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Blessing Those Who Move On

It can be sad when people we love move away from us, but we must trust God to place each of us where we need to be.

a woman in a car with a dog passenger waves goodbye in the rearview mirror blessing those who move on

The email from Kelly began, “I’ve been procrastinating writing you…” and I knew the bad news even before I read the rest. It’s summer, and it’s time: A younger mom, one I like and admire, is moving out of the city. It made me want to cry. Again.

Surprisingly, one of the most difficult aspects of life in New York City is that people are constantly moving away. I’ve never found the city impersonal; if you’re involved in a few community organizations, you’re instantly connected with dozens of high-energy, interesting, civic-minded folks. People here work together to create community events, to do battle with urban bureaucracy, and to find creative ways to address noise and crime and dog doo on the sidewalks.

And then people leave. The biggest exodus occurs the summer before kids enter school, and Kelly’s older daughter just turned five.

The town up the Hudson that will be Kelly’s future home will undoubtedly be blessed. She is a source of hope, inspiration, and friendship. She’s a problem solver, an encourager, a more-than-competent harvest festival and egg hunt organizer. Wherever Kelly lands, the world will be a better place. Others will benefit.

My heart aches, and I ask God (somewhat petulantly) where Kelly’s move leaves me. “Why, here, of course!” He replies, “Where you’re called to be!”

I laugh at the unexpected humor of this, and my heart shifts a bit. I hope that perhaps, in some small way, my presence in Kelly’s life has nudged her ever so slightly in the direction of good, and made her grow just a wee bit more into who she was created to be. I take a deep breath, go for a long walk, and pray for my friend, her family, her future. It’s what I can do. It’s what God asks of me: to give, to pray, to be His servant, regardless of whether others stay or go. 

Lord, bless those who move on. Bless them richly.

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