June 22, 2015

Let Go As You Go

I never had you over.
We didn’t get together enough.
I wanted us to be really good friends.
Why didn’t we schedule more coffee dates?
We should have grabbed lunch.


The last few weeks of moving boxes and hugs—because there’s only one way to leave your church—have also been punctuated with gut-wrenching regrets on both sides. As church members and I each look back over the eleven years God gave us as a church together and look ahead to our separate futures, we reflexively lament that we didn’t do more. Didn’t smile enough. Didn’t call enough. Didn’t pray enough. We are sorry that sometimes our relationships weren’t more than they were.

How do you say goodbye when you feel guilty?

Repent of Actual Sin

First, I need to look squarely at my guilt. One of the problems of guilt is that Satan often uses false guilt to mask true guilt. If I feel vaguely guilty about everything, I don’t feel the specific weight of my actual sin, nor my need of an actual Savior. As I look back over my relationships (or their lack) I must do the hard soul-work of finding, confessing, and repenting of real sin.

Did I intentionally neglect someone out of favoritism and partiality (James 2:1-14)? Did I overlook someone because I believed them to be unnecessary to the body (1 Cor. 12:21-16)? Where I sinned, I must repent. And where I sinned, I have a gracious Savior to forgive.

Accept My Limited Humanity

But in many cases my so-called guilt is not a response to sin, but an expression of my own unwillingness to accept my limited humanity. If only my kids were older, we could have had coffee every morning. If only we lived in the same town, we would have seen each other more. If only I had owned a bigger house, a larger van, a grassier yard. We would have been best friends. If only everything had been different.

Unlike God, I am bound by space and time and the rising price of gas. Unlike God, my life is changeable and changing—one minute I am a newlywed, the next I have three little baseball players who all must be dressed and at the field by six o’clock. I am finite. I am human. I am not God.

Give Thanks for God’s Kindness

Chafing against my limitations can blind me to the goodness of the Lord. If my kids had been a different age, I would have had more ladies’ lunches but less play dates. If I had lived in a different town, I would have made certain friends, but I would have missed out on others. If I had mentored this girl, I could not have mentored that one.

For every relationship I didn’t have, I can name another one I nurtured. The friendships and mentorships and sisterhoods which the Lord gave me are of his kind choosing and are more than I deserve. I am thankful.

Look to Heaven

Ultimately, the holes in this life point us to the fullness of the next. In heaven—and only in heaven!—will our relationships be made permanent and complete. In heaven, we will be freed from sin and unbound from time. In heaven we will be together with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17). Our relationships in this life are just the introduction. And every goodbye waits eagerly for an eternal hello.

Also in this series about church transitions:
Plant a Tree on Your Way Out

1 comment:

  1. You are not a product of your circumstances. You are a product of your decisions.


Join the conversation!
All comments become the property of Sunday Women.

COMMENTING HINTS: If you are baffled by the "Comment As_____" choices, you can simply select "Anonymous" and include your name in the comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...