I sometimes wish I could pull an Emma Dinsmore on my life. She would always read the last chapter of a book first so that she could decide whether or not to read the whole thing: "If I like the ending, I know I'll like getting there, whereas if I don't like the ending, I know not to waste my time."
But even as I sit here, pondering the quote I just pulled from memory (what is it with me and random movie quotes??), I wish to retract that wish. Just because I don't like how a story ends doesn't mean the journey to that end was without value, merit, adventure, and love. Of course I would like every story to end with the destruction of the Ring, the ultimate defeat of the enemy, the coronation of the rightful king, and the joining of the two long-separated lovers, but that isn't life. Well, it is life in the BROADEST sense because Jesus is going to ultimately conquer death when he returns and is crowned and we are joined with Him for eternity. Pause for a moment and let's just GLORY in that! THAT is the dominant story line of life, and because of that, I can have lots of hope when, in times like right now, the subplots aren't tying up with happy bows.
I'm in a season of ending subplots, the most permanent of which is my grandmother's passing. And I'm walking through the cognitive and emotional paradox of the situation: though it is right and good for my Gramma to be with Jesus now, it still hurts. Though I am glad she isn't in anymore physical pain and that she'll get a new body someday, I still ache. I guess it just takes time for one's heart to catch up with one's head.
The dissonance of that paradox is also echoing in the professional and personal chapters that are also closing during this time. After five years with the Boomerang Project, I won't be coaching this spring. The work itself I won't particularly miss, but the people.... oh, my soul loves them, longs to see them, aches already knowing I will miss them. I know God has His protective and providing hand on my life, but saying good-bye still hurts. He has promised good things to those who love and obey him, but, still, I'm experiencing some ouchies.
And, you know what, it's okay. Even though I am currently experiencing the pain of the less-than-happy elements in the "ends" of these subplots, I would still have chosen to read them. The pain of the ending has not diminished the value, merit, adventure, or love I have experienced in them. And I take encouragement and hope from the fact that Jesus and I are moving forward together and that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
My life.... definitely worth the read.