Yesterday was a big day for me. It was the dinner to celebrate the retirement of one of my good friends who has worked for me for almost 6 years now. About 150 people were there - many who worked with her through volunteerism or through community partnerships. Many were family and friends. It was a busy night.
All during the process I was thinking of the verse in the OT that says that God watches over our going and coming (or vice versa) and I couldn't help but wonder about that. Barb's retirement marks a "going" in our ministry. That means a change in our daily lives. It is not insignificant. We spend 8 hours a day at our work - we get to know the people there, know their habits their strengths and weaknesses.
In this case, Barb and I became really good friends. We've shared many battles, personal and ministry related. We now share grandchildren as our own children married each other. So we're going to know each other forever and keep in touch no matter where we are. Our bond of friendship has solidified. However, I will miss her greatly in my day to day life at work. It will take a while to remember that I can't shout down the hall for her. It will take a while to get used to someone else sitting in her office. It will take a while to just adjust to not ordering her to go home after working too long, grab her to run and get lunch together, or just shout her full name to tease her.
I hate adjusting to change. It is something that I find quite disorienting. It's one of the aspects of being a Salvation Army officer that drives me insane - the knowledge that one day I'll have to pick up and start all over again somewhere else. Change makes me feel that my whole life is unstable and that I cannot get my bearings. Change tortures me. But, I learn to adjust. I get through it - the challenge stretches me. However, now it's time to consider my own change.