I'm saying good-bye to two dear friends. Yes, two. Two treasures plus their husbands plus their kids.
Security. Adopted family. Comfort.
I'm reflective... angry... speechless -- all at the same time. And my tears remind me how complex life is even when I long for the simple.
We walked a thorny path last year, and these two companions never left our side. They were strength amidst the unknown. A fortress in a sea of questions. A light made more beautiful by the very dark I feared.
My thoughts usher me back to childhood when my best friend moved two hours away. It might as well been around the globe. I grieved and grieved as only a child can -- pure, without pride.
That same ache echos as not one, but two guests who've appeared here at repurposed pack their bags and sail into a new story. Read their hearts in past posts -- or at least chapters of them -- and you'll understand why my loss is so great. Treasures, they are.
Community is so hard sometimes. It reveals our selfishness. Our shallow priorities. Our love of control. But it heals and refines and protects and finds joy in the truth. Yes, the risk was indeed worth it almost fifteen years ago when I chose to let these two women in.
“It's like in the Great Stories, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those are the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too young to understand why. But I think I know now.Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something-that there's some good in the world, and it's worth fighting for!”
J.R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings
Today I choose joy. Today I reflect on God's grace for giving -- even though He seems to be taking away. While I'm indeed a changed person because of these friends, I see once again it's not all about me. There are communities and lives and hearts hungry to know the healing and redemption these women will bring -- even though they don't know it yet.
And so my fists are open. Open to release these friends into their new purpose. Open to receive God's grace redefined. Open to the story I would have never written this way.