In the time before YouTube or Food Network, before Google was a noun and a verb, we used to find things to make for dinner in thick-paged volumes filled with ideas to bring tasty nutrition to the table.
These volumes were called cookbooks.
Frustrated by the time-consuming effort to make dinnertime both flavorful and healthy, my friend Jennifer bought herself a new cookbook called Once a Month Cooking. The cookbook detailed how to prep thirty entrees in one day, freeze them, and use them throughout the month. Her plan was to cook together, double everything, make sixty meals, and split the bounty between us.
Jennifer thought it was genius.
I thought it was harebrained.
Until … I tried it.
Instead of spending a big chunk of every day filtering recipes, ferreting for ingredients, chopping, slicing, dicing, and heating, I had time to read, play with the kids, or take a nap!
The best part of our plan was that if a new recipe got hideous reviews, I simply blamed Jennifer, and vice versa at her house. Our culinary prowess at home was never impugned.
Jennifer had lots of great ideas. We didn’t just cook together. We joined Bible studies, took aerobics classes, shuttled the kids to museums, got motorcycle endorsements, and double dated with all the money we saved doing Once a Month Cooking.
For 25 years, we’ve been creating and executing one scheme or another as we’ve raised our children, buried our dead, and lived our lives.
My heart is conflicted.
I am truly happy for their wonderful turn of events.
But I am left behind.
I’m sure it’s happened to you, too.
Someone you love,
someone you lean on,
someone who gets you,
leaves, moves, or dies.
And it hurts.
We feel that deep pain
because we were created for relationships.
Eternal relationships that start right here on earth.
Even though I have other friends, it still makes me sad that Jennifer is moving.
Ultimately I have to ask myself:
Can I be grateful for the time I had with her?
Do I trust God to fill the emptiness?
My answer is yes.
What happens to your heart
when plans change,
when friends move,
when life shifts unexpectedly?
Is God enough?
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
(Jeremiah 17:7-8, NIV)
Prayer: God, my heart aches. The tears flow. Overwhelm me. Let me know that I am not alone and that you are with me. Send your presence. Send your angels. Send your people. Show me your love and let me learn to trust you in deeper ways. Amen.