Sunset, Sunrise

I just tried to call the very first phone number I ever memorized, and it has already been disconnected. Tomorrow my parents leave my childhood home in California to move to North Carolina. After almost 50 years in California, it’s a big transition for them. For all of us. When I heard the automated woman declare, “The number you have reached has been disconnected or is no longer in service,” my eyes welled up with tears. I don’t like change. Even when it’s a good change for good reasons.

We had our good-bye trip to SoCal in July, and we went to Disneyland–a treasured place that holds not only many of my own happy memories as a child, but happy memories with our son, David, who turns sixteen today. While we were standing in line for a ride at the park, I talked to a friend about grief and change. “I’ve always been a sunset person,” I told her. “I’m the kind of person who loves to reflect and ponder after something happens. I’m not as good at sunrises. And I sense that God is inviting me to look at how I anticipate the new that will be given after the old passes away.”

As we were leaving the park after midnight, and I was caught up in the emotion over wondering whether this would be our last time there, something extraordinary happened. The cast member at the exit gate was cheerfully saying, “Good morning! Good morning! Have a wonderful day!” I knew it was a word for me. Here I was, grieving over a season that was setting and struggling to look forward to the one that was rising in its place. And I was being reminded to watch for the sun and enjoy the morning.

A friend emailed me this morning, asking how my heart was doing with the change. She said a hymn was coming to mind as she prayed for me today, and she shared the line that was speaking to her: “Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.” I hadn’t told her about my sunset/sunrise revelation, and I had the sense as I tearfully read her words that the Holy Spirit was seeing me. Knowing me.

Yes, fast falls the eventide, Lord. But you are with us as we watch for the rising of the new day.

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
   and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
   more than watchmen wait for the morning,
   more than watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)

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