Yesterday we said good bye to the house that we have called home for the last 2 years. It has been a much anticipated day. One that came with 2 years of stress and frustration. We have not had the best of times in that house and some of our worst, most awful memories, are tied to that house. But there have also been some pretty wonderful things happen in that house, and that doesn’t even include all of the blood, sweat, and tears that we poured into making it ours. We moved into that house when Audrey Nole was just shy of 4 months old. She learned to sit up in that house. She learned to crawl, and walk, in that house. She had her first taste of food in that house. Her first Halloween, Christmas, and Birthday were in that house. So many truly wonderful memories are wrapped up in the walls of that house. But that house is also where she learned that her brother went to heaven instead of coming home. It is the place where a nursery sat empty, waiting for a baby that would never come home. It is the place that holds buckets of tears and countless worries. It is the place where grief could just let loose. But despite all of the pretty awful things in our life over the last 2 years, that house was incredibly hard to leave.
I have been stressing over the day we finally got to hand over the keys and move on to the next part of our life. I didn’t think it would come. One of the nasty perks of postpartum hormones is anxiety. Needless, endless, anxiety. Mix that in with grief, and the recipe is perfect for always living in a state of thinking the sky is going to fall; that what can go wrong will, and the worst case is always to be expected. So when things didn’t go smoothly with our HOA those few months back, I honestly didn’t think we would ever get to leave. And then things started to look like we were going to leave. And then we signed the papers and in the same moment I let out a huge sigh of relief and welled up with tears.
As I watched what was left of our furniture and belongings leave that house, I couldn’t help but be sad. Then as I went back through and cleaned the house, preparing it for its new owners, those dreadful ugly tears just kept on flowing. As much as I was ready to move on, leaving that home is hard. There are all the good things, intricately intertwined with all the bad things. Neither can be separated from the other, and so there were tears as I closed the garage door and drove away for the last time. But something pretty awesome happened as I was driving away and towards the place that we will call home for the next few months: the most gorgeous sunset painted the sky in all the colors of warmth and delight. The deepest oranges and vibrant pinks. Golden yellows and deep purples. It was stunning. The clouds were scattered perfectly along the mountainous horizon, and the colors saturated the skyline in every direction. The mountains to the east were even lit up in the most wonderful pinks as they reflected the stunning canvas of God’s vast sky. It was as if God had put that there just for me.
There is something so incredibly comforting about sunsets. The night my mama met Jesus, there was a sunset to rival all sunsets. The week after George died, there were sunset after sunset, each one better than the night before. God gives me sunsets and it reminds me that the storm may not be over, but even in the worst of it all, He is still there; that even the worst has to take a break and bow to God’s glory. What an awesome God I serve.
I don’t know what our future holds. I don’t know when, or if, things will ever feel calm and good. But I know, without a doubt, that my God is for me. I KNOW this. I KNOW that my God is with me. He is loving me. He is guiding me. He is sustaining me. And with every sunset, even the most bleak, I am reminded of all of those truths. If God can give me sunsets on the days when he knows I need them most, how much must He care for me??
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”(Matt. 6:26-30)
These next weeks and months are likely going to be difficult, but I’m going to hold tightly to the things I know to be true and I’m sure God will give me plenty of reminder sunsets. God has got this.