At 5 am our youngest daughter, her husband Aaron and their 3 kids left to drive to the airport in Portland to fly back to their home in Hawaii. Last night when Patty asked if I wanted to get up to see them off this morning I really didn’t want to. It wasn’t that getting up at 4:45 was hard, I do that all the time to go fishing, or that I didn’t want to see them before they left, but saying goodbye on Tuesday evening I knew was going to be much easier than this morning as I watched them walk out the door and drive down the driveway.
Though at this point in my life I have experienced a lot of separations from family and friends that I am really close to who have left for an extended period of time just like Sally and Aaron did this morning. I have also experienced longer separations of family and friends that I love, who have to heaven. Because of the volume of these separations I think that I am getting considerably less emotional than I used to. I don’t think it is because of getting used to it or a bit hardened in my emotions.
I think that over the years that I have mentally processed the pain of the separations enough so that a sense of faith has grown in me that is confident in the future gathering of all my family and friends together forever because God is powerful enough to do it, and He is faithful to keep His promises. The knowledge of the promises of God for the future begin as academic theology that I believe but still more in my head than in my heart. As a result of the over and over thinking about what the Bible says about separation and re-gathering it is now just a minor deal that I recover from in a few minutes.
Again, I don’t believe that I have become hardened or indifferent to these separations because of the volume of them, but I do think that I have grown to be strong internally because of the growing faith that God is totally in charge and that I am getting closer everyday to the time when the regular pains of life are all gone.