Every day my husband leaves for work, and our daughter Mea, like a little duckling, follows him outside. He gathers her up in his arms, kisses her, then proceeds to start his truck and drive away. I stand in the driveway beside her as she waves frantically at his departure. We move from the driveway to the middle of the street and watch his truck become toy size. I try and negotiate a way to get her back inside because I am still in my sweats and nightshirt, but Mea doesn’t budge. She waves her hands high until he turns the corner and his truck is out of sight. Once he is gone, I can nudge her back inside and, finally, get on with my day.
I don’t like goodbyes. Especially the goodbyes when a “hello again” can’t be penciled in on the calendar. This month, two family members are moving and taking my nieces and nephew with them. I’ve been lucky enough to have my family close by. For years, we’ve gathered for holidays, Sunday lunches, and summer swims. It has always been joyous and convenient. One family is moving to Texas and another Florida. I have no idea when we will all be together again.
We gathered for Mother’s Day and as we prayed before the meal, our arms looped in and around each other’s arms like pretzels. It felt safe. After the kids played tag, burned things in the bonfire, and finished the coconut cake, we all slowly said goodbye. There were tears and laughter to ease off the sadness, but days that once seemed so normal will now be “remember when” stories. I wanted to scream, “Please don’t leave!”
I’m not good with transition or change. I always order the same Starbucks drink. I don’t like trying new restaurants, and I’ve been driving the same car for, well, forever. But there is so much transition right now. Soon, my son will enter high school, and my youngest will start preschool. For the first time in fifteen years, I won’t be managing nap time or changing diapers. To be honest, this change scares me. Who am I without a baby? What do I do with my time? What do holidays look like without all of our extended family?
Transition is painful. The anticipation of it is grueling. I am tempted to pretend it isn’t coming. I look away at other more delightful things. I focus on the positives. I binge-watch old episodes of my favorite TV show. I distract myself from reality just long enough not to feel the sting of it. But we are all in some sort of transition. We’re all pressing on the gas and looking in our rearview mirrors. We’re scattering new seeds and pulling up unwanted weeds. We’re always starting something new and letting go of something old. We aren’t called to do transition perfectly, but we can learn how to do it well.
I remember the words of Jesus before He transcended to heaven. He walked, talked, and lived among the disciples and hundreds more after His resurrection. His words of love before He left them went like this, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9 NIV). The word that stands out to me the most is — remain. Stay. Up until the very last moment, Jesus stayed with those He loved. He invited them to remain in His love. Even in the change, the only constant is Christ’s love.
I lean into the love of Christ today. With every word of my sad story of change, I trust in the sturdiness of God’s love. I don’t have to glance away when goodbyes are coming. I don’t have to only find the pretty. I can hold grief and gratitude in the same hand. Transitions can be hard. I can keep them at arm’s length, or I can enter them with the hope that God’s arms will reach me no matter what uncontrollable circumstances come my way. I can be like my daughter who waves goodbye enthusiastically until the very last moment.
The invitation to you, dear sisters, in the midst of change is to remain in Christ’s love. Lean heavy on His side. Loop arms with His. No matter how scary or unwanted the transition may be, God’s invitation is to remain in His love.Leave a Comment
Stephanie Cesareo Graves says
How timely this message is. My daughter is moving to another state today. I love the way God meets us right where we’re at. My heart is comforted right now and I am encouraged in the truth that amidst all the changes and transitions of our earthly lives, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Ada Orie says
Thank you for sharing this precious message. Transitions looks different for everyone but I appreciate your honesty and transparency. Thank you for giving us the space to have gratitude with tears. I appreciate it. God bless you and may he be with you during your transitions. Thank you for pointing us back to Jesus.
Kathy Francescon says
I am in awe as I read your post! I too, have a nephew who recently moved to Florida and a nephew who is moving to Texas, leaving tomorrow!! Transitions of the heart, happy for them as they go forward, but sad that we I won’t get to be a part of their everyday. But I read a quote a long time ago, that gives me comfort. “Prayer reaches those to far away to hug.” So I will be hugging them constantly, within my prayers for them! Thank You, Precious Father, that thru my prayers, I can always hold them close.
Ada Orie says
Thank you for sharing this message. I am thankful for you sharing your heart. May we keep one another in prayer. God bless you.
