We took every opportunity over the last few days and weeks to say goodbye...
Yesterday afternoon, the kiddos gathered for a farewell playdate for Taryn and James. Then last night, we shared typical good times
This beautiful family is a gift. Anyone and everyone who is fortunate enough to call them friends knows and understands what I am talking about. You know and understand the sadness I am feeling - really feeling in this moment.
Gregg and Mercy are profoundly good. They are profoundly fun. Their children are a stunning reflection of each of them. Even in brokenness, God has used the Tuckers to minister to me and to so many others. They are vivacious, warm, inviting and just lovely, GODLY people. Not only do they draw people to themselves, simply by being themselves, they gather and connect others.
And Mercy. I don't even know what to say about this woman that will suffice except that I love and respect her immensely. I always have. She is thoughtful and kind and makes room for others. She opens doors, draws out truth and asks questions - important, anointed questions. She radiates and is most vibrant in her vulnerability... and she'll go there. She will really go there.
There is no question that God has called them to La Victoria. There is no question that he will use and sharpen them while they away - however long that may be.
In the days of email, websites and video messaging, let alone telephones and the good ole' U.S. Postal Service, ten months hardly seems like any time at all. Nevertheless, as Rachel insightfully put it last night, "it's not the ten months... it's the unknown of that which follows the ten months..."
The reality is that last night marked an end. Tonight, as our friends unload the six pieces of luggage they so carefully and thoughtfully packed over the last few weeks - as they settle into their new beginning - I am grieving that end. Whether or not our friends actually return to Westminster for good next summer, things will never be the same (this is definitely a good thing, but it's sad, nonetheless). Undoubtedly, they will be eternally transformed through this experience. They will grow and change. We all will grow and change.
And perhaps God will call them to more - much more. Already, I miss our friends.
Thank you, God, for the Tuckers. Thank you for taking them out of our lives and placing them into the community of La Victoria. Thank you for the lives of the men, women and children that will forever be impacted by this family. Bless them, Father. Cover them, Lord. Thank you, Lord.