altar.

and just like that, it’s been a month since i put pen to paper.

celebrating, packing, graduating, enjoying, cleaning, working, goodbying, wondering how the past four years could have flown and crawled by simultaneously and weren’t we just getting married and 20 years old and soaking up the lack of certainty in our future?  we work through piles of paper, of mother’s day out forms and insurance verifications and bills and gifts and cancellations and we hope that in the drudgery and constant upkeep of daily life there is meaning and something beyond. we assemble boxes and fill them full and give away whatever we can because this stuff of earth spins the head and muffles the heart and quenches the soul. we plan times with friends focused on “see you later” rather than the dreaded “goodbye” and find ourselves branded, imprinted, penetrated by the depth and breadth of impact we have had on each other. we think back to the moments in time before we entered these seminary housing walls and i realize how many of my thoughts, beliefs, hopes, dreams, realities have been shaped by the people who have breathed and struggled and lived within them alongside me and i wonder at the goodness of God and his provision through the body. i think of abby the newlywed, abby the (short-lived) seminary student, abby the working wife, abby the stay at home mom and i am hard-pressed to find a single evolution not shrouded in the evidence of God’s mercy and joy and kindness, and isn’t it beautiful to recognize that while we feel ourselves spinning in circles he is making our paths straight?

we have 8 days left in this apartment, the boxes and memories closing in on us and taking my breath away. dinner with dear friends at that table, the shock of a cancer diagnosis on that couch, a nursing newborn in that chair. coffee brewing on the counter, music beckoning from the record player, shower awakening us to days of school, work, play and where did all those weekends, semesters, holidays, plans go? we feel robbed yet overwhelmed with riches, left empty yet filled to the brim. we find ourselves anxious to move forward yet every friendship and memory leaves an imprint that during these heart-wrenching seasons feels ever so much like a break. this place has been a lifetime of learning and growth bottled up and pouring over and i’m not sure there will ever be words to describe. we grab hands and we mourn and we celebrate and we dance through the doors but let our hands linger at the knob a few moments longer, awash with remembrance and the hope that all we have become will be to His glory and for the people of God there is no true goodbye. He leads us on and links us together and in Him we live, we move, we have our being and we are one. what grace He must have to allow us lives of such feeling and fullness, impact and intimacy. may we never forget this place, building an altar in our hearts for all it has been and all that has been accomplished in His goodness. we give thanks, we rejoice and we carry on.

Author: Abby Perry

Abby has written for The Gospel Coalition, Christ and Pop Culture, Upwrite Magazine, and The Influence Network. She is the communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization and co-facilitates two community efforts—one promoting bridge-building racial reconciliation conversations and one supporting area foster and adoptive families. Abby graduated from Texas A&M University and currently attends Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her family live in College Station, Texas.

5 thoughts on “altar.”

  1. I am reading your post a full 2 years after graduation and my heart is still overwhelmed thinking about all the fullness of life during our time in Swiss. You put it into words beautifully. The pain and joy of finishing that season have stayed with me. Good luck on your next steps.
    Alison Kemp

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