The Love Which Compels Us

As you know, I am in a week of goodbyes. Up until tonight, I was perfecting the art of the "see you later" goodbye. You know the one where you feign complete detachment from the situation, and make it appear as though the goodbye is not affecting you whatsoever, although truthfully you are torn apart inside and wishing you could say all that you would like to, but knowing that if you did you may grieve more than you wish to? (how was that for a run-on sentence??)

Well, tonight the happy go lucky facade caved. Bryan and I spent a couple days with our good friends Rich & Amber Lang (and little Ahava). Amber was in our class at BCOM and Rich was a mentor for our class. We were married just 7 months before them, and Amber and I were only 6 weeks apart in our pregnancies (although it turns out our daughters are 11 weeks apart in age). We love this couple and have a lot of fun memories with them. We've gone deep in our friendships and it was very sad to be spending the last bit of time with them. And I guess you could say that during our goodbye tonight all my grief from not only this particular goodbye, but from the ones I've already said and the ones even that I have yet to say... well all that grief came to a head. There was a phrase which instigated it... Amber had said, "It was the love of God which brought us together and now the same love of God is leading us apart." Wow. That hit me so hard. I think that my entire "journey" with Bethany can be summed up in that phrase. The love of God and my passion for the lost is what brought me to Bethany College of Missions over 3 years ago. And now the love of God and my passion for the lost is what is leading me away from that beloved place.

As I took a walk under the full moon tonight, I thought about the many goodbyes I've said and the many places I've lived. And to tell you the truth, Bethany is the most precious of them all. Because it was here that I fell deeply, irrevocably in love with my Savior. And it was here that I found my earthly husband, Bryan Luke. The man of my dreams who leads me even deeper into love with Christ. And it was also here that my most precious blessing, Peyton Spring was born. I praise God for this place.

But I won't look back (or at least I'll try not to). Because I know that God is leading me FORWARD. And I cling to a hope which is a sure thing.

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