It is a verse that most of us probably memorized at some point in time. In the AWANA Bible clubs, you learn it in kindergarten or first grade. It's a verse that I've always loved, but I was realizing this morning how much more meaning it has taken lately.
When I was a little girl, people would leave from my life. Friends, extended family -- they came and went. But I had a constant rock in Him and also my family. My parents taught us
kids that no matter where we went, our closest, best friends were our siblings. This was so true in my life even though I was much older than them. I was also extremely close with my parents and they were some of my best friends.
When I was 18, I reconnected with a friend of mine and also started communication with a new girl. These two girls, though living hundreds upon hundreds of miles away from me at this moment, are now my best friends and my adopted sisters. For me it was also special as my family adopted them into the family, so it was like they truly became family. They stick with me through the times of change and everything else. Even when I moved far away, my family and my closest friends don't let me down.
As the years went by, I dealt with my now-husband coming and going to the USCGA and being home for around 21-28 days a year. I always cried upon him leaving, but went back to the shelter of my family when he left, looking forward to the next time he returned.
But I don't think I really understood "leaving" until in May. One of the easiest things to do in my life was to say "yes" to marrying my husband. By far the hardest thing I've had to do in my life was to leave my family when I got married. In my small experiences of people leaving, it has always been people leaving me. But for me to leave my family was extremely hard. I know that I have not forsaken them (and I sure hope they know that, too!) but there were times that I felt guilty for leaving them. It was not easy on me and it was not easy on them -- despite the fact that ALL of us were thrilled that I was married to the best guy ever!
It brought a new meaning to Hebrews 13:5, however. No matter how much we love people, no matter how much we care...people leave. People change. People may even let us down even if we trust them with our lives. But Jesus is constant and consistent. He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." That is something that I can't be. That is something that only He can be to us. In the past 6 months, Jesus has become a rock and shelter to me that He never was before. I have had to lean on His strength in ways that I didn't think I would have to. It's been good. It's also been challenging. As an ultimate lesson, I have learned that He is strong when I am weak, and He holds me up when I want to fall.