Get ready. Get set. Go.
It was time to switch gears from preparing to move someday to this move is going to happen. We had been preparing for this for a long time. The wait was so long, that one of our children shared that it was like dealing with the initial news and emotions all over again.
This was not the timing that we would have chosen. But I have found that whenever I feel comfortable about things, the Lord begins to prepare my heart for a change. It was time.
Whenever faced with major changes, I want all of the particulars first. Timing, location; please give me the details. Yes, faith is a good thing. Yes, I believe. But the details, Lord. I need these to pack along with my security blanket.
But the answer was no. Get ready. Get prepared. The specifics will come later. Oh, what a necessary exercise in faith!
I would love to say that I initially embraced the moving news with great enthusiasm. After all, we had been praying and preparing our hearts to step out in ministry for years. But I confess that, at times, I falter. I often want the road map first and will offer my obedience second. God gently rebukes me. Sometimes later rather than sooner, I eventually surrender and admit my desire to be self-sufficient. In this case, I wanted to keep the warm “fuzzies” of loved ones close by, familiar surroundings, and a life that had become, well, comfortable. Just for a moment, doubts crept in. Sigh. Ah, but the Lord knows that I am a slow learner. Obedient but slow.
I packed, made lists, and shared the news amidst excitement and tears. Get ready, get ready, and get ready kept beating through my heart, mind, and soul.
Then, it was time to go.
How does one say goodbye to family and friends that have such a special place in your heart? How does one do it time and time again throughout a lifetime? Does it ever get any easier?
I remember my first heart-wrenching goodbye as a teen at Bible camp. One of the counselors wisely told my sister and me that it was the first of many goodbyes to come. Neither of us wanted to hear that. It was a much too painful process to consider that we would ever have to do it again. And yet, we have had to say goodbyes; many times over.
Is it easy? No, it has never been easy to say goodbye. But two things comfort me with each new goodbye the older I get. With fellow believers in Christ, I know we will see each other again. We have a common destination, and that makes the parting bearable.
“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” (ESV, Col. 3:2)
The second comfort is in knowing that a loved one remains in my heart regardless of geographic distance, technological challenges, or mountains standing in the way of clear airwaves!
We said our goodbyes to old friends.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,” (Col. 1:3)
We greeted new friends with hellos.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. 3:17)
And here we sit, somewhere in-between, about to begin this new adventure the Lord has for us.
“See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” (Col. 4:17)