This is the first year our family will be celebrating the holidays in separate churches.
sisters, their husbands and families, my parents, my in-laws and Grandma Nancy) was still attending the church we fell in love with 13 years ago. It was the church where all four of us sisters met our now husbands, and it was the church that Caleb literally grew up in.
sister and their families felt that God was leading them to find a new church. Caleb and I had been feeling that tug for much longer than just this past year and with excitement and fear, joy and sadness, we began the search for a new church this past spring.
Each family left for several reasons, some the same, some different. The biggest reason was distance. We all live all over Northern Colorado, and we all felt that God was leading us to find a church closer to where we each now live. Closer to our communities.
Let me be clear in saying that none of us left our other church in anger or frustration. We still love the church and the people we left dearly and we pray that it thrives.
That being said, the change has been good for all of us. We're all very much enjoying our new churches, and getting settled in.
But, the change for me is very bittersweet. People will no longer meet or know me as one of "the Sanchez sisters" and for Caleb and I we will know longer be known as Duncan and Laney's son and daughter-in-law. On the one hand, it's exciting for people to meet us as Caleb and Christine with our two littles, but on the other hand the truth stares me in the face. We're really grown up now. We're really our own family unit. Of course this is good and the way God intended it to be, but I had a good childhood and I am still proud to this day to be a Sanchez sister and a part of Caleb's family.
Now, as I look ahead to this fall and the Holiday season ahead of me, I know I'm going to miss so much more. I'm still feeling excitement and fear, and joy and sadness.
I will miss going to the Women's Retreat that my 4 sisters, my mom and I went to early in the fall. I will miss the annual Turkey Dinner that the church put on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I will miss sitting with Grandma at the table. Most of all, I will miss being together, in the same church all dressed up on Christmas Eve.
I know we are all where God wants us to be, and that this change is good. Still, it's hard not to note that this is the end of a beloved era.