So tomorrow, we fly away.
It has been an intense couple of weeks. Two yard sales and everything boxed up, packed up or given away in the last 14 days.
This is my nineteenth move and I know from experience that one takes all the time allowed. Hence I chose to do it swiftly like a marine charge (“YAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!”) And there is a mercy to speed. Not enough time to think too much.
My children are thirteen and ten and conflicted about leaving the only home they’ve ever known, so I gave them a free pass. As many playdates, away days and video games as they could squeeze in were all maternally blessed. It’s enough they were having to go through it, they didn’t need Evil Queen screaming at them to hurry up or not forget.
I know I also have a huge advantage over them. I have a track record of God taking me through this process many, many, many times. I know how enormous moving is in the process, and how tiring. I know the (sometimes) uncertainty about where you will land next and when. And I’ve seen God cover every detail, even at (in fact often at) the eleventh hour. It’s a whacky ride at best and I’ve never had to experience it in conjunction with the breaking up of my parents’ marriage and my family home, as well as for the first time.
My children are though. So in my book, they’re doing brilliantly. The occasional slammed door, sassy response, colorful profanity or dropped ball is fine with me. They’re getting through it and that’s what counts.
In the midst, we’ve had all three dogs suffering from “suitcase syndrome” around us. Agonized looks at every turn of “How could you?” “Are you leaving us?” “It’s the end of the world!” “You’re dead to me now, you cruel woman.”
And then yesterday when we dropped them off for a month at a heavenly kennel run by friends, they wagged their tails without a backward glance as they immediately got taken off for a walk.
Yesterday evening was the children’s and my last night together at the house. A slammed door and a video game left me the peace and quiet to go and sit for a while on the cement of the back porch, lean my back against the wall and think.
I too was crying, but when I thought of sadness or regret it didn’t seem to hit the mark. What hit me instead – and to my surprise – was an immense in-filling of gratitude. The bread of tears. There was nothing more to say than “Thank You.”
Thank you, Lord, for sustaining us here.
Thank you for protecting us.
Thank you for all the life you poured into us through this house.
Thank you for the fantastic neighbors you placed around us.
Thank you for new friendships forged here in hardship and happiness.
Thank you for keeping us here.
Thank you for giving us this space for exactly as long as we needed it.
And thank you now for moving us on.
Three years ago, I planted two fruit trees from my sister in the yard. We had seen only two daring oranges and two tentative grapefruit up until this year. The orange still has an only child, but the grapefruit for the first time has gone gangbusters. There must be forty fruit on that little tree. And we’re going to miss the harvest.
And so I pray that too, Lord, for my life and for the children’s lives. That all the fruit You have grown in us here, all the learnings that are still green in us, You will continue to grow and ripen and multiply as we move forward.
That none of us is wasted. None of this is wasted. That we will constantly bless new recipients, possibly ones we haven’t even met yet.
All in good time.