So far this week, I've given my "official" two week's notice at work, had my last meeting with my spiritual director, and my last meeting of a ministry group I've been actively involved in for the last two years at church. In the month prior to this, I've spent my last night in my home, had my last Saturday morning "made to order breakfast" at my Gammaw's house, scratched my kitty on the head for the last time, cooked my last meal in MY kitchen, met for the last time with two long-time clients in my job...
...and that's just right off the top of my head. If I were to sit and think about it for another ten minutes I could fill an entire post with just listing my "lasts". But that would be more depressing than I even want to attempt.
I hate lasts. I hate goodbyes. I really, really, REALLY dislike change. I was sharing with some friends tonight that I'd gladly keep bringing "firsts" into my life forever... if only I could just "give up" any "lasts". (My sense of humor is quirky... I was just thinking the only "last" I'd ever really enjoy is my last last.)
The difficulty with some big changes in life is that there can be a overabundance of lasts all at once. Emotionally, I feel like I did 12 years ago when I graduated college. It seemed like my WHOLE WORLD was "last" something. And I hated it. It made me sad. It wasn't "bad" per se. But... I wasn't yet across the bridge from all those "lasts" to begin experiencing any firsts to balance it out.
It's very much like this right now... and has been for more than a month. Actually, I think it started for me at Christmas time when I realized I was probably decorating my house for the last time for Christmas. Seven months of lasts... and now a marathon of them for the next three weeks - before any "firsts".
It's hard. That's all. Just hard. OK. But hard. It will get easier when the "firsts" begin to come. And, I AM looking forward to them. First night at the seminary. First class. First mass at the seminary chapel as a seminarian. First meeting with my new spiritual director. And... I'm sure the firsts will create some anxiety. (First test?!?!?! I haven't taken a test in 12 years! First paper?!?!?! Someone hasn't critiqued my writing in forever.) But, with firsts I'm able to connect with the sense of life moving on. Living. Today, all I'm experiencing are chapters closing.
A wonderful woman shared a prayer card with me tonight as our meeting closed. She said it had just happened to be in her purse today - and she wasn't sure why. As I was sharing tonight, she began to think maybe sharing it with me was why. It was just what I needed. (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!)
For all who are moving through a season of change, of lasts...
Lord, be our guide and our protector
on the journey we are about to take.
Watch over us and preserve us from all accidents,
keep us free from harm to body and soul.
Lord, support us with Your grace when we are tired.
Helps us be patient in any trouble which might come our way.
Keep us always mindful of Your presence and love. Amen.