Last month as I began driving to our daughter’s apartment to help her prepare for a move to another city, I started to be overwhelmed with grief. In her almost 26 years of life, we had never been more than an hour away. We knew she would be moving at some point, but this was sudden and sooner than we thought. I started thinking of all the “lasts”. The last time we would go get sushi. The “last” time we would go to the theatre together. The “last” time we would have extended time alone. I cried out to Jesus for comfort and help when a most surprising train of thought began. It was as if He was saying, “This is not the ‘last’. She will only be 5 hours away. She will be back. You can visit often. Rest in My care for your heart.”
Due to a number of childhood traumas, I have lived much of my life with a victim-heart. I have struggled with being sucked into a dark, black vortex of negative thinking about my circumstances and my value as a woman, wife, mother, friend. As I leaned more into Jesus while driving and He seemed to whisper a new thought to me. Why were all the “Lost” stories in the New Testament named that way? Isn’t the story about the woman searching for the coin really the story of the “Found Coin”? Wasn’t the shepherd’s story about his “Found Sheep”? And isn’t the story of the wayward son really a story about “Forgiving Father”, or “Faithful Father” or “Extravagant, Loving Father”? Who named these stories anyway? Has there been in a sense, a set-up for us to think in negative terms about some of the significant stories whose themes are more truly Rescue and Redemption?
I had a lovely few days helping our daughter prepare to move. We slept in, watched Netflix, painted, packed, ate in, ate out, went to the theatre, talked about the upcoming wedding and walked her dog. It was a delightful few days together. When the “goodbye” came, I did shed tears. I was sad. I did have those nagging questions, “Did I love her well?”, “Did I parent her woman’s heart in a tender way?” and a few more. But I didn’t get sucked into that dark vortex of negative thinking. Well, not much anyway.
I feel somewhat like a little girl peeking around the corner of a dismal, dark alley into a beautiful tree-lined avenue. Could there actually be a place of walking grief-filled days in this beautiful avenue instead of the dark alley? Could there be freedom for me here? Could what I thought was “Lost” really be “Found”?
Kathy Ford now lives in, of all places, Comfort, Texas along with her husband and their dog. She wants to be known first of all as a follower of Jesus as she clings to Him as the anchor of her soul. Her desire is that her legacy will be that she never stopped hoping. Kathy enjoys traveling, sewing, biking, walking, but most of all, luscious, lingering conversations over delicious meals at a café with iced tea. Her greatest loves are her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her fiancé. You will often find her scheming and dreaming of her next adventure.