Friday, May 30, 2014

Finally, the time came to say goodbye

Love Story 59

Finally, the time came to say goodbye. The team gathered in front of one of the dorms and packed their things up into a big white van. It was a bit hurried and rushed—not the least bit like what I had imagined it to be in my mind. I had wanted to take a long walk and settle ourselves before we parted ways. I wanted to debrief regarding what was about to happen. I wanted reassurance that Rob wanted the same thing that I wanted. I felt desperate to know that he loved me and was committed to me as much as I was to him.

But none of that was in the cards for that morning. Instead, I watched as this team leader that I wanted all to myself checked off tasks on the task list and gathered those who were there to see the team off to pray. We prayed for their safety and a fruitful ministry and we prayed for God’s will for the Summer. We prayed for each of the people heading out and committed their work to God’s hands.

As soon as we said “amen”, one by one people started saying their goodbyes. Rob walked me to my car and I slipped him my little construction paper heart. He handed me a Nichole Nordeman CD and told me to listen to track #4. He gave me a quick hug and told me he loved me, then shut my car door and walked toward the van.

There was no fanfare. No fireworks. No tears. In fact, it didn’t seem the least bit difficult for him to say goodbye. Clearly his focus was elsewhere that morning.

I put my car in reverse and drove out of the parking lot unsure of how to make sense of what just happened. I slipped the CD into my car and quickly found track #4.

I drove toward Bend where I would spend the next few days with Ruthi. I rolled the window of my Nissan Sentra down as the music began to play and the sun started beating down on my face. As the words to this song hit my ears the tears started to fall.

Bless the day

This restoration is complete

Dirty dusty something must be underneath

So I scrape and I scuff

Though it's never quite enough

I'm starting to see me finally

A gallery of paintings new and paintings old

I guess it's no surprise that I'm no Michael Angelo

Every layer of mine hides a lovely design

It might take a little patience

It might take a little time

But you called me beautiful

When you saw my shame

And you placed me on the wall


You who have begun this work will someday see

A portrait of the holiness you meant for me

So I polish and shine

til it's easier to find even an outline of mine

But you called me beautiful

When you saw my shame

And you placed me on the wall



And you placed me on the wall


I started out writing Our Love Story in real-time (only 10 years later) in the months leading up to our10th wedding anniversary. Now our 13th anniversary is just around the corner—but hey, true love takes time to fully develop, just like this story! You can find additional stories in the series or start from the beginning by clicking here, or by going to the Our Love Story tab at the top of the page.

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