~week four~

In the summer of 2014, God made a request to me.  He put it on my heart to spend every Friday with Him in the summer months.  This meant putting aside other things, taking off work and being faithful for a season.

For those of you who know this story of my life, you know that I didn’t take off one single Friday that summer.  After confessing what I missed, I haven’t thought a lot about June, July and August of 2014.  I did take off this past Friday though.  A friend of mine traveled very far to spend a week with me.  As a result, my thoughts of the summer past came back to me.

Over that week with my friend, there were many days that I did things I normally do not do.  We sat at the beach and talked about the details of our lives that get missed when there is distance between two friends.  We smiled about age that continues to creep up on us.  We talked about the complications of love and relationships.  We ate out and shopped some.  We shared dreams, aspirations and hurdles.  We walked arm in arm in the warm sun and finally said our goodbyes for another six or more months.

As I headed back to normal life.  Having missed a few mornings and nights with my kids and husband.  Having missed some time at work.  After getting one good night of sleep back in my bed, I reflected on time spent with her.  I saw a few things differently.  It’s good to see beyond your own views.  I had some renewed enthusiasm for my daily grind.  Being away makes home better.  I said goodbye looking forward to next time.  Time spent with a good friend is good for the soul.

I see very clearly now what God was saying to me that summer.  He wanted to speak into my life so I could see a few things differently.  He wanted to renew me so that I could be a better woman.  He wanted to spend time with me because that is what friends do.  It would have been good for my soul.

I’m going to leave you with a call to action as I wrote it in the fall of 2014.  I am not sure that I could have meant it more than when I wrote it one year ago.  What is different now?  The call to action is lathered in love, quality time and friendship even more so now than then.

So, all of this about me, to say to you, that I am sure that there is something you are holding on to.  I am sure of that because we are not in heaven.  You have a lot of excuses like I do. Some come across as very justified, but they are not.  I know for a fact that you are braver than me and can let go of the thing, go do the thing, step out into the thing . . . before the thing expires.  You don’t need to wait anymore to do the thing you are supposed to do.  Please do it.  And, after you do, tell me all about it.  I’ll be encouraged to the thing He calls me to do.  At the very next redemptive opportunity. 

Goodbye, Friend

By AbbyA

Truthfully girls, I hate goodbyes.  I don’t just hate them.  I avoid them.  I pretend they are not there.  I ignore the person who is leaving before they even leave so I can forget that I have to say goodbye.  I hate them.  And I hate them some more.

I want to have one brief goodbye.  I don’t want to go to any dumb go-away party so I can pretend that it’s just like old times and the person really isn’t leaving.  I don’t want to say goodbye two or three times.  Once with family, once with the girls, once you and me.  Just leave, will you!

I want to have about 15 or 20 minutes to spill my guts, tell you I love you, hug you and kiss you, shed salty tears down my cheeks and on yours.  I want you to remember how much I love you and get the heck on your way.  Don’t linger more than a minute or two.  Smile back at me and get in your car and leave!

So, I am not like Peter.  I am not going to forbid you to leave.  Matthew 16:22.  Because, yes, I get it.  God has a plan for you.  An (initially) rather lame plan that makes you far from me.  But I do get it so I will let you go.

I am not like James and John.  I won’t demand that you take me with you or put me in your spare bedroom where you are going.  Mark 10:35-40.  I only want an invitation to stay with you a few times a year and to hear your voice regularly.

I hate goodbyes because I love you so much.  I gave you sacred parts of me while you were here.  And as I watch you prepare to go and then go, I love you too much to take back the parts of myself that I have already given you.  So, I hold onto you like a hook on a fishing line until you leave state lines.  Then, instead of taking the bait and swimming off.  I let you pull off of a piece of my flesh as you go.  I want you to keep a good, juicy chunk of my heart so you don’t feel lonely on your journey.

That is why I hate goodbyes.  They leave me broken for a while, but I just love you so much.  And I can’t help it.  So, please, leave if you have to.  Don’t ask me why I won’t talk to you.  If you invite me to your stupid go-away party, I’ll come and either act fake and refuse to face the facts or won’t talk to you at all.  And, don’t expect me to plan the party either, because I won’t.  So, there you have it.  Goodbye.