Moving Day: Closing the Chapter on Clarksville Tennessee

On November 7th, 2008, Carrie and I signed the papers on our house, went to the house and packed everything we owned in a large uHaul and drove off to start a new chapter of our life in Clarksville, Tn. We weren’t prepared for what we would experience; biggER town, new jobs, friends from all over the world, near church shutdown, a newborn kid, a tattoo, becoming a pastor and a full-time college student. So many “new” things we experienced in the six years being here.

I must admit, I’m not a big fan of Clarksville. I’m a small town boy. Ok, for those who think Clarksville is small, think smaller. No smaller than that. Clarksville was definitely a culture shock for me. However, I do not think I would change a thing if I could. I do believe my wife and I came out on the other side better than we went in. I know this because folks back home have told us we have changed and for the better so it seemed. Folks here have seen huge growth in us since we moved as well. So Clarksville, in all its intricacies, have changed us for the better.

Today we are moving back. We are taking on a new adventure with a renewed vigor. As I type this the boxes are packed, the walls are empty and I am about to go pick up the moving truck. A few friends will be joining us in the parade of boxes. I think back to the night when men from the church were standing at our door waiting on us to arrive so they could usher our belongings into our rental house.

I can’t possibly sum up my emotions or feelings as we prepare to close this chapter and begin a new one. We leave with so many good memories and a few I’d rather not remember, so many new friends I hope to keep in contact with and occasionally see. I can only hope that when Carrie and I drive off there will be some, who years from now, will say they were good people, they made a difference, their legacy has lived on long after they have left this town. 

I know that we will take the love, experiences, memories, and lessons we have learned here back so that we can do some serious damage to the kingdom of Hell. Moving is not a form of leaving but more a form of continuing our work in the Kingdom of God. Everything we have learned and experienced will be utilized to make disciples wherever we go. I’m sure some of our experiences have fell on stony or thorny ground but for the most part, our hearts have been fertile and accepting of the seed that has been planted so that we can continue making an eternal difference in other’s lives.

So this is not a goodbye. This is a celebration to keep it going. The beauty of one day being face to face with God is we will meet again “in the sweet by and by on that beautiful shore.” Remembers that we are not only co-laborers with Jesus but with one another. As we continue eternal work back home, I encourage you (especially if you’re in Clarksville) to continue steadfast preaching and teaching the gospel. Share your faith with others, don’t back down to the spiritual bullies and live a life that is worthy of the gospel.

It’s been real and at times it’s been fun. But now it’s time to move on. If only I can find my keys. I think they got packed up!


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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