J no longer works for a church. This is monumental in our lives. I've known J since 1995. He has been working for churches for pretty much our entire relationship. The night we met, J had been working on a Christmas production at his church. There were a few months here and there where he didn't work for a church. Like when he worked for his father and volunteered at a church. Or that pesky little lay off situation of '08.
I am excited about J not working for a church. Don't get me wrong. Churches have been good for J for many reasons including being diverse creative outlets for him. But now, I'm excited about the possibilities.
For the first time since having children, I won't be a single mom getting our kids ready for church alone. I will get to sit in a service with my husband and not worry that he will be called away to fix something. Or that I have to sit in the sound booth so I can be with my husband during service. I don't have to worry that my staff kids are behaving in children's church. (Like the time our staff kid bit a 1st time visitor child...that's how I came to love my Hero, PR).
We LOVE our church in Chicago. We love the leadership. We love the staff. We love the people. We love the teaching. We love the kids' ministry. We love the free, covered parking in the winter for families! J's position at Park has been wonderful for his career and for our family. An opportunity presented itself that will enable J to utilize his creative talents in additional areas. J is leaving staff, not the church. In fact, J is volunteering at our church for a few weeks during the transition.
The first thing people asked when they heard J was leaving was: "Will you be leaving the church?" Heck no! One has nothing to do with the other. Park is our church home and, as I said, we are in love with the place. We do want to check out other churches in Chicago but not because we are unhappy. We moved here and for 2.5 years, Park was the only church we attended or visited. we could have visited other churches - we didn't. Haha! We have lots of new church pastor and leader friends so I'm sure we will visit other area churches from time to time. You know, to confirm that Park is best church in Chicago for our family.
I'm pretty excited that very soon, J and I will be able to sleep in on a Sunday and NOT go to church!! Guilt free. And we will have a weekend as a family!! What does THAT feel like? I have not had this for almost 8 years!! My kids have never experienced what so many families take for granted - a full weekend of family time.
It's refreshing and weird all at the same time. I'm wondering if it will be like when husbands retire. The wives get tired of the men being around and wish they were working. I'm gaining a weekend husband but I'm losing my Sundays alone.