The large moving van doors shut with a resounding slam. And that was it. My son and his beautiful young wife were all packed and ready to drive off. They were heading north to accept an amazing job offer and begin an exciting new adventure in their young married lives. Leaving and cleaving. As they should.
But no one tells us moms how the beginning of their new chapter is the end of another chapter for us. I’ve been turning the pages of my life for such a long time. But only today, did it occur to me that all the while, I have been turning pages in more than one book. And for the last 25 some odd years, each time I turned a page, I was also turning the pages in my kids’ books.
We watch our children to grow. We help them learn to sit up, to crawl, to walk, and to run. There was my son’s first day of Kindergarten when his chubby little hand squeezed tightly onto mine and in a whisper, he begged me not to leave. And with a turn of my head he was the owner of his first phone, explaining to me that if I text him rather than call him, he could respond to me without the embarassment of the other kids knowing he was talking to his mom. My head is spinning in the speed of life and we are dropping him off at his college dorm. As we drive home, I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that our family dynamic has forever changed. The old chapter is over. A new one is being written, even before we pull back into our driveway. Then we are watching his bride walk down the aisle and I am in awe of how God has answered my every prayer for him in this one, sweet, young woman. With each new milestone we start a new chapter, close the old one, and hopefully enjoy the story we are writing along the way.
And then one day, they leave. And it seems like our book just slammed shut like a giant moving van door. But it hasn’t.
My son shared the most amazing and fitting song by Sleeping at Last called, “West”. (Check out the link, if you want a good cry.) But basically, it’s about moving away and promises to stay close in spite of the distance. And with confidence, the chorus assures us, “We’ll be just fine.”
I woke up the next day, heart heavy. My phone had texts from six different friends saying they were praying for me. A close friend came over coffee. While running errands during the day, God placed another friend in my path. And more friends had us over for dinner that night. And with great excitement, my daughter–in-law skyped us a tour of their new apartment. By the time I went to bed, my heart was full.
We’ll be just fine.
So why am I writing today? The bible calls us to care for one another. 1 Peter 4:8-10 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
On a day when I was so low, my friends came around me and held me up. What about you? Is there someone in your life today that needs your encouragement? Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to write a note, make a call, invite someone to coffee? Let us lift one another up in Christ. And as the song says, “We’ll be just fine.”