Sunday, January 5, 2014

bittersweet

Here he is: Paul Hardison, baking his very last batch of Aidan's Place granola as the owner of Aidan's Place. 

It's all so bittersweet.


For a lot of years now, we have loved the Hardisons and Adian's Place granola and the ministry of Blessing in Bag.  We have gathered in their shop with its scripture wallpaper and its cloud of cinnamon-honey-butter smell and we have bagged granola and chatted and laughed and eaten and prayed together.


All of us have been on the receiving end of Bethany's cookies or soups or breads or whatever else deliciousness and we have savored it.   All of us have been on the receiving end of Paul's smiles and hugs and overwhelming kindness. 




Our children have grown up together- Anna Grace and Aidan now watch and herd the little ones they used to be.  


But now, the business has been sold.  It's been sold to WONDERFUL people with whom we look forward to forging a new relationship.  They will no doubt do a beautiful job maintaining and growing the business, but it's been sold nonetheless.  The Hardisons have felt the Lord calling them to serve Him in Guatemala and they are preparing for the impending move and all that goes along with that.   Their calling and their new adventure are joyful, wonderful things.  The loss of their presence in Shreveport is a thing that just might be ok to grieve.  


 It's a theme that has run through several situations in my life lately.  One chapter closes, a new chapter opens and I feel deep emotions- some seemingly contradicting emotions- but in reality, grief and fear and joy and hope can actually co-exist in our hearts quite powerfully.  It's important, I've learned, to sort them all out not by ourselves but together so that we can root out the fear, accept and feel grief, rejoice in our hope TOGETHER and in doing so, the bonds we already share will be strengthened across the miles.

So yes, I'm so happy for my friends who are moving to Guatemala.  What adventure!  I'm so sad that she won't be around to make my favorite sundried tomato bread and vegetable soup or to pray with us on Wednesday mornings.  I KNOW the Lord will do great things in and through them as they embark on this next leg of their journey.  I'm afraid that life will be busy and distance will eventually seem wide and far, but I hope that we can visit them over the years and continue in ministry with them for the long haul. 

At the end of the day, we can hang our hat on the Lord being good, the Lord loving us, the Lord being with us- even in the midst of all the emotions.  He rejoices with us and He comforts us and He leads us well as we listen to His call on our lives.

This much we know. 

Thank you, Lord, for the Hardison family and thank you for being in the midst of our relationships.  I'm so thankful for your comfort and love even at bittersweet times like this when we might just need to grieve and rejoice all at once.  

 "You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me. 
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways. 
 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. 
 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me. 
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence? 
 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast."  Psalm 139:1-10

Whether we're in our hometown or on the other side of the world, You are with us, Lord.  Your right hand holds us fast.  Thank you and Amen. 

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