September 25, 2021
There are some things you should know about me.
1. I don’t like change. 2. I hate saying goodbye. 3. I clean when I feel like I’m losing control of my life.
Fall is hard.
In the past several years and in this beautiful autumn season, I’ve said goodbye to friends and family and to babies I never got to meet. Death is real for me between September and November, and December is full of reminders that these people do not exist on this earth anymore. Life isn’t joyless, by any means, but my life has changed so drastically and so suddenly that there’s NO way I can live my life without believing that I have very little control over anything.
And, so I clean. Because at least with that, most circumstances are predictable. If something isn’t right in my house, I can fix it. Physical work brings healing to me. A little piece of my life looks a little cleaner, fresher, and newer, and my home becomes a place I want to bring NEW people to. Yes, grief looks a whole lot different to many different people. But apparently, grief to me looks like scrubbing a sink.
I noticed this fall that a few things have been harder for me than I anticipated. Our friends (and Brendyn’s godparents) moved to Arkansas last week. We are SO excited for them, and we know we can visit them any time, but it’s so difficult to drive by their old house without feeling grief stir up. Doctor Magnuson, my childhood doctor, passed away suddenly leaving behind SO many people who adored him. It’s still so hard seeing his obituary and the commemorations pop on Facebook. I also saw a shared story about a young father who passed away from Covid. I don’t even know these people, but I cried.
And I know why.
Fall is hard.
I told my husband that when I was editing this gorgeous session of Giavonni and Diana’s, I would get choked up. I didn’t understand it until I realized that I’m dreading having to say goodbye to them, too.
It was just too much for me.
See, Giavonni and Diana are one of those precious families that attend our church for a season while they attend seminary. And then, for a time, they faithfully sit through a long and emotional process of waiting for a call. A call that will inevitably take them far away.
These TWO. This beautiful family.
Their kids have become our kids’ friends. Diana and Giavonni have become OUR friends.
And we will have to say goodbye.
What I love about this family is that they understand how hard it is to be apart from family and friends. They know how difficult it is to be gone for long periods of time from those they love. They left the East coast to come here out of faith and with a belief that God has very intentional plans for them. They came to a little Midwestern city where they knew nobody, and they trusted that taking a temporary call to our little country, Scandinavian church would provide them with a place to worship, a place to practice ministry, and a place to find love and relationships.
They know what it’s like to be homesick.
Giavonni and Diana also know that serving Jesus comes from a TRUE homesickness that far outreaches our time in this world. We long for permanency, a place free from pain, and a reunion with our own people. We know there’s GOTTA be something more.
I love the song Homesick by MercyMe. It speaks for my heart and to my grief when my heart doesn’t have the words to say. If you’ve never heard the story behind this song, PLEASE listen here!!
“You’re in a better place | I’ve heard a thousand times before | And at least a thousand times | I’ve rejoiced for you
“But the reason why I’m broken | The reason why I cry | Is how long must I wait to be with you
“I close my eyes and I see your face | If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place | Lord, won’t you give me the strength | To make it through somehow | I’ve never been more homesick now”
I know Giavonni and Diana would love to go back to where it’s comfortable, safe, and where people know them. Who wouldn’t? But, I’ve heard their hearts, too. Their desire is to serve a church somewhere that God has chosen intentionally for them, a place where they can build relationships and tell people about the Home we’re all missing so much.
Yes, fall is a season of great and BEAUTIFUL change. Fall is also is a time for preparing: for rest and readiness and great restoration. It’s the perfect time for new adventures.
Giavonni and Diana, you have BLESSED us. You will continue to bless us eternally with all of the love and care you’ve shown us in our congregation. We pray for your call process. And, we delight in having you with us as long as we possibly can!!
THANK YOU for spending time with me on the prairie!!