"Bittersweet" is a word Jeff and I have used a lot the past few months. Watching Will graduate from college: bittersweet. Jeff cleaning out his education office at Bethel: bittersweet. The boys saying they want to experience living in a new place (Austin, TX): bittersweet. Jeff’s last Sunday at Granger Good Shepherd UMC: bittersweet. My last Sunday preaching regularly at Monson UMC: bittersweet. Selling our home of twelve years: bittersweet.
A couple of weeks ago, as I touched up paint in preparation for putting our house on the market, I suddenly realized this is the last house the four of us would live in together. The last house with Pokémon posters or high jump ribbons or a New Mexico flag on the walls. The last house where I’ll yell: “Have you finished cleaning your room yet—I’ll be there in five minutes to check.” The last house where one of our bathrooms will be known as the “boys’ bathroom.” Probably the last house with a basketball hoop outside.
Jeff usually encourages me to share my thoughts and feelings since I don’t do it often, but when I shared my revelation about this being our last family house, his immediate reaction was: “I wish you hadn’t shared that”! He loves being a dad and transitioning out of full-time fatherhood has been a challenge for him.
It’s often easy to focus on the “bitter” in the bittersweet times. But God is good, and sometimes it is in the bittersweet times that we have an opportunity to see how much “sweet” He has blessed us with over the years.