All change is stressful.

A dear friend of mine and neighbor is moving to San Fransisco rather unexpectedly. Her husband has been offered a job that couldn't sensibly be refused. I'm heartbroken to lose such a supportive, darling, sweet friend. Okay, I know I'm not really "losing" her. I'm just losing proximity. I know that I can maintain deep friendships over long distances. As I adjust to the idea of cross-country flights and handwritten letters instead of back porch conversations held over our adjacent yards, the phrase "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" keeps coming to mind. So, I finally looked it up.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

I'd been repeating it, almost mantra-like, in an attempt to accept the change. I've been doing pretty good lately with not being angry with God when the unfortunate/unpleasant happens. But to go so far as to give Him praise when I'm feeling uprooted and/or abandoned? I can only go so far as to be grateful for that which I have and I am so grateful for the gift of her friendship.

But then again, there are scholars who say the Book of Job is a contemporaneous satire, not a scriptural document. Which means I can be as pouty as I want about people taking stupid jobs in stupid California, right? Not so much. Just because I can convince myself that this particular book is less authentic than the rest doesn't mean a whole lot. Especially when I can't get a verse of it out of my head. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Elizabeth Bathurst

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