Any good gift apart from salvation is seasonal, and if we try to hold onto it out of season, it will turn bitter.
The kids ran through the front door and tried to see how loud their voices were bouncing off cleared floors and bare walls. “Meet us in the living room!” Robert called. When the kids joined us, I said, “This was our house, and we’ll say goodbye to it as a family.” There was a palpable reverence as the six of us walked through each room of our empty home.
We expressed our appreciation for spaces, reminisced on sweet memories, and acknowledged the sorrow held between walls. The empty rooms echoed, but faint, almost visible moments drifted through each room.
I was ready to open the door and say goodbye.
We paused in Lucy and Jane’s room. It’s the room that was meant to be shared but held tragedy instead. “Why did you keep the door shut for so long after Jane died?” George wondered aloud. With a brief exhale, I responded, “It made me sad, and I felt very protective of her things. I didn’t want anyone to move anything or accidentally get rid of something. But then, one day, I was ready to open the door.” He smiled and nodded in understanding before running to the next room.
Ten months ago, I sat on my couch in our living room and cried, “I can’t leave this house. I’ll never be able to leave this house.” It made me sad to think about, and I felt protective of a place that held so many emotions for our family. Today, I stood in that exact spot. There were no tears, but peace. I was ready to open the door and say goodbye.
James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.”
I believe our home was a good gift, and our time in Georgia has also been a good gift; and I know that both were given by our Heavenly Father. I also understand that any good gift apart from salvation is seasonal, and if we try to hold onto it out of season, it will turn bitter.
Our lives are a story made up of stanzas and chapters. We’ve had many sweet chapters in our little family, and we’ve had horribly difficult ones. Today, it seemed we bid farewell to a book, not just a chapter. It’s a book in a series, and while it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, it also offered satisfying closure.
We have a beautiful opportunity to completely trust the Author
We’re excited about what lies ahead of our family, and we also hold profound gratitude for what has been. It is the surrender of good things before they become bitter or become an idol. It’s appreciating the Giver above the gift. One day we won’t need to say goodbye. One day all will be good and nothing bittersweet.
As believers, we have a beautiful opportunity to completely trust the Author, and we should count it an honor to play a role in his ultimate story.