Sunday, January 4, 2015

saying our goodbyes

The sun through the breakfast room window warmed everything but my toes.  
They are perpetually cold.  
It was a tease because I new that the January air on the other side of the glass I was propped up against was chilling.  I had to squint to see through the sun’s rays and through the overgrown oak tree to where they were jumping on the trampoline.  They giggled and ran and skipped and fell down flat on their backs grinning at the sky.  
Friendship.
At six years old it is already important to her.
It's important to me too.

We said goodbye to more than another year this week.  
We said goodbye to
the crabapple tree in the back yard that blooms a brilliant white in the springtime,
the front porch that was always covered in colorful chalk masterpieces,
the sidewalk where the kids learned to ride their bikes,
the old knitting mill where we helped to birth, deliver, and nurture the life of a new church...

This week we said goodbye to our Charlotte home and of all the things we left behind it is the people we will miss the most.

Lucy came to me in tears less than 24 hours after we officially announced the move to her and her brother.

I don't want to move mommy.  I don't want to leave my friends.

Me neither, baby.

Just because I'm taking strong confident steps forward, doesn't mean I'm not full of grief.

We grieve the things we love and there are countless people I love back there in the queen city.  Some of the dearest ones of them I didn't even give a proper farewell to because this train picked us up and carried us here in such a quick and unexpected way.

The things we grieve, are the things that matter.  It's a good barometer of what you are spending your life on.  My time and energy has primarily been invested in relationships over the past several years.  It's hard to let go of that kind of long-term investment.

One week ago a handful of my dearest friends invited me over for lunch.
They made pots full of soup.
They prepared my favorite salad.
They set our places at a fancy, beautiful table.
They prayed for me and wished me well.
They loved me so well that day just like every day before.

I asked one last thing of them before we said goodbye - could I please pray for you?
We clasped hands around the island in the kitchen and closed our eyes.  By the time I was finished there was literally a puddle on the floor in front of my {the Holy Spirit obviously manifests itself in me through snot and tears}.

Beneath me was a puddle of 'thank yous'
for the friends I love
for the God who has been so good to all of us
for all the ways He has been made more real to me through them.

We shared tight hugs and familiar knowing looks as we left to go our separate ways.  And something happened as I drove home that day...
   grieving began to look a lot more like gratitude.

When your heart is so full of thanksgiving for something or someone it's hard to let that fullness go.
One week later I'm realizing...you don't have to.