Sunday, March 16, 2008

This Side of Heaven

3 John 1:2
"I pray good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health - that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!"

Goodbye is such a hard word to say--I always want to change it to "see ya' later" so it doesn't seem so final. Life really changes constantly as our years go along. We always say "let's get together" but our lives grow in different directions and getting together proves harder than originally thought.

Recently I've been saying "goodbye" too much, I think. Goodbye to friends and family I didn't want to lose. God, you know I struggle with my "whys" and the "it's not fair" stuff. Often tears have trickled down my cheeks when I run across something or someone that brings their spirit back to me...a memory of their laugh...something funny they would do. I lean on and thank God for blessed memories and that give me SO MUCH comfort through my heart-felt longings. These things are a balm...clinging to me. My giggles and tears are a strange combination, don't you think? But that's what I do as I look back over the pictures and let the memories run through my mind. Granny's words come back to me...she often talked about "golden memories" growing more precious as time goes by like the wind. I know their love never leaves my heart, and the promise of heaven relieves my earthly anxiety.

Some goodbyes were not "heavenly" but were losses due to distance or career changes. Precious friends, co-workers, brothers and sister in Christ that hugged me lots, shared their troubles with me, listened to my troubles, asked for advice every now and then, and mostly just MADE ME LAUGH with their love of life. My days seem much emptier without their smiles, without their youthful attitudes, without their bouncy, blonde curls, without quiet discussions about special times at church, rebounding ideas off each other about Christ and His lessons.

I'm being selfish here...these changes were for wonderful reasons: promotions, new adventures, marriages, new ministries, and the list goes on. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me in praying for them, asking God to bless them in their new places and growing their fellowship with neighbors and new buddies. My season now is to be: letting go and concentrating on God's plan for them instead of mine.

So, note to self: do a better job of calling, writing an email, wishing sunshine to those I miss that are "this side of Heaven"...for we never know when one of us might be gone.

You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog,
catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.
James 4:14
Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life?
2 Peter 3:11