Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Doors Closed to the Past, and Doors Open to the Future

I was born and raised in Arkansas. Save for a short, 13 month stint at a children's home in VA, I've never lived anywhere else. We Southerners have always been a little too proud of our "southern-ness", and I was....am....no exception! As a child, we always had this special verse we added to the song "This Little Light of Mine" it went like this, "Shine all over Arkansas, I'm gonna let it shine..." I was always rather proud of that verse.

Almost 3 years ago, our little family packed up all our earthly belongings and moved North. After 10 years of submerging my long-suffering husband in the wonderfulness of my home state, the time had come for me to have the tables turned. The other week, my little girls were playing, and the song they were lustily singing suddenly caught my attention - "Shine all over Antrim, I'm gonna let it shine..." Something seemed to hit me in the pit of my stomach! Oh yeah. We really aren't from Arkansas. Most of my children won't even remember being from Arkansas! Ouch.

This morning, I'm feeling that same feeling again. This morning, I will become a member of the Antrim Mennonite Church. It's time, it's necessary, and I'm totally on board with it, but it feels final, like the last nail pounded into the door on the past.

I know in my heart that final nails pounded into doors of the past only means there's a new door open wide to the future, a door God is holding open just for me. So, I'll allow a few tears this morning. I'll allow some sadness for what was, and what might have been. And then I'll dry my tears, hang a pretty wreath on the closed door, and live in the present.

5 comments:

Judith Lapp said...

good expression of the moment... 'grieving' the past and yet open for the now... am so glad you're a part of our church and my life... looking forward to learning to know you even more... love you. judith

Bethany Eicher said...

Thank you, Judith. You've made me feel welcome and included in this 'new world'! Love you too.

tabitha said...

Aww, Bethany. I've never had to do what you're doing, but I married a Canadian and who knows when I might have to do the same thing! I hope you come to love Ohio, but it's OK to always love Arkansas and even grieve a bit now and then. I love your healthy attitude toward all the changes in your life. Have a good week!
Tabitha

Bethany Eicher said...

Thank you, Tabitha. Ohio is a pretty good place if one must, well, you know...leave Arkansas :) You have a good week too!

Miller scribe said...

Good words! I lived in Arkansas just long enough to understand the sentiment.