Monday, August 1, 2011

Grace for the Moment

I was concerned Saturday night after my date with Nathan I would be too wiped out for church on Sunday.  I have to carefully plan any outings, taking into consideration anything coming up in the near future.  Missing church messes with my entire week.  I need to be there.  I need to hear the Word, and I need the fellowship.  The Lord has been so gracious, and I've only had to miss only one Sunday this entire year.  There have been many Sunday mornings I've spent in the shower crying asking Him to give me the strength to go.  Yesterday morning wasn't one of those mornings though.  I was tired and didn't feel well, but it wasn't anything that caused me to wonder if I was going to be able to go.  Before I went to take a shower, I sat down to check email quickly.  Then it hit me and the tears began.

I've said it before and I'll probably say it a million more times, I am very blessed to have some of the greatest friends.  I'm not one to use the word "friend" lightly either.  One of the many wonderful things about Sunday mornings is I get to see most of them then.  I get to hug them, provided they don't have runny noses or a cough... thank you, Deborah, for wanting to hug me yesterday morning but loving me enough not to because you wanted to be careful. : )  I look forward to Sunday mornings because they are so encouraging.  This one was hard though.  Very hard.  As I was checking email I realized today was August 1.  August 8 was the date one of my very best friends is moving 2 hours away.  I've been in denial over just how soon the Stewarts will be moving.  I had just said the day before they were moving in 2 1/2 weeks.  I think that was the original plan, but this past week they realized it had to be sooner so they could get their girls settled before having to start school.  Connie had told me this but it just didn't click in my head exactly how soon that really was.  When I had that moment, I quickly typed out an email to Connie in a panic.  A very sad panic.  I didn't want to think about it after that.  I knew if I didn't try to put it in the back of my mind I would be a mess all through church.  That would not be good.  Crying causes you to have a runny nose, and I can't exactly excuse myself from Sunday school or the service discreetly.  It would just be gross to sit there an blow my nose.  He gives us grace for the moment and not a moment before we need it, I told myself.  I was reminding myself of the very words Mary has said over and over to me.  She's on vacation right now.  I really wish she had been here yesterday morning.  I suppose you could say Mary, Connie and I are a little threesome.  We have a tight bond that goes beyond being friends.  They are my sisters.  The sisters I never had but had always wanted.  We have laughed, cried, disagreed, prayed, held each others hand... just lived life together.  And now all of that is going to be very different.

Joey and Connie moved once before about 4 years ago, and the Lord brought them back to us.  They moved back right before I got sick.  I think that's one of the reasons He brought them back.  He knew how much I would need her during that time.  I know He had other reasons beyond that, but I also know she was brought back because I desperately would need her close by.  I thought for sure they were brought back forever, but He had a different plan.  I know it should be somewhat easier because they've moved before, but for me, it makes it harder.  Probably because I really did think He surely would not have brought them back and move them again.  After all, I still need her.  I will always need her.  Always and forever.

Several years ago my friend, Robyn, moved 2 hours away.  Actually, she lives only 30 mins away from where Connie will be living.  From here both are/will be 2 hours away because you can get there going different directions.  Just like with Connie, I was devastated.  Robyn is also one of my very best friends.  We've been friends since the 5th grade.  We prefer to say the 5th grade instead of saying we were 10 years old because it doesn't make us seem we are as old as we really are.  We had lived in the same town our whole lives.  One thing I've learned is a move changes friendships and you have to work harder at nurturing those friendships.  Robyn and I are still very close.  We always will be.  She holds a very special place in my heart and I love her deeply.  It's just different.  I don't like it.  We don't see each other very often and when she comes to town she has to spend time with her family.  So it makes it difficult when she has to divide her time.  I don't want to take away from the time them.  I haven't been able to go visit her since getting sick.

Because of what I've experienced with Robyn and how hard it was the first time Connie moved, I know how hard this is going to be.  Connie doesn't have family here, so her visits here will be rare.  Their house hasn't sold yet, so for now she'll be going back and forth.  Once their house sells... well, the move will be final.

I was doing okay this morning until during Caleb's prayer.  He prayed for those who are having to work through the details of moving.  I lost it.  I was fearful I wouldn't be able to pull it together long enough to get through the service, but once again the Lord was gracious.  I just took notes.  I kept writing trying to keep my mind off of her sitting near the back across the aisle.  I have no idea what the sermon was about... even though I took 5 pages of notes.  I just wrote.  When the service was over and we finally made our way to where we could hug, I couldn't stop crying.  This would be the last time we would worship together while she was living here.  She won't live 10 mins away from me anymore.  How will my heart ever bear this?  All I know to do is to beg the Lord for grace and mercy.  To help me remember it's only 2 hours away and not the 5 hours it was the last time.

This is so hard.  He gives us grace for the moment and not a moment before we need it.   Now I need to go call Mary and let her know the moving date has changed.

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