The trouble with being a wanderer is that you weren’t created to sit still. You were created for climbing mountains, trying new foods, and hurtling through meadows on horseback.
When you’re a wanderer, you always know somewhere in the back of your mind that every moment of happiness where you are, with the ones you love, is fleeting because you were created to GO.
In one regard, this knowledge makes each of these moments more precious; in another, each of these moments becomes a heartbreak. A heartbreak that this–whatever “this” is– is but a mere season of life.
For the last year and a half as I prepared for my now non-move to Texas, I was reminded of this– the specialness of every Friday night campfire with friends, every roommate breakfast on the porch, and every family dinner.
Somehow these special moments are easier to recognize and appreciate when you are the one leading the change of seasons and going to the “New”.
But what about when you are the one sending the people you love into the New while you stay in the old?
How do you deal with the goodbyes and final in-person chats when you so desperately want to Go too, yet know in the pit of your stomach that now is a season of staying and sending…not a season of new cultures, new foods, or new mountains? How do you send your fellow wanderers well?
I’m an emotional human being; always have been, probably always will be.
I cry out of joy when I’m happy. I cry out of frustration when I’m stressed. I cry out of panic when I’m overwhelmed. I cry out of sorrow when I’m sad. (Being such a sap isn’t exactly my favorite quality of myself, but it’s how God designed me and I’m learning to embrace it as I age.)
Monday was one of those crying days. I fell asleep crying Sunday night and woke up crying again Monday morning.
Monday was the day that Amy– my roommate and fellow wanderer, one of my best friends, my sister-in-Christ who has become like a real sister to me over the last two years– moved away in preparation for her journey to live life overseas.
This is the woman who God originally used to dupe me into somehow leaving my heart in countries that I have never visited; the one who I so lovingly say “ruined my life” by dragging me to Perspectives where God broke my heart for the Nations.
And now, after what seems like a long wait (but what has really only been about a year) God is moving her overseas to do His work for the next eight months.
I’m overjoyed for her, really I am. Yet I am so incredibly heartbroken for myself and my community as we essentially mourn the temporary loss of a sister, a roommate, a gospel community leader, and a dear friend.
I admit, the wanderer in me is jealous. Jealous of her leaving. Jealous that she is the one moving into the New. Jealous that this season of her life is becoming what the two of us have prayed about for so long.
I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by our empty white bedroom. Overwhelmed by the barrage of emotions that we so intentionally put off until the moment it was time for her to pack her truck and move away. (Literally, the last moment. We suck at goodbyes.) I am overwhelmed by my selfishness in that I want to keep her forever and not share her with the Nations, even though I say that “I would give up everything” if they only could come to know Christ. Hmmph.
I am sad. Sad that I don’t have my sister-girl to giggle with at night before we go to sleep. Sad that I perfectly quoted a line from Bad NFL lip reading last night and no one seemed to get the hilarity of the situation. I am simply sad that this season of life is over.
As we laid in bed Sunday night before she left, I jokingly told her that when she woke up in the morning, that I would be the one who would be gone, and that she would have to deal with me leaving her. It was my faint wanderer attempt at being the one in control here. The one leaving and going into the New, not the one being left here in the old.
I long for the New. And just like my desire to control this silly situation by being the one to leave, I know that this longing and the way I continuously idolize Going and place it over God is the sickening, sinful junk in my heart coming out yet again.
I long to long for God, and God alone. But oh man, is it hard when I am one who is prone to wander, both physically and within my own heart.
So while the Yarrow Homestead and our group of friends learns how mourn and adjust to this new season of life, while I redecorate
our my room, while I find other people to quote stupid Youtube videos back and forth with, I am left with these questions:
Do I trust that God has given me this urge to Go for a reason?
Do I trust God with the life of my wonderful sister-girl, even when we can’t talk about the highlights and struggles of our days each evening?
Do I trust that there is purpose in this season of staying? In the weird conflicted pain of sending my loved ones away when all I want to do is Go myself?
Do I believe that God is Good, even when I don’t get what I want, when I want it?
“Jesus, sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
Ode to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
And let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above”
(Come Thou Fount)