A pocket that can hold the whole universe

Bringing back an old blog post from nearly a year ago, because it still rings so very true, and is still so painfully relevant, especially as I’m realizing that I only have a few more weeks left here in London.

“We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren’t on our lists, people we’ve never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.” – Oskar Schell, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Like Oskar, I so often find myself wanting to keep the people I love close to me, to try to protect them from the inevitable bruises and harsh waves of pain life throws at us. I know it’s futile; I know it’s impossible. But that certainly doesn’t stop me from trying.

These past few months, I’ve learned that sometimes, letting go is not only healthy but necessary. Relationships run their course, we move away to college, we realize we aren’t the people we were even just a year ago. For whatever reason, sometimes life demands that we pry open our unwilling grasps and let go.

And it’s so hard. It’s the most difficult thing in the world to let people you care so deeply about leave your range of vision, because how do you know, how can you be sure that they’ll be safe on their own or if they’ll ever return to you at all? You can’t be. As desperately as I want it to, a pocket to hold everyone and everything I care about does not exist. I must learn to let go.

But here is the silver lining, the hope that makes letting go bearable:
I believe that the Almighty God of the Universe, the One that gave us breath and loves us more than we can comprehend, is in control. I believe that He who created us knows what is best for us better than we could ever know ourselves. And I believe that He will restore His people, that he will heal us from our brokenness.

I believe that our God loves the people I love so much more deeply, passionately, and unconditionally than I ever could. The more I pursue Him, the more I am convinced of His goodness and overwhelmed by the magnitude of His grace.

Goodbyes will probably never be easy for me. But while I certainly can’t keep everyone safe on my own, I’m learning to trust that He knows what He is doing.


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