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Six of us sat around a rectangular table, eating dinner, laughing, sharing advice and preparing our hearts for goodbye. Our individual hearts were tender and collectively we were aching for the loss that would be felt when Drew and her family headed north to begin the next chapter of their lives in Colorado. In one of our few, serious moments, she looked at us, tears spilling onto her cheeks, “Each of you mean so much to me. It’s hard to leave you behind.” I knew the anguish within her. It was as if I could feel her heart beating in mine.

It wasn’t too long ago that I sat in her seat. I was preparing my heart to leave the safe haven I had built in Richmond. I remember sitting across the table from a couple that Matt and I had come to love and respect, when the husband asked how I was feeling about the impending transition, unexpectedly, tears filled my eyes and I said, “I just can’t fathom these people and these places being memories.”

Interestingly enough, I was driving around Owasso yesterday reflecting on the life the Lord has built for us here. He has been gracious in His provision for our family in this chapter of our lives. I briefly entertained the thought of what it would feel like to say goodbye to these people and these places and it was simply too much for my heart. Yet, it took me back to the advice that I spoke to Drew that night we all said goodbye. It was a statement the Lord had spoken to my heart this last November when I was wrestling with Him over His hobby of transplanting me in ministry. “This is the way you want it to be. You want the goodbyes to hurt and for tears to stain your cheeks. The ache is the indicator that you invested yourself into these places and these people.”

That’s how we are called to live for Him, “All in.” That’s something I want to be known for, “She was all in.” She loved Him first. He was her first love, her everything. She loved people the same way she loved Him.

We can’t be timid for fear of the pain or any greater cost. We are called to live HERE. We are called to live NOW. We are called to live for HIM.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13

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