Becky Keife says
Transitions are so hard. I often bristle at change too. But I so love this reminder that God’s love doesn’t change, doesn’t move on from us. He is always here, inviting us to stay with Him. Yes. Thank you for this, sweet friend.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Thanks you for what you shared. In today’s reading. Anjuli. It reminds me of what my late Mum used to say. It is so true. Your kids are only lent to you. But you have to do your best as their Mother. To bring them put as best you can. Loving them correcting them when wrong. But at the same time being a fun Mum making memories for them. That one day they will remember. If have kids of their own. That they can tell their own stories to their kids. Of how their Child hood was. If have any. I didn’t have any. Not brave enough to give birth. Do love kids. But do have so many lovely memories of my Childhood. That as Adult today I can still talk about with my Niece’s and Nephews in my Sister’s families. Which is nice. My Mum was always there when we got home from School. She had Birthday Parties for us. When at School. That we got to invite 4 or 5 friends too. It was great fun. As my Mum made all the party food and our Birthday Cakes. But one thing my Mum said was hard letting us go to do our own things. When we became that age. That was an Adult. Even though she said 99per cent of being a Mum was worth it. 1 per it was hard work as well. Doing the House work and shopping plus getting us ready for school when small plus cooking. Then finding time to be a fun Mum to us and time out for herself. It was hard. As when I grew up my Dad was the only that worked. So money wouldn’t have been as good. As in my day the Mums stayed at home brought up the kids. Which was I still believe alot nicer. Than two parents out working. To pay the bills. Give your kids the latest things if can afford them. I was brought up with lots of love. Taught to be thankful for what I had. All my needs and my two sisters were met. We wanted for nothing. We had great fun playing outside doing jigsaws playing board games. We had stories read to us before bed. I one presious thing was when we got home from Nursery or School. Mum was always there at home for us. We didn’t have a Grandparent or Register Childminder or someone else look after us. Because our both our Parents were not working. Only my Dad. I believe kids today miss out on that. Because of people wanting the latest things for themselves and their kids most of them. Which is nice. But half time I believe they don’t need them. They just need time and love of their parents. When I was growing up I was happy with alot less and to know my Mum was there when I got home from School plus have her Love. Just Dad working to pay the bills. See Dad at tea time. Sometimes I look at kids who both parents work to give them and themselves the latest things do they really need it. Do the parents really need to both of them work. To do that. I look and say to myself what would Jesus say. If you didn’t need to have both parents working. I believe this. Teach your kids to be thankful for what they have. Not want more. Parents the same. If one Parent can stay at home be the so call home maker. Do that. The other work. Like my Mum in the Family. The Dad if the Marriage still together. The Dad go to work. The kids see Mum. When they get home from Nursery or School. As spending as much time with your kids presious. As they grow up so fast. One day as Mum your hands could be so busy looking after your kids. Or working if both Parents working. To buy your kids the latest things. Which the half of they probably could do without. Then you look around. Those years will gone. So will your kids. Doing their own things. House will be empty. They will your kids when away either remember you for spending the time with them. Or away working. If you could have stayed at home one of you. Taught your kids to appreciate to have less things. Have you their Mum at home. When you they got home from Nursery or School. Plus making memories for them when living at home. Until the day comes the leave home. Which would Jesus say. I say stay at home. Only the Dad going to work. If you can do that. Being home for your kids making memories. As they will remember you for that and the Love you as their Mum more for doing that. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx keeping you all incourage in prayer xx
Janet Williams says
Thank you Anjuli
I lean into the love of Christ today \0/
Karen Knowles says
Anjuli, thank you for your post today reminding us that even in the midst of change, which I like you tend to resist, God invites us to remain in His love. It is most comforting to know when things are constantly changing all around us, He is the one constant. He never changes. He is our Rock and anchor. I, too, was blessed to have family around for decades and now I have family in various places around the country now and miss that convenience of being able to gather together more often. I’m grateful God is always near.
I feel like your message was written for me. As a child I never liked change, and my family moved many times. I have grandchildren who moved to another state far from me last month due to new job opportunities, and one who left for the military, and to be quite honest, this is bittersweet for me. Proud of them, but at the same time, oh how I miss them all. Thank you for the sweet reminder to lock arms with Jesus where His comfort keeps me secure and loved. God bless your family in your new season. Mary
That is so uplifting…..’remain in MY love.’ His is the only love which never changes, no matter how much we fail Him, or when others fail us and we feel so alone. Unconditional and never ending! Praise God.
Thank you for your eye opening words.
The worst goodbye for me is the last act of a funeral. I usually remain in the car. I now realize while I’m regretting my love one is gone. It’s is the LOVE OF GOD that helps me make it.
I’m so very THANKFUL to be a child of HIS…
Beth Williams says
Change is inevitable. Everyone at some point will experience it. There are but a few constants in life & the best one is God’s love. We need to remain connected to the vine. He alone can help us through any trial, transition or change that comes our way. Through some of my worst trials I clung hard to Jesus. Crying out & staying close to Him. It was His great love & comfort that got me through all of them!
Linda Wilson says
I have 3 children that live close and I am so grateful! But change is hard for me as well. Both of my parents have passed away and that change has been tough. As sometimes I look back and think that I’ll never have those moments again. But that’s when I choose to be grateful and enjoy what I do have. Life is always moving forward and to focus on the past and what was keeps us stuck and not able to move forward and enjoy what God has for us now!
Stephanie Cesareo Graves says
Thank you for that reminder. I often find myself stuck in the past and it can be paralyzing and really does deafen us to what God is saying in the here and now. I appreciate you sharing.
As usual, your words are just what I needed to read friend! Through all the ups and downs in life may we always trust in God’s love. I am grateful for you and your encouraging words.
Melody P says
I’m just now getting a chance to re-read this post, which I appreciated and identified with so much. My husband and I teasingly say “Don’t change anything ever.” Our roots are deep in our hometown…not even a move to a new house in our almost 40 years of marriage. I can relate to ordering the same thing and not like trying new restaurants and binge-watching old episodes of a favorite TV show. Thanks for the reminder to “trust in the sturdiness of God’s love” and especially with the assurance that “God’s arms will reach me no matter what uncontrollable circumstances come my way.”