If ever an event were to fit that description, this would be it: our family’s move. It is the eve before our leave . . . tomorrow we’re off to establish ourselves as residents of Florida! Yes, a beautiful place—the Sunshine State—full of new places to visit, people to meet and minister to, adventures to experience, and family members to love on. Sweet, for sure.
We have racked up precious memories with dearly loved friends and family in our home state of Maryland over our 15 ½ years of marriage . . . we fell in love, courted and made vows; welcomed 5 children into our family; bought our first home; buried loved ones; laughed with friends; cried with them, too; known great joy and great sorrow. We will cherish what we’ve experienced over those years. Those memories and loved ones are what make “going” so tough. Therein lies the bitter.
And yet, our family is excited about this next step in our journey throughout life. We believe this will draw us closer, knit our hearts together in an even more precious way than they already are. We look forward to having the family we love and friends we’ve collected through the years come and visit. How busy we all are and how often we get caught up doing our own things – our family has been guilty of being weighed down with our “to-do list” and forgetting what really matters: relationships. It is our desire to build deeper ones as we share meals together under the same roof with our houseguests; serving them, feeding them, entertaining them and catching up with them.
If it’s one thing we know, it’s that times change and life goes on. It’s that Jesus goes before us, and comes behind us, seamlessly weaving our lives into a beautiful tapestry. We see only one strand at a time, and sometimes not even that. Yet, as we look back, we observe a bigger portion of the work of art and say, “Ahhh, I see. It is beautiful.” Our God has always been faithful, and will continue to be. We eagerly await what He will do in our future!
We like to think we’re not really saying, “Goodbye” . . . but more or less, “See you later!” For we do indeed hope to see so many in the future! While we head down the 95 South corridor tomorrow–, our hearts will be overwhelmed with so many emotions. Which, as I have so often leading up till this moment, will turn into prayers – for safety, encouragement, comfort and blessing. For us, and for all those saying goodbye to us. For those waiting to say hello when we arrive at our Florida destination.
We’ll have tears, knowing we leave so many sweet times and people in Maryland. And we’ll have smiles, knowing so much adventure and many new relationships lie ahead of us in Florida.
Yes, truly bittersweet. It’s comforting knowing that the word ends with sweet.