mile gap between the two are a lot of unknowns, and I’ve wondered, “Why are we leaving a good thing?”
If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that humility and obedience are, and will likely always be, two areas that God will continually have to refine. I’ve come to learn that humbling myself to obey rarely results without a wrestling match, because I don’t want to be dealt the short end of the stick. In some ways, preparing for this move has been just that, a wrestling match, because leaving something good is painful, and it often doesn’t make much sense. It’s moments like this when my entitled, sinful self seems to surface all the more, and in my arrogance I think, “God better have something in it for me.” So I approach Him with my bargaining chips, my checklist, and the prerequisites that will constitute my obedience. And I begin to wrestle with Him. Because the reality is, I struggle with dying to myself.
While wrestling with God over the last month, I’ve been reminded that despite my stubbornness, my heartache, and even my anger, God continues to remain firm in His commands. He doesn’t play my games, He doesn’t take my deals, and He isn’t reasoned with. And repeatedly, I’ve learned that is a really, really good thing. During this transition, God has gently and patiently been working in my heart, softening it, and reminding me that He is trustworthy and He is able. He’s reminding me that if I can get past myself long enough to recall what I know about the character of God, I’ll remember that He is always at work for His glory and our good. Then, if I can find it in me to humble myself just a little bit more, I can look back at my life and recall all the times He is continually proven faithful. If we do those things, I’m convinced that the people of God can step boldly into the unknown, because we’ve seen and left good things, good things that now serve as Ebenezer’s, monumental stones, testifying to the help and faithfulness of a good and mighty God.
So this week, as we prepare to leave a really good thing, a really good place, and people that we deeply love, I anticipate heartache and I anticipate tears. Because leaving good things, is hard. Yet my soul rejoices and it finds rest, because I know that God is able and He is good. He doesn’t ask His people to leave good things as joke, and He doesn’t usher us into the unknown for a good laugh. Instead, He uses those times to draw us closer to Himself, that we might gain a deeper understanding of His character, and that our obedience to His commands would be an act of worship to the King, who has continually proven faithful.