I read a little musing my husband had written years ago that I found on the computer. He called it “The Haunting” Cryptic, no? Essentially, it was about the people we once had our lives very intertwined with, but for various reasons, no more. A haunting would be when something would trigger a memory of one of these people. Maybe even seeing them somewhere.
For us, at that stage of our lives, they were people from our youth ministry. Kids who we had loved deeply, invested greatly in, and poured much of our lives into. These aren’t peripheral people, these are the ones we saw more than their families. In fact, they had become a part of ours. And then, one day, gone. A hole left. Sadness in it’s spot.
When you engage in ministering to people’s lives and hearts, a choice to move out of relationship is typically because what you have to offer has now become irrelevant. Or maybe painful for them. They no longer want the life you are leading them in. For teens, it’s predictable. Alcohol, drugs, driver’s license, freedom, relationships. Where we once had great influence and were sought after for counsel, we would become avoided, and sightings were awkward and uncomfortable. Bret and I spent many evenings in mourning for these kiddos. Still do.
We all have those losses, right? Real life relationships that have ended painfully?
In my naivety, I think I subconsciously thought those losses were restricted to the immaturity and unpredictability of teenagers.
Well, that was dumb.
Because here I am, for all intents and purposes, an adult. Mid-thirties, married, two kids. We have been in ministry now for 12 years. Only four of those with youth. And what I’ve learned is that relationships are hard. They are painful, they take work, forgiveness, maturity and Jesus. Grace after grace after grace.
And people still walk away as adults. They haunt us and I’m left wondering and realizing that this is what it means to live in a world that is unreconciled. To have hearts created by a God who has done everything possible to prove His love for us. Hearts that want things to be made right. Hearts that are sad and broken, because darn it, this isn’t how it should be.
This God wants more for us, and has put that desire in the very knitting of our bodies.
It is hardwired in our souls that things just should be different than they are.
I don’t know anyone who can’t attest to that catch in themselves, even if they don’t realize where it came from or who put it there.
And we try so hard to fill that aching for things to be right. For relationships to be reconciled, for people to not be broken…to not break us. But the cold, hard painful truth is that our present does not give us our future hope. Our future reality.
Since becoming a follower of Jesus, I would always agree that yes, Heaven sounds great. But I honestly didn’t believe it. This place seems pretty good. Pretty good until it’s not. Pretty good until someone gets sick for real. Pretty good until it falls apart. Pretty good until a haunting stirs a longing in my heart.
That longing for more.
Today, I’m feeling sad. I’m missing some people. Some people that I love in my bones. And I honestly have no idea if there is a future here in those relationships. But I know that I know that I know, there is a future THERE. There is real HOPE for us. The hope that Paul says in Romans, DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.
And all of sudden Heaven sounds real great. It sounds REAL. A place that “more” is finally satisfied. Relationships are healed beyond what we could dream. Bodies don’t break. Spirits don’t crack. Pain will cease. Forever.
I keep trying to turn this into something it just wasn’t meant to because today I’m feeling sad. Today, I’m longing for more.
And so. Come Lord Jesus come.