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Moving, Losing, and Hope

Moving, Losing, and Hope

I don’t have a lot of really close friends.

Oh yes, I’m an extrovert and I’m good in a crowd and can kibitz with the best of them at a gathering, but, ultimately, my really-good-friend circle is pretty small.

My friend life is much more “an inch wide and a mile deep” than “a mile wide and an inch deep”.

One of those good friends is moving away today.

A job transfer has meant a life transfer, as plans to retire in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with family nearby and church well-loved and friends long-developed, have been overturned for uncertainty and big city plain and all newness.

She and I, her family and many others – we’ve all been grieving.

It’s not often you find those friends with whom you just connect. Ones with whom, even if you don’t get together all the time because life gets in the way, when you do – it’s like no time has gone by. Ones with whom you can get to the real places quickly, and vent true emotion and speak reality without worry. Ones you just enjoy, and that you can be with without doing anything and still find the “being” fruitful.

She has been one of those friends.

We got to know each other through Bible study. Years ago, not long after I moved to Roanoke, as part of a church-wide prayer campaign, she and I met and studied the Word together and started sharing our lives. Our children have played together and even schooled together, and we’ve gotten their hand-me-down clothes. We’ve swapped working-hard-to-love-our-husbands-well stories, and made it through health problems, and have wept at the visitation of the baby that shouldn’t have been in the casket. We’ve lamented hopes crushed, prayed about jobs to be found, and laughed at life over dinner and wine. The little bathroom outside the church Community Room has seen our tears when life was just too much, and worship brought out the raw places and we just couldn’t hold it in anymore.

She’s the only person close to me who will go out with me to eat Indian food.

It feels, today like life just seems to be a lot about the losing.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8

No matter what it feels like, just the same as in of the losses I have experienced, I know that the Lord doesn’t do losses. He only does gains.

Everything lost is a pathway for gaining more Christ.

“You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.” Psalm 88:18

“Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Every time our circumstances shout “Loss!”, Christ is giving us more of Himself. Every time.

We can either focus on the loss, or we can ask Him to help us see…Him. Because He is always there, and always working in the situation for good.

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. “ Hebrews 6:7-11

His rain produces a useful crop, if we accept it, however it comes – even in the form of loss of a friend.

I am going to miss her. A lot. But I’m getting better at doing this “loss” thing. And that’s mainly because I’ve really figured out that, no matter how it feels at the time, what scripture says God does about loss is really true.

He really does give more than He takes away.

The moving van will leave, and the plane will fly, and the miles will come between us. But, she and I, we’ve got the best Friend there is. The Friend that brings gain out of every loss.

With that knowledge, I grieve, but I watch her go in hope.

5 Responses to “Moving, Losing, and Hope”

  1. Mary Lee Loope says:

    This is a sweet message about our friend, Beth. I have known and loved her for a long time and will miss her. She is a soft spoken and very kind person. I wish her family God’s blessings in their new home.

    • Beth Hoover says:

      Hi Mary Lee,
      I am just seeing your comments for the first time. I, too really miss Rebecca and small town Roanoke. We are having a difficult time adjusting to big city suburbs. Beth

  2. phyllis petty says:

    How heart warming – I know you will miss Beth and her family.

    • Beth Hoover says:

      HI Phyllis,
      I am just seeing your comments now. Yes, Rebecca really touched me with her article. I really miss Rebecca, and small town Roanoke. It’s been a difficult transition to big city suburbs.

      • phyllis petty says:

        Hi Beth, Where did you all move to?? Will Tom’s parents be coming your way or will they stay in Roanoke? I’m in Fl and I really love it here but I do miss my boys in Botetourt.

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