My daughter, Laura, husband Andy, and their sweet daughter, Lucy Drew have found their new home and will be moving from ours in just a few short weeks. While this is good for everyone, it has already left Jerry and me with an ache in our hearts knowing that this precious time of the happy back-and-forth, face-to face bantering with Laura, hearing of Andy’s day-to-day and the challenges he faces, and being greeted by Lucy Drew’s smile and delightful babblings in the morning, is about to end.
Life will look different for all of us. The extra pair of hands on deck will be missing for Laura in her everyday, but having a front seat in watching the moment to moments of Lucy will also end for Jerry and me. It’s one of those bittersweet times. Letting go, treasuring memories that will fade, but that will never be lost.
It happens to all of us. Whether it’s watching our own babies grow and wishing they could remain just a teensy bit longer that cuddly someone wrapped safely in our arms, or the loved one who has left this earth walking through the door to eternity, it seems we all wish we could stop time, even if for a minute.
But it’s not meant to be. I’ve often thought—in my much limited perspective—of all the people who have been on this earth. If we were watching a movie, it’s as if they would appear on the left side of the screen, moving across it in a slow march, much like the Israelites in the wilderness, eventually fading from view.
And there have been so many. Even the most knowledgeable of historians know just a smattering of names of those who have been here before us. But they were here with their hopes and dreams, good days and bad, and memories. Those lingering moments they held onto. And cherished. All wanting them to stay. Just a little longer. Thinking on this blows me away.
So what’s a person to do?
But thankfully and graciously, not recklessly as I have done in my past. Landing in more messes than I care to recount, I grabbed for something I wanted—that elusive dream, or what I thought my purpose in life might be, or even the perfect boyfriend whose image I hoped would build up my self worth—but by doing it my way, almost missed what God had so generously given to me. Himself. And Himself is the best gift.
As Jesus our Savior, He rescues us from sin that holds our hearts hostage, and as a loving Father, He delights in us, helping us find fulfillment in who He created us to be. And when we delight in the Him, He tucks into us the desires of our heart, that which will make us truly happy. Only God can do this. He is sovereign, omnipotent, outside of time, and eternal, making His perspective alone, spot-on. It took me a long, long time to understand that. It took me a long, long time to know I am loved.
And that, I believe, is why we are here. To be loved by God and to love Him. For when we let God love us—and I do mean let, because many times we strong-arm Him keeping Him at a distance—He does give us that purpose, that reason to be, that which will be truly fulfilling in our lives.
Picture a wheel within a wheel. God’s love, like that wheel, turns us. Us, by His grace keeping our eyes on Him and not focusing on self, is the reciprocal motion in return. It’s when we look inward, becoming self-centered, enthroning ourselves to do as we see fit, that we get off track.
Just as God delights in and loves on us, so do we with the people He brings our way. Coming in and going out, here for a brief span of time, we are given the gift of cherishing, being enchanted by and rejoicing in one another. Just like Jerry and I do with Lucy Drew and our other treasured grandchildren. And their moms and dads, and all the other dear souls that have come into our lives.
God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that all things on this earth will one day pass away, but what will remain are the gifts of faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. And it will never end.