by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.
I’ve been diving into community at Destiny House for over four years now where God sends incredible people into my life for a season but then many return to their home countries after the season is over. At times it’s heartbreaking because I have come to love these with my whole heart and then they leave. I always have a choice. I can fully engage, be all in, enjoy every moment and be fully present during the time we are together. Or, I can live guarded, protected, and pull back because they are going to leave anyway. I can choose to realize that God has intersected our lives for such a time as this and that there are keys of destiny hidden inside of us for each other. Or, I can remain in relationship with them at an arm’s distance so they can’t access my heart and then I won’t have to feel pain when they leave. This would be a very sad story if I chose the latter. The abundant life Jesus died for us to have in John 10:10 is full of joy and sorrow, tears and miracles.
It’s important to be all in and fully engaged with the people God has surrounded us with in each present season. It’s not wise to pull back just before someone moves away because of fear they will be gone forever and the relationship will end. This action will sabotage great treasures that might still need to be discovered in the present with that person.
God has destined us to live and be fully alive in each and every season of life. With all of the incredible people coming and going in our lives, I want to share something that one of my spiritual father’s, Bob Fulton, taught me that will help in this transition. Being the surfer that I am, he explained it to me this way.
Imagine you are sitting at a lifeguard tower and there are people playing in the sand and in the water just in front of your tower. These are the ones God has brought into your life for such a time as this. It is important to be present with these in the moment. Some of these will stay in your life forever and that is a beautiful thing, but some also will be there only for a season and then they will move on. That is also something to celebrate and thank God for the gift of that season of time together.
Looking to the left up the beach, you can see people playing in the water and you can’t wait to do life with them. However, they are not in front of your lifeguard tower and it’s not time to give them your full attention yet. Eventually, the current will bring them to you and then you can dive in together. When they arrive, some of these will stay with you for a season and some for life. It is all worth celebrating.
Then there are those who enjoy the beach in front of your lifeguard tower who go out swimming and the current takes them to the right and further down the beach. They no longer play in front of your lifeguard tower. They have now moved on. As you look down the beach, your heart swells with so many memories. It’s a bittersweet moment but you realize this is their path. You try your best to celebrate the moments and memories you’ve had with them. You do your best to let go and trust them to God because you know if you don’t, you won’t be able to be fully present for the ones God has positioned right in front of you for the this new season.
It’s important to celebrate and thank God for every moment you have with the people you love and also to live open handedly, fully surrendering these gifts to Him. He is their Father and loves them even more than you do. He will provide other spiritual mothers, fathers, and friends, down the beach in front of other lifeguard towers. Some may even come back later on in life and visit you again, recounting memories of old.
Every moment is worth living wholeheartedly. Every season is something to celebrate no matter how short or long it may be. Every relationship is a gift from God.
Celebrate those God has positioned in front of you for such a time as this. You will never have the same dynamics and synergy of people together like what’s in front of you today. Some may transition out of your daily life but as we live wholeheartedly, pieces of our heart will carry on within each other far and wide. May God give you the grace to dive in with those He’s brought to you now. May you have a fresh perspective to celebrate, bless, and live wholeheartedly until the end of each season, thanking God for the gift of life and friendship He has brought into your life today.