Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Celebration & Sadness

The last few days have been amazing.  We have had wonderful opportunities to celebrate our friendships, family, our church, our mission & our God.   We've been able to reflect upon the last year with joy and gratitude.  We've had the chance to share with many (I wish it could have been everyone) of our friends & family our love & appreciation.  We have been inspired by leaders & visionaries in our church community, and the prayers and encouragement we have received has been overwhelming.

But, this has been a time of great sadness as well.  Each celebration ends in a tearful goodbye (seriously, I'm dehydrated).  Our joy is compounded by the pain of knowing how much we will miss and be missed by those we love.  

That is what truly has amazed me: the willingness of our friends & family to celebrate through the sadness with us; to say this hurts, I love you and want to be near you, but I believe that this is where you are supposed to go, and I send you with joy and blessings.  I'm (almost- it is still me afterall) speechless every time.   

And to see it in our children is breathtaking.  To witness the sincerity and depth of emotion they have formed in their friendships reminds me that these children are not just our mini-me's and we are not just charged with getting them safely through childhood.  They are people- designed with great love and intention by the Creator.  God is using their life events to draw them ever closer to Him; just as he has used mine- even when I didn't know it.  I don't know where their path will take them, but I am grateful for every friend God is giving them along the way.

So, we are sad, but we are celebrating.  As we have cried together through our goodbyes, I've told our children that if it was easy to leave this life, it wouldn't have been much of a life.  Thankfully, it is very difficult to leave. It is painful to tear ourselves away from so much  love and laughter.  It stings to think of  the celebrations we will miss.   It is not easy, but good things rarely are.

Thank you for loving us, laughing with us, praying with us,sharing life with us, and sending us with faith, joy and courage.  We love you.