It’s Good Friday. I was prevented from attending our church’s service tonight despite having planned on going all week. The heavy weather, grouchy kids, and that bitter disappointment worked together to bring my spirits quite low…the tear-filled kind of low. Sometimes I feel like I’m always having to let go: of my plans, my free time, my personal space, my rest. Moving is taking me to an entirely new level of letting go, a cutting deeper kind of letting go: of my family, my friends, my home state, all that is familiar. I don’t like it. I find it scary. I think I am frightened of what will prove to be lasting; perhaps every thing that I thought was strong and unbreakable won’t be. What will be left? And if it is all so transient, what does that say about me? Am I so insignificant that the memory I leave behind will be as permanent as a footprint on the sand? Have I invested and committed and encouraged and been vulnerable only to be forgotten?
It’s almost humorous how moving can inspire such introspection. Or maybe it’s just that first move away from home. But as I sat and pondered all of these thoughts in my little reading corner tonight, nursing my baby before putting her to bed, I recalled a recent comment my mom made to me: “Can you believe that these are YOUR children? They aren’t your baby dolls or other people’s kids or your students. They are YOUR children.” I brought myself back from all that introspecting and settled my mind back into my living room. The baby locked her eyes on me and started cooing one of her most fervent little melodies; the oldest actually got excited that his little sidekick sister wanted to play cars with him (miracles do happen!!) and she was trying hard to not bug him (too much). It filled my heart to have them all around me, so content, and to have an unread book just within reach. And then a flood of little thoughts surged through my memory: my son rushing into the kitchen to detail his sister’s food falling to the ground and how the dog ate it up; the 18-month old’s upturned face and puckered lips offering kisses before the bedtime story; her instant urge to climb into the empty suitcase; his clever idea of making a road for his cars out of plastic lids; the deep adoration they have for their baby sister and their enthusiasm over her every coo, smile, and cry. I have a treasure trove of little memories like that.
These little individuals are the people with whom I can be real, invest in, pour into, and to whom I can promise to remember forever. However, this will require me to let go once again, but this time it will be the letting go of the instinct to hold back. Moments before I gave birth to my little Joy, I realized that I hadn’t given all I had to pushing because I was still concerned about how it might look to the other people in the room. I suddenly didn’t care anymore and mentally yelled, “Just let go!” And with that I pushed my little daughter into the world. THAT’S the kind of fervor with which I want to raise my children, love my husband, and live for Jesus. I no longer want to worry about how embracing the adventure of life will make me look to those around me; and I certainly don’t want to hide from my own potential. To love them in the way they need it the most I need to be the authentic me and that’s who I am on my way to meeting when I move away from home.