Wow. Where to begin? I guess by saying "Hello".
It seems that's the direction my life has taken right now. But in order to have gotten to the "Hello" part, I've had to say A LOT of goodbyes of late. Let's review:
I guess it started by saying "Goodbye" to some wonderful friends. (BTW, "wonderful" does not do them justice. They were very dear friends, who had come into our lives and nearly immediately became part of our tapestry. I once wrote in a little card to my very dear friend a scripture upon which when I stumbled it quite literally took my breath away because it seemed so, well, perfect. It's found at I Samuel 1:18, and though I can't find the particular version right now, it says "There was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became the best of friends." We miss them terribly, but have immense peace for them. They are DIRECTLY and SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE of God's will for their lives. Isn't that what we wish for all our friends?
I also recently said "Goodbye" to the job that I have held for the last eight years, and returned to the "real working world". (And believe me, this simple sentence could not only be a blog of it's own, it could probably be a book of it's own -- but I'll do you all a favor and save that for another day). I still mourn for the end of that chapter of our life, especially when I've had a bad day at work or when the alarm goes off and I have to put on "real" clothes and leave my cozy, quiet home for the day.
And though insignificant, we've recently found out that our doctor of ten years is quitting private practice. I boo and hiss at this, even though since our move four years ago it is kind of inconvenient to drive across town to be seen in her office. (Wichita has gotten us quite spoiled with ten minute trips to anywhere you want/need to be.) Along with our doctor, we're recently made the decision to find a new dentist. He has consolidated his practice and is only working odd hours, which is really inconvenient now that my job isn't as flexible as it used to be. I also "fired" my eye doctor when his office refused to wait a few minutes for me when I was running behind for an appointment. (Uh, excuse me, haven't I waited long waits to be seen by him in the past?! So one-sided!)
Another BIG "Goodbye" has been our decision to leave our "church home". We've attended this particular church for about four, (five?) years. This was a very difficult decision, but one that I must admit had been a long time coming. I can't point to one particular thing that happened, but rather a multitude of circumstances. But most importantly, I had felt for probably over a year that it was time to move on, and spent a lot of time praying about it. Believe me, I kicked and I screamed and I cried (and I cried, and I cried).
So, there's a lot of our goodbyes. I know there are more of them, but they are probably small and insignificant, because they aren't coming to mind just now.
I heard Paul telling someone that the word he's been hearing lately is "Change". Change. I hate the word. I hate what it means even more. But change is one of those things that gives no regard to how one feels, it does as it will. And I hate to admit it, and I'll probably deny it later, but there's a very small part of me that is beginning to embrace it. I guess because I'm starting to see where the "Hello"s are leading. . .
Saying goodbye to dear friends usually means you get to say hello to new ones. Maybe even wonderful ones. Ones that may just become a vibrant new color in your tapestry. I keep my fingers crossed that this will be truth. But for now, I'm learning to let the Lord be my wonderful friend.
And saying goodbye to an old job means you get to say hello to a new one. And even though I've struggled in this new job, I have met some wonderful new people. People that I actually like. And I know that because I've struggled with this new job it has brought me even closer to Jesus, because I've had to depend on him like I have never had to before. And I'm seeking His reasons and His motives, and it's good.
We're still "church shopping", and I don't know where the Lord will take us, but I do know that we've really been in prayer about where that is. This week we visited a new church and I found myself weeping during the message, because it was GOOD. As I sat and listened to the pastor I felt like a starving person stooped over a steaming hot bowl of soup, savoring every drop, feeling my belly get warm and full. It was the best feeling. I don't know if this will be our new home, but I enjoyed it immensely. And even more importantly, I'm enjoying the journey. I get excited to talk to Paul on a Saturday night, "Where should we go tomorrow?" And we'll lean over the computer and look up different websites and talk about what we're looking for. Pour me another bowl.
Another "Hello" has been a very recent addition to our family. His name is Mr. Arbuckle, but we've decided to call him Arnie for short. He's an Italian Greyhound that we adopted from the Kansas Humane Society. He looks like a miniature version of Roadie, (our full-sized greyhound that we adopted a couple of years ago). Arnie had been returned to the pound twice by two different families. He's three years old but is not completely housebroken, which apparently was the straw that broke the camel's back to both prior families. He's done quite well here, although he has had a couple of accidents in the house. He's so timid and scared. I hope and pray that eventually we will see a different side to him, a confident side. I want him to know that he's safe here. I've teased a couple of times that we're becoming the "Island of Misfit Toys", but it brings my heart joy.
It's hard to say goodbye, to let go of so many people and things at one time. People and things that we hold so dear and love so much. But I'm learning in the process. Learning that God is a Mighty God, and that He is in control. That He knows all these fears that I have. I'm learning to let go. To surrender it all. To bide my time and bite my tongue and trust. And that I don't need to know the destination all the time. That it's okay to sit back and be the passenger instead of the driver.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
2 years ago