Jesus surprised me and this little black suitcase, recently. We were standing on the designated concrete wedge between traffic lanes outside the airport’s baggage claim. For years we’ve flown into this gigantic airport, always making reservations with the same cab service, so everything was routine. One glance at my fellow travelers and I realized everyone but me was in business attire – expensive suits, crisp shirts and ties, classy shoes. I dressed for my business as well – to pack my aunt’s boxes. Flip flops and khaki capris put me in a class all by myself! I had just decided this was more amusing than intimidating, when an unbelievably long, gleaming, white, s-t-r-e-t-c-h limousine, complete with tinted windows, slid into the place of at least 2 cars, if not 3. I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think I was the only one SHOCKED when the smartly dressed chauffeur opened its door for me! I laughed in surprised delight climbing into one of the multiple back seats, all of which were in a completely different zip code than the driver.
A friend of mine would say this was “a kiss from The King” to me . NO one enjoyed that ride more than I did…
BUT I confess, when we drove into my aunt’s retirement community, I was a bit embarrassed, and had the driver drop me off way in the back, out of sight! I was dragging my suitcase, looking for an open back door, when I came to this bench.
I needed this bench. I had emotions to process before starting my 4 day task. Apart from the limo diversion, I was, in fact, mourning. It was my last trip here. I had been coming to this retirement community for about 5 years, having inherited my aunt’s care when my mama died. I came often in the last 2-3 years because my aunt’s health declined sharply. Here, unexpectedly, God gave me amazingly good friends. Old friends. Old, as in, 80-100+ years old, who generously saturated me with love, when I most needed it. I lost so much in my marriage these last 2 years, starting with a bipolar med trial gone wrong. I became stronger, more courageous, watching these senior saints lose family, vision, hearing, independence — without losing faith in God’s goodness.
Last month we moved my aunt to another state, and as far as I know, I will never see these friends again, this side of heaven. How do I say goodbye? I had needed them more than they will ever know.
Last Tuesday night, God suddenly “declared an end from the beginning” for me. It’s no coincidence my aunt’s health sharply declined about 3 months before my marriage trial began. Her pressing needs drew me often into her community of senior saints…who strengthened my hand in God, without knowing how desperately I needed it, or why. It’s been a grueling rebuilding process for my husband and me, but we are rebuilding. Our support team is strong, consistent. The worst is probably behind us.
And I believe with all my heart, that is why my season with those priceless senior saints has now closed. God put them into my life while the worst of this searing trial lasted. God carried me, through them.
He truly is God, and there is no one like Him. He planned all along to coordinate these two seasons in my life. It’s Ok to say goodbye to that community of support because even to MY old age God will be the same, He will carry me, and bear me, and deliver me…He has planned it, He surely will do it.
Even to your old age I will be the same….
I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you…
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning…’I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.
Isaiah 46: 4-11
Resting in His care,