Really, I think “FOMO” is second only to “YOLO” for annoying acronym/words.

But I discovered recently that I’m having some serious FOMO.

See, I’d been on staff of a large church for 13 years. The people I worked with (well, almost all of them) were my tribe. We’d been through incredible ups and downs together, both in our work and in our personal lives. These were people I could count on for a shoulder to cry on, for someone to share my joys. And I loved being that for them.

Plus we did awesome work together (well, almost all of us did). I’m super proud of the programs I started and maintained and grew. Our collaborative work was top-notch.

But for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which was my mental health, I had to leave my tribe behind for a different job. I still keep in contact with these people, and because that was my community for so long, I keep a close eye on what’s happening in ministry there now that I’m gone.


A couple of months ago I figured out by following some Facebook posts that one regular activity taking place in the church building was in violation of our Congregation Protection Policy. That was my baby – the first serious project I took on 13 years ago, and a cornerstone of our congregation. I made a phone call to my favorite ex-colleague with the bad news and he took care of it, but…ouch.

I had occasion to look at the website a couple of weeks ago and discovered that a program I had originated has gotten a new name and a slightly new focus. It’s a great idea; it’s even something I’d been kicking around in my mind before I left but hadn’t gotten to yet.

Last week a congregational success was posted in a Facebook photo; some of my good friends (and a couple of people who made my  life miserable) were celebrating in the office with Starbucks.

It hurts. How could they go on and do good things and be happy and have fun without me? I was a major contributor to the health and vitality of that congregation, and they’ve moved on without me. Yeah, I know how stupid and childish that feeling is. But it’s real.

And, I tell myself, I’m having good times and building a new tribe right here in my new place. Me and my new tribe have walked through some fires together in just the six months I’ve been here, and come out on the other side as good friends.

It’s just how life is. Losses and gains.

Right now the losses really hurt.



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