Tonight is the last night in our house. We have lived here for 7 years and tomorrow we will close this chapter and begin another. As can be expected, I am full of grief. While this move was our choice and we believe we are following a clear path God laid out, the pain of this change is very real and very sharp. As I tucked my children into bed in their rooms for the last time in this house, the memories and emotion washed over me without mercy or regard. I am so sad. Sad to leave the home we created. Sad to close the door on this journey. Sad to admit that the things we did here cannot be redone. I will not again see my sons step off the bus together and run to this home. I will not again see my daughter slide down our stairs or peek over the banister. This season is over and it will not return.
I am anxious to see God work in this. I am waiting with baited breath to see the end that justifies these means. I know that it’s there. He often reminds that His timing and ways are rarely in line with my own. Just the other night I had one of those moments and I am clinging to it like a lifeline in this sadness. Not too long ago, I purchased an album of songs based on “The Story”, a chronological novel of the Bible. Suffice it to say, it is one of the best albums I have heard in a very long time. Every song is thoughtful and intentional, moving and quieting. We played the album constantly for several days and all my children became equally enamored with the music. My middle son became particularly immersed in a song about David called “Your Heart.” The song beautifully articulates David’s wish to personify the very heart of God.
Fast-forward a few weeks to a couple nights ago. That same son had had a particularly hard day. Things had gone wrong at school, things had gone wrong at home, things had gone wrong with family and friends and part of what had gone wrong was an interaction with his younger sister in which he had been unkind and impatient. As I tucked him in that night, I addressed his behavior and my disapproval. His eyes filled with tears and with defeat and hopelessness he declared, “I’m just a bad kid.” My heart broke instantly and I spent the next 15 minutes consoling and reassuring. And as I searched for words that might comfort, the David song came to mind and I gently encouraged my son and softly pointed out that that song made me think of him. His heart looks like God’s heart. It is big and soft and, by extension, easily broken. A few minutes later, my son fell asleep to that song playing over and over and over on his iPod. And in that instant, the pieces came together and I realized that I did not purchase that album for myself. I had unknowingly purchased it for him. I purchased it for this moment. I purchased it so that God might speak directly to his heart and whisper comfort and identity.
And it is this kind of moment that I am seeking in the months to come. I am looking forward to the day or night when I see the timeline exposed and the reasons revealed. I am waiting confidently for the time when I will look back and see God’s hand working long before I recognized it. And in all the sadness and grief and loss I feel tonight, I am hopeful that the other side of the door I am closing will hold new promise and discoveries.