I’m writing this on the last Sunday in a place I so dearly love, to the people I so dearly love.
It’s a familiar view-the second seat on the third row from the back in the left middle section. It practically has my name it. It has a prime view of my favorite painting and just to the left, when I need to breathe a little, I can see out the window into the field of weeds and wild flowers butted up to the side of the church.
Today though, I am mostly using my preferred seating to look around at my people, the Body who has loved us wholeheartedly and with an ocean of grace to cover the last three years.
You bear me up.
To the members of Christ Presbyterian church, the women’s ministry, the teachers of our children, the MOPS group, our community group … all of you. You were the hands and feet of Christ to our growing family. We broke bread together. Lots of bread. You sang to my soul. You loved my children well. You taught them about Jesus. You showed us what it means to BE Jesus. You brought me food after baby. Sometimes well after baby. Months after. You mowed my grass, painted my walls, fixed the toilet after Wee Man sent his cars on a watery excursion, fixed lots of things, actually. Texting threads oozing grace, and encouragement, and sending me into throes of laughter. You prayed me through parenting toddlers, the messiness of life, and family, a most difficult deployment, and then the aftermath. You listened when I said I needed help, and I wasn’t even sure what I needed help with, I just needed it. And you gave of yourself to us without reservation or hesitation. You were home, and you bore me up. You still do as I drive away with a heart full to the brim. All these hard goodbyes, they just mean we had a wealth of beautiful hellos.
To my neighbors, occupying prime real estate on maybe just the best cul de sac ever – you were my saving grace. The neighbors that greeted us on the first day with a meal who became some of our nearest and dearest. A LOT of food after Second Son, multiple cans of Lysol, midnight texts because I left my garage door open, impromptu spend the night parties when I was half a country away, FIVE WEEKS of showing up on my doorstep to whisk away my dirty laundry and return it folded better (and faster) than I ever could, bus stop hugs every morning, a never-ending supply of snacks for my bottomless pits, emergency handyman duties, the neighbors who, on our last days, sent us off with an armful of gifts and a treasure box of memories … I could go on here but you get the picture. And what I needed most – the knowledge that whatever I needed, whenever, you were there. You bore me up.
To my Army friends and FRG families, the faithful crew who trekked out for ladies nights and craft nights and play dates, who survived my utter lack of consistency and organization – it was a long nine months for us all and I would have not have survived it without you. My sisters who know what waiting looks like. I’m so incredibly grateful you were the ones waiting with me.
To my girls who I pick up in the oddest of places, who become the most faithful of friends – you bear me up with your coffee drinks and false eyelashes and calm demeanor and and love for my children and gracious acceptance of my full on chaos and intermittent bursting into your life and routine. You were part of my village and you, too, loved my children well. And you allowed me to be myself in moments I don’t often have.
All of you, you stitched yourself onto my heart and into our story with a treasury of threads. Forever and after, we carry your designs on the fabric of our lives.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
~M. (And now I’m ugly crying. Moving IS hard. Goodbye IS hard. So thankful that this is just a “see you later.” And oh what a glorious hello it will be on the other side of this earthly kingdom.)
Also, I wanted to put ALL THE PICTURES in this post. But let’s face it, not near enough time and space. I just couldn’t choose, with the below exception. Feel free to cruise my Instagram, FB feed, and blog over the last three years. It’s all there. I promise.
And to this little guy and girl, and your family. I will never have enough words, or the right ones, to tell you what you mean to us. So, you know. We love you.