My family is musical. My husband is a musical genius, and all my children are talented and have beautiful voices.
My kids started singing when they were very young. Our home has always been filled with music. As the two oldest have gotten older, and moved on to college, I’ve missed the four-part harmony that became a part of our lives. Still, as they’ve gone on, they’ve continued to pursue music in various ways.
My oldest boy traveled this summer with a group that works to help throughout the region with admissions for his college. Today, that group helped lead worship at a local church. So, I took leave of my own congregation to go hear the band. A bonus was that my oldest daughter got a chance to sing with them as well, so both of my chicks were in one place, leading worship.
This wasn’t just “any” church. The church the kids were at today was one we had pastored for ten years in a previous life. This was the church where these two children spent most of their growing-up years. This was the place that they both sang in public for the first time.
We loved this church and its people. We were there when we were young and full of optimism and hope and ideas. We grew with these people; we added two more children to our family during this time. We had an excellent experience there.
And then it was done.
I’ve come a long way, and this isn’t the time or place to re-hash it all. But it was still a little surreal to be sitting back among the handful of people who were there “way back then” with us. To see my kids up on the platform again, only this time, as adults — full-voiced and beautiful and so confident.
It was a nice service. The pastor that is there now is a good guy, and he has a couple of other men helping on staff that are great guys. Some of the folks came up and shared hugs and warm greetings and “Wow, I can’t believe those kids are that big” conversations. It was … nice.
While the day brought back a lot of memories, it was nice to not be pulled into the melancholy that can accompany such experiences. We’re in a new place … a new stage of life. This new place is good, and welcoming and has restored hope to both my husband and I. It’s not perfect. But for where we are now — for the people we have become — it’s very good.
By it’s very definition, an “Old Haunt” intimates ghosts of the past visiting us again. Ghosts can be scary … if we let them scare us.
But I’m at a point in my life where fear has no place. Not fear of the past, or the present, or the future. Today reaffirmed in me that the new life my family and are investing in is where we should be right now. I don’t have a grip on all the details. But I know now that I wouldn’t trade what is for what might have been there.
So here’s to new life. Not for what might have been … but what is. Here’s to taking each moment and realizing that it is the only one of its kind, and living it to its fullest potential. And again, a gentle reminder that I need to make the most of every moment I’m given.