Monday, March 16, 2015

the leaving

My heart felt like a heavy weight the days leading up to our move.
Knowing God was in the lead gave me peace about the going,
But the leaving hurt nonetheless.

She came over and packed up all our dishes and small appliances
encouraging this too-sore and pregnant momma the whole time.
More dear friends came to scrub the windows and get those carpet stains up...
the red in the dining room from our kids painting pumpkins last Halloween,
the grease I spilled while serving breakfast to out of town friends.
I took the pictures off the walls, the ones I sat up pinpointing their positions
long into the night while she laughed beside me.

The guys took our bed apart and loaded it into the moving truck.
That bed that I slept alone on most nights and he alone most days.
That room held so many emotional nights and days,
awake with my newborn, learning to nurse,
answering the too-many middle of the night cries from our preschoolers across the hall.

The blue walls that Mom painted.
The stencil that Emily helped with.
The white cabinets Katy and I stayed up so late trying to finish,
laughing the whole time
while all of our 5 combined children tried to sleep downstairs.

That house was such a home.
I even grieved the flowers long dead out back,
that I'd never watch bloom again this spring.
Those flowers were sent from my grandma's garden,
the hard work of my mom.
The back deck where so many dinners were shared, parties celebrated,
the boards that were replaced for us in a time of crisis, real love.

We went to church, our last time as members there.
The tears just wouldn't stop.
How do you thank a church family that taught you so much
about Christ and His love,
my sinfulness and my salvation?

We walked into our best friends' house, the place we'd spent so many of our days.
A safe haven for us and so many more.
And how do you put into words the gratitude you have
for those who have laid down their lives for you and your family?
How to you end a chapter of your life that God grew your family from 4 to almost 6
and in a hundred other ways too?
How do you have a girls' night and laugh with the friends you know you're leaving?

I hated it. The leaving.
Because I've done this before.
I told myself before that things wouldn't be so different, we would all stay in touch.
But then life marches forward,
life gets lived in your absence.
And while the love and friendships certainly remain,
the state of your relationships are forever changed.
The season ends, autumn comes.

And then I find myself in a new place.
A place that God put me, no doubt.
But it always starts out as a lonely place.
You're inconspicuous and unknown.
Because friendship takes time to grow,
community takes life lived to bloom.

He gently whispers over me that this world is not my home.
And while He gave us the gifts of a brick and mortar house,
flowers in the back yard,
the true gifts He gave were the love that was shared through it.
The memories made, the relationships forged.
And those things... the sweetest things?
They simply won't end.

I ache today for a heavenly home that He is surely preparing.
A place we won't have to say goodbyes
and where relationships will be rich and whole.
And until then, I'm storing up the joy of friendship, the love of family
that spans time and distance once again.
Life in His love is always good,
even when it stings.

But if it didn't hurt, it would mean we didn't invest.
I praise God for walking in richness of life,
in walking along with others on these roads.
Life is most abundant when you give it away.
I'm  so thankful for the life He's led this far
And I know deep in my heart and this new season will bring more abundance with it.

And so we walk into the new season with heavy hearts,
yet filled with such hope at what lies ahead.