Three years ago, someone in the homeschool group to which we belong introduced me to a mom whose family had just moved to Arizona and lived near me. In fact, they lived less than three blocks away from us, though on the other side of a busy road. We started meeting twice a month or so for PE related activities. Last year, we joined as a co-op for Writing, History and Science and organized a PE co-op in our area with just a few families. You get to be pretty close when meeting roughly 52 times a year. Last year, she and her husband started discussing having him find a job because their oldest son, who shares a love of art and all things Tolkien with our oldest daughter, was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome with the usual side issues and his company's insurance refused to pay for all the therapy. Sure enough, he found a job fairly quickly with good insurance, but it was in North Carolina. That was in August. We were expecting them to leave at Christmas, but they decided to have her and the kids stay until the house sold. The house sold within a month of putting it on the market and the sale date was set in March. Two weeks ago, I looked at the calendar and realized that March was just around the corner. That is when it hit me that my kids are going to lose the closest friends they have had since moving here. So the last week or so has been an exercise in grieving.
Honestly, it seems as if, for the last five or six years, God has been removing the people who have been closest with us from our lives. It hurts horribly. When we first moved, I felt as if God was telling me that friends had become an idol to me--something good and necessary became something that meant more to me than God. I am not saying that it is the reason He moved us, just that He used our move to reveal an idol in my life so that I would draw closer to Him. And I walked away from that wrestling match deciding that if He took everyone else away, even my family, He would be sufficient. As I remembered those many conversations with Him, I realized that my attitude concerning the current situation has not been great. So, as of last week, every time I was tempted to wallow in pity, as much for my kids as for me, I made a conscious decision to choose thankfulness that He brought this family into our lives, even if it is for a short time. And I choose to be happy for my friends because He is bringing them back to a place where they can live near extended family, where they will have a bigger yard, a bigger house and away from the desert megalopololis, which I knew that the mom really hated. And I choose to trust Him with my kid's lives, though, in all honesty, I don't have much of a choice in the matter because the concept of being in control of anyone except myself is a Grand Illusion that the enemy loves to perpetuate. So, to be more precise, I have chosen to rejoice that the Lord is in control of my life and my family's life and rejoice in the knowledge that He is good in every situation, that He loves me far more than I can ever imagine, that He knows what is best for my family and will lead us. And I rejoice that we will spend eternity in heaven, where there are no "good-byes".
I choose joy even in the midst of sorrow and uncertainty.