Saying Goodbye #5: Angst

Part of saying goodbye means getting closure on places where I invested a LOT and got very low return on investment.

I spent some time studying my big four and decided that three of the four were pretty well worked over and settled out.  That leaves one, for those of you who are math whizzes.

I circled around it for a while, trying to figure out why that one had not resolved over time.

Here is the story.  It was a community with a pretty low-end reputation.  A Nazareth, if you wish.  I ended up there in a roundabout way, and fell in love with it the first time I went.

I built some relationships, shared vision with people locally, and began to execute a long-term strategy.  Relationships deepened, and we began to do a few modest activities.

The momentum attracted the attention of the area apostle who had been treating the city with benign neglect for years.

He came down with a case of jealousy or insecurity and ordered me to meet with him.  He asked for a detailed overview of what I was doing and what I was planning to do and then told me he was in charge in this region and he would like me to leave, quietly, without an announcement to anyone, and not come back.

I had five minutes to decide, over lunch.

He promised to maintain what I had put in place.  I folded and slipped out of town quietly.  He dismantled everything I had built and abandoned the town.

That is where the rub is.

Did I make the right call?

I don’t fight for control.  Should I have?  Should I have negotiated a different deal?  I knew he had no credibility and would not do what he said.

I exclusively work where I am wanted and welcomed.  And I was certainly wanted and welcomed by the people in the town.  Just not the guy from a nearby town.

I hated the idea of a big old church brawl with all of the trash talk that goes on.  Been through my full quota of church politics and squabbles in my life.

I simply don’t know if I made the right decision.  And I don’t think I will ever know this side of eternity.  But I need to settle that before I leave the state.

I have blocked off some time to go there.  I will sit in my car a few doors down from a bunch of places where I have good memories, where people loved and laughed, dreamed and dared.  I will wait to see what bubbles up in my spirit.

I will also go sit outside the restaurant where I got my decamping orders to see what happens there.

One of the big issues is the relationships.  I left without a goodbye, according to “The Deal.”

One person has kept in touch with me slightly over the years.  I will write ahead of time and see if they are willing to meet with me discretely.  I think they can help with the healing process.

Depending on the feeling at the time, I might knock on the door of one or two other people.  God might or might not have them at home.

Or I might just show up at a particular church.

Or not.

I am aggravated by how much this is prowling on the back of my mind even though I am some time away from going there.  Apparently this is some significant unfinished business.

Makes it more important to go there.

But first, a day trip to Oxnard and Ventura to prowl around the detritus of a couple of not-good years in my life.

Oh by the way, the apostle in question eventually got the left foot of fellowship and is no longer the Grand Pooh Bah of that region.

But that doesn’t change my second guessing my own decision . . .

Copyright June 2018 by Arthur Burk





This entry was posted in Good-bye. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Saying Goodbye #5: Angst

  1. Cynthia says:

    As Servant RG, on reading this, I had a raging, blind wave of WE MUST HUNT THIS MAN DOWN AND TAKE HIM OUT. But I don’t rejoice at his downfall. The whole thing is a tragedy and a travesty.

    And clearly he blindsided you into a Lose-Lose situation. From my vantage, you responded with humility and Biblical grace in recognizing his local authority, and in protecting your friends by withdrawing quietly, even at the risk of being misconstrued, so that they would not be exposed to the awfulness of a church politics tug-of-war. It was a self-sacrificial move that must have seemed the only possibility of protecting what you had built. There was no way to push back against his destructiveness without unleashing it in a greater defensive wave over the people you loved.

    I grieve for the loss of what you had built, and of what could have been. Perhaps in glory you will see many layers of fruit that came from your work in that place, where the God of the harvest continued your work for you in ways that you couldn’t have imagined.

  2. Elouise says:

    ‘Squabbles’ that’s a good choice of a word!! It describes the silly messed-up noise that stuff like that is.
    Praying for clarity and wisdom! An increase of Light!

