Thursday, May 14, 2009

The end of an era (for me, at least)

Last week, after discussing it with the other wonderful friends who serve on the Chorus Board, my dear husband, and praying much, it was decided that I will retire from directing the Los Alamos Homeschool Chorus. That decision has been confirmed in a number of ways, but it was still a difficult decision to make. For the last 12 years or so, it has been a wonderful ministry to the homeschooling families in our area, training up voices and hearts, and watching as children grew in the grace and knowledge of Christ. It has been a blessing beyond measure for me to lead the children, choose the words to hide in their hearts, and challenge them to serve Christ and each other. And it has been a special blessing for me to work closely with other women to pull off a ministry of this magnitude.

While God has been gracious to me in my cancer battle, and there is now no sign of the disease, it seems He is pleased for me to remain, for a while longer, in the realm of recovery, without sufficient energy or ability to do all I would wish. And energy and ability are both required to lead a large children's choir. It would not be fair to the students or their parents, or the others working for the chorus, for me to continue my tentative work with the chorus. They deserve to have a leader who can offer all of his or her energy and effort for their good. As I am not able to do that at present, it is best for me to make way for another.

Thank you to the hundreds of students who have been part of the chorus in the last 12 years. Working with you was a joy and an honor for me.

Thank you to the dozens of parents who have provided support and encouragement over the years.

Thank you to the wonderful women of the Chorus Board. You have been more than friends: you have been confidants, promise-keepers, fellow-laborers, and accountability partners. I love each one of you (Karen, Valerie, Brenda, Gretta, Ann, Amy, Kris), and working with you has been a privilege.

Thank you to the homeschooling community, who made our bi-annual concerts gathering times of deep fellowship.

And above all, I thank our gracious Lord, who called me to serve in this way for so many years, who provided for me, and who has now called me to other things.

Perhaps some day I will return to music ministry, but for now, I relinquish it in the faith that God will raise up someone else to do a fine job in the homeschooling community. We have always reminded ourselves on the Chorus Board that this is God's ministry, to continue or stop as He pleased, and we have reminded each other to hold it lightly. And so, attempting to do just that, I look forward to what the Lord will do in the future, both with me and with the homeschool children of our community. There are some moms working on a plan even now, so if you are around Los Alamos, keep your ears open for new opportunities.

I will always hold as precious the times of directing the Los Alamos Homeschool Chorus, and treasure my relationship with each student and family. While I truly grieve as I leave the chorus behind, I do not grieve as one without hope. May God be pleased with each of us as we move on to new ministry in a new season of life, and may His praise be ever on our lips!

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