Tomorrow these two will begin a new adventure. They will leave the frozen Wyoming tundra and head to warmer parts. The wooded hills of Virginia beckon. They must answer the call.
We will miss them, accustomed as we have become to the two tall figures who have become a fixture on the worn plaid loveseat in our family room. Countless hours have they spent there, side by side, amusing themselves with videos on their iPhones, completing college assignments on their laptops (that would be Emily) or watching football games on the television screen (that would be Morgan).
“It is bittersweet,” I say to friends who inquire about their imminent departure. We are so excited for them. We are sad for us.
But really, there is no bitter. There is only sweet.
We’ve been so blessed.
If those cushions could communicate, they would tell of the many conversations, laughs, and giggles (that would be Emily) they overheard during the past four and a half years. Indeed, as Chris and I warmed our assigned seats on the adjacent matching plaid couch, we too were privileged to look on with pride and joy as this young couple matured in love, walked uprightly, waited patiently (that would be Morgan), made plans to marry.
There were a few disagreements, occasional misunderstandings, and some tears, to be sure. These are necessary in the forging of a true and lasting union. But even the bitter becomes sweet when Christ is present.* From the beginning they had invited Him into their relationship. And He smiled upon them and blessed them as they occupied their place on that loveseat.
So tomorrow we will send them out with our blessing. We will no doubt shed more tears before the day is done. But we will smile through the tears. We will hold them tight and then force ourselves to let them go. And we will thank the Lord for the time He gave us.
Sweet, sweet time. Sweet, sweet couple.
As our longtime friend John Lamb is fond of saying, Morgan and Emily, “You are good for this world.”
Go now, and be a blessing.
Our couch may be empty.
But our hearts will be full.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26, NKJV)
*See Exodus 15:22-25.