A big part of our lives is about to change. And suddenly, with so little warning...as I imagine has happened to many here in our area after so much was lost to the floods. Since our home was not affected adversely, I did not think I would be personally affected by it at all. However, our church is a big part of our lives, and it was affected seemingly--at least from where we stand now--beyond repair.
The storms apparently and according to our Pastor, caused an underground spring to break loose, flooding the downstairs. Even after the rains have ceased, water continues to flow into the walls and flooring, and mold has already begun to grow. Estimated repairs are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, money we do not have right now as a church that was already struggling financially.
So just like that, we've moved out. Perhaps not permanently, but I would venture to say indefinitely. Tonight's activities had already been canceled, but like so many daily challenges, my assumption was that the water would be pumped out, the mess cleaned out, back to business as usual on Sunday. However, instead there are already movers helping get valuable items out of harm's way, and we have plans to meet with another church on Sunday.
I realize church is not about the building. It's about the people. I love the people at our church, and I rest safely each week in the familiarity. I know that I will pass certain familiar faces in the children's area, in the preschool area, in the long hallway. And I know that when I take my usual seat in the sanctuary I can glance over at specific areas and see the same people sitting there. While I know many of these same people will venture over to the new church, there will inevitably be many who do not. They will go other directions. Last week may have been the last time I saw them.
I know my children will experience this as well. I haven't even told them yet. What stopped us dead in our tracks a couple years ago from pursuing a move to Florida was our children's comments that "We will miss our friends at church." I know they will miss some of them now, even without a move a state away. Not only will they miss friends, but I have a sneaking suspicion we will have to start all over with Jacob. He has been so brave for the last year and half going into this class. But it was all familiar to him.
Change is never easy. This one is so sudden and heartbreaking. I know life--and what is so significantly a part of it--will ease back in to some sense of normalcy at some point. The transition will be uncomfortable, but hopefully we come full circle back to familiarity sooner rather than later.