The words "thank you" have caused more bruises upside my head and the head of tons of young people. Parents and elders have helped knock into us over the years the need to show gratitude by saying these two little words.
The words "thank you" have become kind of trite and eye-rolling because we say them; not to get knocked in the head, but because we don't know what to say or how to express our feelings. It is a bad moment when you realize you are expecting them to be said and are at a loss when they are not spoken. It is like at Chick-Fil-A where all the employees are trained to say "my pleasure" when serving a customer. We laugh to ourselves, because we can say it with them in time and in sync. "Thank you" has become that way for some people. We have to say it, because we are taught to say it.
I long for the sincerity and heart-felt gratitude to express to those who have served me, blessed me, honored me, helped me, encouraged me, prayed for me, corrected me, and been there for me for so many events. I want to say "thank you," but it never seems to be enough, and it never seems to carry the depth of what my heart is feeling.
Don't get me wrong; I do my utmost to show my gratitude by saying "thank you," and I knock my children upside the head still when they fail to show gratitude with a "thank you." But I want to express so much more to those I say "thank you."
When I think back to the last few months and see the very hard work of churches seeking to pay their Fair Share Mission Asking (Apportionments) and realize the struggle they have gone through, I want to say more than "Thank You!" When I remember those who work faithfully and sacrifice much for the Church and for kingdom work, "Thank You" doesn't seem enough. When I realize how talented and gifted Teresa Lilja is as our Administrative Assistant and try to express my gratitude for the blessing of having her in the office, "Thank You" pales and seems less then my heart wants to say. After a great Lay Servant Ministry Event for the entire Southeastern Jurisdiction, a "thank you" for giving up an entire weekend and many days prior in planning seems pithy and surely not enough to express to Oak Grove UMC and Dale Smith. When the District has been hosted with love, grace and true radical hospitality at the Welcome Picnic, a simple "Thank You" cannot be enough for the work of Will, Blair, Carolyn, and Bob.
How do we express gratitude of such magnitude? How can I tell you how grateful I am to serve as your DS and for your support these past years? A "Thank You" seems to never be enough.
But it is not causal nor is it because I've been trained. No, it comes from a heart deeper than my own, a heart that has been placed within me when Christ changed my life and took control of my life. There is no way to say "Thank You" to Him for all He has done for me, but I can live for Him and share Him so that others might know the love of God and find a new life that affords them joy and completeness.
So, allow me to say, "Thank you" from the bottom of my heart for being the people of God and allowing me to live to serve you and support you as Christ lives for me.
Grateful for each church and each pastor,
Saturday we had a great Welcome Picnic. The food was amazing, and the fellowship awesome. Our appreciation to Cannon UMC for all the love. It continued on Sunday as I worshiped at Fort Street UMC. What a powerful experience of the love of Christ!