Grief and Gratitude
“Everything in life responds to the song of the heart.” Grief and Gratitude ~ Dr. Ernest Holmes
By now you may have heard that I will be moving on from my work at Unity of Wimberley when my contract ends in April. If you haven’t, well, yes, it’s true.
I’m so grateful for this opportunity to express what’s on my heart as I reflect on what this transition represents. Know that all is well with me – especially today as the sun is out, the snow continues to melt and there is a real promise of Spring here at my home in northwest Michigan!
As many of you know, I don’t shy away from following Spirit’s guidance even when it shows up in ways I don’t prefer. Opportunities for real change and growth are rarely “convenient.” But here I am, doing what I'm being called to do. Again. It’s not always fun or easy – particularly in the last several months. But there is a “peace that passes all understanding” when the truth that “God is in all of this” settles into conscious awareness.
I have been a part of the Unity of Wimberley family for more than 12 years – first as a regular guest musician, all the way through these last four as Associate Spiritual Leader, Music Minister and co-leader with Rev. Jill Carey.
What a ride it has been! I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude for the ways this community has provided a sacred container of unyielding, loving support for my personal, professional, and spiritual transformation. While I'm clear it is time for me to “let go of the shore” in order to (joyfully, yes) write the next chapter of my ministry and the songs of my heart, my heart is also sad.
When Rev. Jill and I embarked on co-leading this spiritual community in 2018, I had no idea that I would be doing this work while also completing ministerial school during a global pandemic! I may have questioned God’s sense of humor more than once, but never God’s timing. Having the opportunity to work with Rev. Jill, the Board of Trustees, and our amazing staff through the daily (and sometimes hourly) challenges of leading a spiritual community in these unprecedented times gave me the kind of experience no school could ever provide. I am eternally grateful while I also grieve leaving one of the most creative, fun, and committed teams I’ve ever worked with.
I often speak of how God “connects the dots” of our lives in the most delightful ways. One of those “God-dot” moments came in mid-2021 when I was able to bring friends Julie Ragins and Curtis Brengle to the music team. When I moved to Michigan permanently this past July, I asked them to step in as my permanent subs when I wasn’t in Wimberley fulfilling the in-person portion of my job. Pardon the pun, but they never missed a beat rising to the occasion. One of the best parts of my (remote) job has been choosing the songs for Julie and the band to knock out of the park every week. I am grateful to know I can leave you in Julie and Curtis’s trusted and talented hands as your new Music Director(s) and… I grieve not getting to share the joy of playing those songs on stage with them.
So, what’s next for me? As I continue leaning into “letting go and letting God” and creating a much better balance of work, play, and rest in my days, my music is once again my top priority. Creating an affiliated “focus ministry” (through Centers for Spiritual Living) is a natural extension of that. I continue to share my music and message virtually at CSL and Unity churches around the country (as I have since the beginning of pandemic) and my transformational coaching business continues to grow. I’m thrilled that my calendar once again includes events like performing live concerts and facilitating in-person retreats!
On Sunday, April 3, I will be back in the Unity of Wimberley sanctuary to share my music and message one last time as your Associate Spiritual Leader and Music Minister. As I reflect on what an honor and privilege it has been to serve you, the gratitude and grief I feel is profound and very present. I will miss your energy, your smiles, and the peaceful beauty of The Hill. But I know and trust that in God, there is no end to our connection, only a change in the form it takes.
I encourage you to find the song of your heart and follow it. No, it is not always an easy or comfortable thing to do. But I can tell you that the joy and peace that comes from seeing how life responds to it is immeasurable.
I love you all dearly and look forward to seeing you on April 3.
Rev. Kit Holmes