Tomorrow is the day.....the day we've been denying, dreading, crying about, and talking about since February 25th. To fully understand the gravity of what tomorrow means for our family I have to go back 3 1/2 years...
On a cold Thursday night in January of 2008 our front door opened and in walked a family who would change our lives. I will never forget it. We were fast friends...all of us! Their 3 girls were about the same age as Nathan, Emma, and Evelyn and they all loved each other pretty much immediately. We have so much in common - we homeschool our children, have a passion for living our lives in such a way that draws others to Christ, have very similar views on parenting, enjoy many of the same activities, and really enjoy spending time together. Since that night we've spent nearly every Thursday night together at Life Group, most Tuesdays during the school year (at co-op), and many more playdates, dinners, and game nights. They are a huge part of our lives. We've laughed together (and at each other:), cried together, prayed together, hugged, loved, and encouraged. It's been wonderful. In one sentence: We have shared life.
We've known from the beginning that they would most likely have to move away (for at least a year) due to school/job. But we just tried not to think about it. It came too quickly. In February (the 25th to be exact) was when they found out the exact location they were headed - Chicago. We spent the weekend together somewhat in shock...still having fun, but sad on the inside. Since then we have talked about it, cried, and prayed that at the end of the year they could come back here. And now it's here. Moving day is tomorrow. We spent this evening together - having fun and trying not to think of it as 'last' (it won't be - can't be). And not wanting the evening to end, but end it did (although at least it ended on a victorious note with the girls winning Pictionary:).
In the morning we will head over to their house to see them off. I can't imagine the sadness and tears as that moving van drives away, but we wouldn't miss one more chance to give a hug and say "See ya later" (I don't think I we'll say good-bye). I debated over it for a while...I thought it might be easier to stay home...less emotional for all of us...but I think I knew I couldn't really stay home. We are planning to visit them in the fall and they are planning to come back here for a visit or two as well. And then....hopefully...prayerfully...next summer we will be able to have a huge WELCOME HOME party for them. But if that's not God's will then we will know that He knows what is best and we will trust Him (but please God let it be your will for them to come back!).
My heart aches and my eyes are so full of tears that I can hardly see to type. The last couple of days I have had a fairly constant flow of tears. Tomorrow will be very hard. Life Group will feel not-quite-right. Co-op will be kinda sad. But boy is Chicago about to be blessed!
I'm not sure if my sentences make sense (technically if they don't make complete sense then they can't be considered a sentence according to Shurley Grammar). They probably don't make sense cause they are all a jumbled mess in my heart right now. But I had to share. God created us to live life TOGETHER and that is what we have done with the James family. Sometimes (usually is probably a better word) opening your heart up and letting others in can be painful, but it is so worth it. I wouldn't trade one minute of our time together (well...maybe a minute when the guys beat us at a game or were gloating over a win:) to escape the pain of tomorrow. Because hurting lots means we have loved and been loved lots. And THAT is the 'Spice of Life'.