  3. Anthony Sutherland says:

    Arthur, I wonder if their are a few issues. Does Father forgive you, do you forgive you, do you need to draw a line and treat this as a new task influenced by the past but not reliant on the past. Do you need to revisit for your closure or for Fathers agenda.
    I pray thatFather will give clarity on the path that He has for you.
    Blessings in His peace, Anthony

  4. Going where you are celebrated, not tolerated. Yes. Where you are welcomed. Closure is hard, but you are walking through it with great dignity, authority and bravery.
    Blessings to you as you walk this difficult journey of closure. And very excited to see the great excitment of this new place the Lord is moving you, both in the natural and in the spirit.

  5. Daphne says:

    Alignment & Right-timing. E-journeying with you.

  6. Janis Leal says:

    God’s responsibilities, when seen within our designated God-given responsibilities and journeys, are both constant and fulfilled in His essence as Alpha and Omega, the One who not only knows the beginning from the end, but actually IS it, the Eternal One who reveals how the end is not only tied to the beginning, but is itself the beginning of the next cycle.

    May your eyes see, may your heart be settled through the One who is our Rest in this circle of circles, and may you drink until satiated His Eternal Essence and find the peace in discovering “great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jer. 33:3).

    May needed revelation and healing bring new levels of precisely orchestrated wholeness, may divinely decorated encounters hug you into more Life, may necessary closure open the new vistas already waiting, and may you be even more productive because of the learning and Love.

  7. ghaggerty says:

    My heart is in a knot as I read about what happened. Maybe because it landed close to home. I’m grieved over the loss of what could have been…what was in Father’s heart for that community. Praying for divine alignment and flow in the process…and for sweet resolution and a kiss from heaven.

  8. Chuck Wale says:

    My heart goes out to you Arthur. I too have processed a lot of “decision pain” in my life. Sometimes I beat myself up regarding my decision and other times felt good about and had peace with it. In all of it, I am confident that God walked with me as I struggled to do what I thought was best. Where I erred, I learned. Where I felt like I made the right decision, I also learned. Afterwards I moved on. Not sure what conclusions you will come to about your decisions, but I am confident God will give you closure and you too will move on. Blessings to you my friend as you walk this out.

  9. Brant says:

    I’m praying for the remainder of your journey; Father has something unexpected.

  10. mtroxy3 says:

    The Lord awaits you there (as you already know (-:) to share with you what He has. I bless you and your spirit with exceptionally open eyes and ears to hear and see all He has for you. I bless you with His Shalom in the middle of the angst.

  11. Barry Leisegang says:

    This is a tough question. When you grieve about something you can’t change now. I think it is like the story of Jeptha in Judges who takes care of a rejected flock of people and raises them up because no one else cared about them and they had been trampled and fleeced for a generation. When God gives him victory against a foe no one else had had success against, that is when his fellow tribesmen who felt they were the ones who should have been chosen, they were envious and wanted to burn his house. The problem is the tribe of that came to burn his house down forgot that they were duty bound by covenant to go to war and that for the last 18 years they had not lifted a finger to help .( They did not help because they did not care and looked down on these people) . Jeptha got the honor.He had been raised in rejection and had lifted a people group who were rejected to a place of victory. They did not realize that by calling Jeptha out they were inviting a long due judgement upon themselves and they were standing before the new judge of Israel. People are burdens or blessings to us and we can look intimidating to them when we operate or do what they should be doing. The question is what has God called and anointed you to do? if it is to bring freedom to the captives then bring freedom. David had brothers that harassed him about his intentions about Goliath but they would not lift a finger to go against Goliath themselves. I would say to you Learn from this.You speak what no one else has courage to say. I am grateful for your words of wisdom and your years of experience.You should do without apology what God has called you to do even when other saints get territorial and tell you to move on.After all God gave you the victory where others have had no success fighting the enemy.

  12. I am fully familiar with this type of angst, and have spent much time lamenting my angst. I’ve sat “a few doors down,” in a few instances, but there are more goodbye’s that need to be said. Church politics and the left foot of fellowship have caused me to question my own need for so many farewells, so your post has encouraged my belief that I am truly in the process that I (know!) I am in. Thank you for sharing this, Arthur. I am quite relieved, and grateful for the validation of my process.

  13. Pamela says:

    Sending ehugs for your journey friend.

Comments are closed.