Had the occasion to send out quite alot of thank you cards this week, but they couldn't be the kind I just dashed off on any old card at hand. You see, we left our church on Sunday, our home for the entire 15 years of our marriage, and it was incredibly heart-wrenching. Michael was born into that church, and I came at age 18, a silly college sophomore, so we both really grew up there.
Sometimes obeying God hurts. We'd felt for a couple years that we really needed to be in a church that was in the community where we lived and worked, but we resisted it because our little church 35 minutes' drive away really, truly needed us. And we couldn't bear to leave so many positions short-handed. But there comes a point when knowing what you should do, and not doing it, becomes sinful, and we were past that point. So we had to put the Andersons and our dearest of in-laws and the rest of our beloved church family into His hands, say goodbye to the building we had laboured over, the ministries we had cried and prayer over, the sweet little babies in the nursery and all the rest. Thanked Him for the precious gift of family that they were and will always be to us, and followed on.
It was a difficult four weeks of goodbyes. I see now I had been subconsciously saying goodbye for months, pulling back, distancing myself. I had alot to say to some of these people, but I couldn't always manage it to their faces.
So I put it in their cards, cards I hope they'll keep and smile through tears at and pray over, like I do the beautiful ones they gave us, that now line our "mantel" (the top of the entertainment center). None of those are handmade, but IT DOESN'T MATTER. People, write it on notebook paper, newsprint, paper napkins, even Post it Notes like my mom does, but WRITE IT. Stop worrying about your handwriting, all you journalling-phobic scrapbookers. WRITE IT. Put your heart on a piece of paper and hand it to someone you love and care about. WRITE IT. Tuck it in that album and glue it down for your grandkids to read when you are nothing but a warm remembered hug and a cherished family recipe.
We pour ourselves heart and soul into creating this gorgeous fancy card, and then we either never send it, or we pull punches when we write. And what we truly felt and meant doesn't ever make it into the other person's heart.
I talk a lot about the cards. I love cards. My whole life is consumed with cards. But honestly? It's not about the cards. It's about you, and me, giving a little piece of our hearts to another person.