Oh, Mondays. No other day is so greatly loathed by the general populous as thee. So like Papa to choose 6:30am on a Monday to teach me a major life lesson.
Since I left, a lot of my relationships with people have fizzled out. This doesn't really bother me much, I expected such a thing when I was getting ready to go. Some relationships just can't withstand distance and that's okay. You can't be "friends forever" with everybody; it's best to just learn what you can from them while they're there and move on when they're not.
That lesson in itself took a while for me to understand and even longer to be okay with. But now I am. And since I've lived in Germany, I have had many opportunities to put it to use. Some of the people I've drifted from were people that I used to be really close with - they were on the list of relationships that I genuinely thought were going to be able to last. Obviously my judgement isn't always the best.
I've been learning to let them go, learning to move on, learning to be okay even without them by my side. This weekend I breathed a sigh of relief under the knowledge that I am actually really okay without them in my life.
But this morning, at around 6am, thoughts of them came into my head that were stressing me out and I wasn't sure what was going on. Naturally, I asked Papa.
"You have learned to let them go in the sense that you are okay not being with them now. You must now let them go in the sense that they may very well never come back."
That revelation hit my like a sucker punch to the gut and I had to grip the edge of the kitchen counter to make sure that I remained on my feet.
See, relationships - and people in general - are organic, always changing, always moving. Just because I said goodbye to someone six months ago doesn't mean that we won't start over again five years into the future. I've been living life since I moved here under that knowledge - that nothing is permanent, not hellos or even goodbyes. We may very well find ourselves back doing life with people who we thought we had lost somewhere down the road. Nothing is for sure.
So yes, I had let these people go with the idea in the back of my head that I was just going to run into them again, whether that was when my season in Europe has run its course or years from now at a mutual friend's wedding. I hadn't even considered the fact that I might not.
Realizing this, I immediately became plagued with symptoms of anxiety - my heart rate picking up pace, my breathing becoming more rapid, I felt that sick knot you get in your chest before you have to give an oral presentation or confront somebody about a mistake they have made. Stress was making my head hurt, my teeth were chattering, my hands began shaking. Making lunch for the boys to take to school this morning, I found myself in the middle of a panic attack.
Never in my life have I suffered from anxiety, not enough that I couldn't just power through and be okay. This was a new experience for me, and it was terrifying.
"Charity, look up."
I did, out the window into the street, and I noticed that the light reflecting on the house across from mine had changed its shade. It was glowing pink.
I grabbed a cup of coffee - really only to warm my hands - and I slipped on my shoes and I stepped out the front door and I sighed.
The sky had been painted.
I took a couple pictures before Papa told me to just relax and watch. And as I did, He spoke again.
"You're going to be okay, alright? You really are. I know that this sucks right now. Trust me, I've been in your shoes. But I care about you, Beloved. See what I did? You don't need to worry. You're going to be just fine."
Anxiety melted, and I stepped back inside to finish making sure that the children got off to school okay. They did, and now here I am, a new sense of peace instilled within my heart.
People come and they go. That's life, and it's best that we not live in ignorance of that fact. But there is One who isn't going anywhere. And He will gleefully splash a couple of watercolors onto the horizon or send a sweet bird to the tree outside our window to remind us that even when our hearts are hurting, we still know how to sing.
Life isn't all peaches, and I shan't be so naive as to pretend or to think otherwise. But I have a divine Friend who genuinely cares about my happiness. And things can't really get much better than that.
Mondays aren't all bad, Kids. If anything, they're a fresh start, a chance to begin anew and learn great things. Spend some time with somebody you love today. And make sure you whisper a thank you to the One who's not going anywhere.