A grace-full goodbye

"Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet have ever wandered, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.”

These lyrics make up the chorus of the song “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” performed by Hillsong United. It’s my favorite chorus to sing along to at full volume in my car while driving to and from San Antonio to be at the Bishop Jones Center. It’s also a chorus that the lead female voice repeats over and over, allowing me to get completely lost in the words and my own personal praise.

During my time in communications for the Diocese of West Texas, I have been told and have written about so many beautiful stories of people walking upon unknown waters, letting their feet wander to where God is calling them, to serve him among others in all walks of life.

The stories are too big in number to name, but it’s been a joy to witness the hands and feet of Jesus moving all around us in this diocese. Serving our youth at camps and extending that grace to families of Wounded Warriors, children from Good Samaritan Community Services, and St. Jude’s Ranch for Children; feeding the homeless under a city’s bridge, local and state-wide and international mission trips, all to serve in God’s name and come back refreshed in his love for us.

Most recently, I have watched first-hand from my home in Portland and through the work of this diocesan family, grace upon grace as hands have reached out in all capacities to help our numerous neighbors get back on their feet after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

When I joined the diocesan staff over seven years ago, I felt like I was following God’s calling for me. And I am so thankful to have taken that leap, because I have been immersed in ministry, in worship, in spiritual development, in failures and successes, and in friendship.

Now I find myself following his call again, deeper than I thought I would wander, to a new position, a new job, that will keep me closer to home and to my family.

It’s been a joy to serve alongside so many of you and to witness your incredible acts of generosity. It has been an honor to work for both Bishops Lillibridge and Reed and to welcome Bishop Brooke- Davidson. And it’s been a privilege to get to know so many faces in our congregations and to form lasting friendships with fellow staff members.

Thank you for the support, for reading about my children from time to time, and for taking part in this faithful diocesan family.

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters, and your sovereign hand will be my guide.”

Laura Shaver, communications officer, July 16, 2018.