11/7/19 – 11/12/19
I learned that our friends’ daughter is very near to the end of her life tonight. Tonight – the same night a good friend told me with glowing joy that the boy she’s waited years for kissed her. Tonight, the same night another friend turns eighteen. And I sit here wondering which I’m supposed to hold – the joy or the grief. Guilt creeps over me neglecting either. I realized though, that both bring me to the feet of Jesus. Both whisper in their own way that one day it will be better still to be in His arms.
All this life is for the next. All this life is a preparation for all that is to come. And indeed goodbyes are a sort of mourning, no matter how beautiful the promise of tomorrow may be, goodbyes still are things full of grief. But if this life – the whole of it with all its sorrows and joys – is to make me ready for the glory of life with my Savior face to face, then perhaps these past eighteen years were to make me ready for the rest of the life that I will live. The beauty that’s been given me, the lessons that it’s taught my heart – I’ll cling to as I go out into the world. I will hold it as a lantern in the griefs that will come. And remember my old joys in the midst of the new.
It is so common place to go off to college that I’ve never thought hard on it. But here I am, eighteen years with the same people, in the same city, and now all I’ve ever known will never be again. I don’t know how to imagine life without walks with Mom, or long music filled car rides with Dad, the laughter of my sisters that floats down the halls, unexpected hugs from my little brother, book shelve filled bedrooms, devotional time after dinner, road trips to the mountains, cookies over the holidays.
All my life stretches out behind me, all has come before, and now this great “after” stands before me. What am I to do with it? How am I to leave it all behind?
Jesus, You, are all I truly have.
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing – to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from – my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back. All my life the god of the Mountain has been wooing me. Oh, look up once at least before the end and wish me joy. I am going to my lover. Do you not see now – ?” Till We Have Faces, CS Lewis