Finished Business

Aside from the seriousness of honoring America’s Veterans that often thanklessly risk life and limb for this great nation and it’s citizens, Memorial Day is also considered the ‘official start of summer,’ especially in parts of the country that don’t enjoy summer-like weather year-round. It’s particularly fitting that this marks the ‘official start of whatever God has in store for us.’ I just dropped Mike and Kristen off at the airport so that Kristen can fly within the airlines’ regulations of pregnancy limitations, and Cooper, Jackie and I came back to the house to officially pack up and close up for our final departure from California on Thursday.

But first, our last official bit of unfinished business was to see Jackie walk across Valley Christian’s commencement stage to receive her high school diploma. I’m not sure about all parents, but there have been a couple of our kids’ whose graduation ceremonies were particularly relieving ~ Jackie’s was for us. In fact, I received a call on my cell phone the day before the ceremony from a number I recognized as the school (so you can just imagine how many times I’ve received such phone calls!), and I had to catch my breath. What I feared was unfortunate news about a glitch in the records that would prevent her from graduating turned out to be wonderful news about a spot for us to park in. Here’s our graduate….I feel a part of me actually received a second high school diploma:

When Mike and I made the decision to have Jackie finish her senior year back in California, knowing full well that it meant a 3-month long separation, I had angst about remaining here. I didn’t want to have to hear ‘the talk’ about what went on with the team without being able to present our case; I loathed walking into Starbucks and being the subject of conversation…discussions full of inaccuracies and erroneous opinions. I thought that God was a teeny bit cruel for having me stay in a place I wanted to run far away from. But I know….and I’ve even taught…that He has a purpose for our difficult times. This was indeed difficult for me, but at the end of the three months, I am so happy to report that I passed a test! If I could go through life void of emotional situations, I would be shallowly agreeable to that. But even conflict/discomfort-avoiding me is able to see the incredible value in staying here and finishing the emotional business I needed to finish.

I stand ready and fully prepared for the next chapter of our life. I’m celebrating a birthday this week ~ which makes me officially ‘in my 50’s’. We’re celebrating the birth of our first grandchild later this month, along with new school years, new post-high school careers, and a return to my Midwest roots. I’ve made meaningful friendships during my time here that I look forward to cultivating from afar, but mostly I’m grateful for the time that God lovingly gave me to release …. so that I could receive.

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