We are going to be moving soon, and as I wait on the timeline to fall into place I find myself pondering and processing the closing of this particular chapter of my life. I want to stock up on fond memories; take pictures of the most mundane portions of daily life; and determine which items are the most precious and must be packed in my suitcase. Then I started to consider the why behind my frantic attempts to find peace in my departure. I found three reasons.
Insecurity. I collect precious memories and items with the assumption that if I hold tightly to them I am going to be ready for tomorrow: these treasures of mine are assurances that I do matter to the people I leave behind and that they won’t forget about me. I am fearful that I won’t be happy in my future, but I can always draw up my stored happiness around me like a cozy blanket and feel comforted by that.
Denial. At the same time that I am busy gathering a stockpile of memories, I am also attempting to not think about the approaching change. I am trying to maintain my peaceful routines, to sift through my belongings as if I’m only doing spring cleaning rather than preparing to pack, to simply have fun with my favorite people. And then I remember and cry myself to sleep at night.
Regret. Those bedtime tears are often tears of regret. I had nearly a lifetime to spend meaningful time with my loved ones and now I’m trying to cram that lifetime into less than 2 months. I spent a beautiful morning at the beach with my mom and sister yesterday – the first time we have ever done that despite my mom’s persistent request for it over the years. My mom was right! It was just what we all needed. Why did we wait so long? I don’t want my regret to multiply which is why I’m no longer putting off until tomorrow what I can do today.
I am fortunate that I have a glimpse of what the near future is sending my way; I am fortunate because I have time to confront my insecurity, denial and regret before I leave. Rather than clinging to my memories and belongings I should cling to Christ and trust that He will equip me for every good task that lies ahead. Yes, I want to stock up on memories but only as inspiration for how to live well in the present and not to mourn what can never be relived. This move is a blessed warning that life will not always be the same, that change sometimes drops its subtlety in order to be abrupt and searing, that making memories with my dearest loved ones is not something to be put off until the last minute.