Sometimes people leave. Sometimes by their own choice or by a family decision. Sometimes people just switch schools, or move to a completely new town or even a new state. Sometimes people wish they could stay, they just can’t right now. They have to go away.

Maybe this time apart is a season. A season that will last a few months, or maybe it will be several years before they move back nearby. Maybe this friendship will be long distance forever.

Maybe this is a time when there’s a realization we have grown apart from a local friend, and that we aren’t as close as we used to be. We have to struggle with whether or not to revive the friendship or let them fade away from our minds.

Maybe someone we love made a completely different kind of move: a move to Heaven. In which case, we have to wait until we die as well or until Jesus returns for us to see our dear friend again.

No matter the circumstance, there is a time of mourning that must take place. There has to be a period where we realize that person has to leave us. They can’t be physically with us- either through separation of distance or realms- and so we have to learn how to move on.

But how do we move on when we don’t want this person to leave?

How do we accept the fact that they’re gone, whether we like it or not, and move on with our lives?

All I can think of is we have to learn to trust God more, and treasure the memories in our hearts.

Over the last few months, I’ve posted a lot about trusting God, verses for the brokenhearted, why we shouldn’t run away from our problems, how God gives us joy which can in turn be our strength, and how ultimately God is good all the time. But all these truths have yet to fully sink into my heart.

I think it’s going to take time. And I think trusting God is something we have to learn how to do over and over again as the seasons of our lives change.

Right now, however, I want to address the concept of treasuring memories.

When people leave us, we can store up all the memories we have of that person- the good, the bad, everything. {Hopefully there’s more good moments than bad though.}

Treasuring the Memories.

When we’re missing that person, we can go to the treasure chest of our heart and pull out these treasured memories.

We can remember that really awesome time we stayed up late with those two friends, singing hymns and “Silly Songs with Larry.”

We can remember that time with our childhood best friend when we acted out our weddings and pretended to be mommies.

We can remember that time when we were kids and we went tubing down a creek with our cousin, or when that seven year old boy declared he was our boyfriend.

We can remember the high school cafeteria and that time yogurt ended up on the ceiling.

We can remember the Bible studies, the deep conversations over a cup of coffee, the times we jammed out to Jesus music.

We can remember the hugs, the smiles, the laughter, the joy.

We can treasure these memories, store them near to our hearts, and look back on them with tears in our eyes and smiles on our lips.

And here’s the thing about memories: they’re ours. No one can take the away from us. The memories can’t decide to just get up and move away. The memories are ours to do with as we please.

So we must decide what to do with these bittersweet memories.

Will we bury them deep inside, afraid to allow them to surface, terrified that when our happy past resurfaces we will be wounded even more with thoughts of could-have-been’s and if-only’s?

Or will we willfully look back on them with a joyful heart: sad that it is over, but oh so happy that it happened at all.

The choice is entirely our own.

Will we treat these memories as treasures?

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