Every summer for the past several years, my parents and my siblings and their kids, who are now scattered all over the country, and even in South America, come together for a yearly get-together. Our time together usually lasts somewhere between 3-6 weeks. When we're all together, it's 22 people in one big house on a lake. Those weeks are so many things: simply wonderful to be together again, at the lake; intense to be all together, 5 families in one house, for those concentrated weeks; chaotic and funny and FULL.
But when everyone leaves...it's empty.
Some years when the family get-togethers are over, I feel thankful for the space that the emptiness creates: the return to regular life and relationships, margin to catch up on responsibilities. But this year, the emptiness has left me feeling sad, grieving the void they left, suddenly unsure of what I even did before they were all here. It's been a strange feeling and I've been trying to regain my emotional footing.
In the midst of the vacuum that my family's departure has created for me, I have September and the school year staring me in the face. I'm sending both of my daughters to school this year...and for the first time in what? 7 years? 8 years? I won't have any children at home during the day.
The sadness and the emptiness that I feel about my family has started to kind of...intimidate me about my girls going to school in the fall, too. I've started to wonder, 'What if I just keep feeling even MORE empty when they're gone, too? What if I don't like them being in school, and the space that it creates for me is just SAD and EMPTY and it leaves me in a more confused place?' Those worries have left me feeling fearful, a little bit worried, and intimidated.
Sitting on the couch yesterday afternoon, I was telling Caleb about these things. It always takes me awhile to remember that I probably won't be helped by trying to figure out my emotions on my own, inside my own head. It'll help to talk. I just forget that helpful fact every time I feel a confusing emotion.
But it really did help to talk out what I was feeling. Caleb reminded me of a theme I was holding onto awhile back. I even wrote several blogs about it. Sometimes I forget the things that meant so much to me at one point of my life...and then I need to be reminded again. It's a little annoying. But anyway, he reminded me that I used to hold onto the truth from Psalm 23 that says:
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
Remembering all that that verse signifies for me helped my soul take a deep breath and it was like I could almost feel the intimidation starting to back pedal. In more words, what 'goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life' means for me is that, in Christ, good is around the corner. Disaster is not around the corner. Destruction is not around the corner. My life falling apart is not around the corner.
GOOD is around the corner.
Good might not always look ideal. But because of Jesus and His love and His power and His commitment to never stop doing good to me, even hard will be good for me.
So I can pretty much rest about the fall, rest about what I might feel, what my life might be like, because I know I will have Jesus, and I know that with Him, it will be good.
Check out my previous blogs I wrote on 'good around the corner' 2 years ago: