“Who thought this was a good idea?” cried my heart to my mind. How is it that we invest the whole of our lives into kids only to launch them into their own place in this world apart from us? What was, won’t be again. The season, the era, definitively over…And my heart aches. Sentimentality and nostalgia over years of joys, hardships, wins and losses form a warm image of “good.” Those stories are the context of knitting hearts and forging deep bonds. But the deeper ache lies in the going on from here.
This is where hearts begin to shake and retreat. Sure, adventure waits. We know Goodness still stands ready to pour its bounty on us. But the journey takes on a tender solitariness for a while, an aloneness that stretches on before it turns into a path of discovery. Who knew that pervading emptiness would reveal hidden longings? Who knew these yearnings could be doorways into “next”? Next realizations. Learning. Next actions. Letting go. Next movement. Accept where I find myself. Next point of decision. Recreate familiar or step into the unknown.
Some changes aren’t like that. Oh, how we welcome change when it brings needed relief! Water after drought gladdens hearts and makes blossoming possible. Uncurling ourselves feels wonderfully life-giving. Offering what we have, satisfying. Of course, this uncurling is not perfect or without its doubts, but we feel life flowing back through our limbs. Drought wrought droopiness disappears as water reaches the deep of our thirst allowing us to straighten and unfurl. Lifting our faces to the sun, vitality courses through our being and we sense that it’s really good to be alive and to be us.
If the danger in nostalgia is getting stuck in memories that tempt us to recreate the past, the danger in relief is to forget the hard, raw with realizations of how we can’t ultimately provide for ourselves.
And so, I find myself at a crossroad. Maybe you do too.
Do I dare believe, as in, take a leap of faith, that there’s more to me…to life…to God than I know? Do I dare risk that no matter my age, history, circumstance, resources or ailments, that this change, whatever it is, might be the path to a new becoming? Is it possible there are parts of me, parts of God, I haven’t met yet? Could it be that in His tireless and relentless restoration of me, God has ordained this…right here…right now… as a place of transformation? Do I want that?
When change comes, this is one question it brings: Stay in the shallows…or launch, with God, out into the deep.
ACTION: What changes have come your way? If you were to describe how you feel about them in 3 words, what would you say? How does God seem to you as you consider the changes that are coming?