On the day I said goodbye to my sister Sarah, I received some parting gifts. Just one or two, and it might have escaped my notice, but they were so plentiful I couldn’t ignore the sweet provision of the Lord.
Gifts, such as a helpful message from an old friend that challenged and focused my thinking. A new friend unexpectedly meeting us at church. A dear church member embracing my family as I embraced his. A little white church full of people from many nations and tongues. Happy children running and playing on green grass under bright skies. Sharing lunch with Sarah, talking about our crazy family and making plans for future visits. Saying goodbye, but feeling the fullness of time rather than its lack. Returning home to Daddy Rooster, who’d straightened the house and filled the refrigerator. Taking a short but satisfying nap in his arms, then biking 10 miles together under bright skies and setting sun. Ending the day with our children and time as a family.
All these gifts (and many more besides) turned a day I’d dreaded into a beautiful experience of fullness and life. God gently remind me that He has a deep purpose for me right here, even as He does for Sarah in Portugal. I must stay. She must go.
Our parting was a sweet confirmation that we are trusting and obeying a Heavenly Father who spreads out His tender mercies each morning, even on days when we say goodbye to those we love.